Edu-communication and Urban Regeneration

 Edu-communication and Urban Regeneration

Young people mobilize to tell stories and visions of a sustainable future in the parish of Campanhã in Porto

Four training meetings, meetings to prepare scripts and interviews, field trips for the production of photographs and videos. This is how a group of 8 young people and technicians from the URBiNAT Project are creating new narratives about the parish of Campanhã in Porto, through community communication.

This concept is integrated into URBiNAT through the Campanh’Up Platform, a proposal for Communication and Interaction co-created with citizens in URBiNAT’s PortoLiving Lab. The idea is that training in community communication will strengthen the active involvement of the community in the social issues in which they are involved.

Training meetings are focused largely on promoting and communicating the territory, telling the stories of its residents, and echoing their life and community projects through Campanh’Up.

The training covers the following topics during virtual workshops: educommunication and the power of social networks; diagnosis of the use of social networks in URBiNAT; how to conduct an interview, and article and a press release; instruments for making a photo report; tool for making a video for social media; what community communication is and how it is done; mapping the territory’s communication assests; collective contruction of a sustainable work plan to strengthen the Campanh’Up platform.

The basis of the work methodology proposed by Viração is Educommunication. It is a field of knowledge and socio-cultural intervention defined by Professor Ismar de Oliveira Soares of the Center for Communication and Education (University of São Paulo, Brazil) as “the set of actions aimed at planning and implementing practices aimed at creating and developing open and creative communicative ecosystems in educational spaces, thus guaranteeing increasing possibilities of expression to all members of the educational community”.

Paulo Lima, founder and executive director of Viração, explains that communication tools are simultaneously understood as a process and a product. These are processes because it is through them that young people and adults will begin to open up to the knowledge of themselves and their territory, conducting interviews, mapping, photographing and researching. Lima said that “This process will be consolidated into collaborative communication products, that have the potential to involve other participants, expand the network of people working for the sustainable future of the Parish of Campanhã and Porto, and serve as a vehicle for disseminating the actions of non-governmental organizations and government officials in the city.”

It is a process based on feedback that strengthens the critical thinking of young people and adults, not only in relation to the media, but also to the existence of public policies that benefit their surroundings and, mainly, in relation to the realization of citizens’ rights.

The Campanh’Up Platform has been co-created with local associations OUPA and APPC. It went through an experimentation phase in 2020 before being launched in 2021. On the one hand, for Ricardo Lopes, from OUPA, who has been the driving force behind this initiative “something must be born that makes us stop, look at Campanhã, think of ways to rehabilitate it, to potentiate it, to live it” , as mentioned in an interview with the newspaper Público. On the other hand, for Isabel Rute, from the APPC Association that has been supporting the development of the Platform, “creating spaces to catalyze processes and actively connect people, help to deepen the knowledge of the community and at the same time reinforce the local associative fabric, is so necessary and urgent to democratic processes today ”.

The Campanh’Up Platform aims to go beyond the digital context, and to mobilize the means to express ideas or initiate actions. Therefore, although it is not yet accessible online, the Platform has already created spaces for collective expression, discussion and action between different groups. In practice, it has strengthened the participation and involvement of the Campanhã community in inclusive regeneration processes through community and cultural communication.

During the months of February and March 2021, the young people participating in the training will experience in practice the contents learned during the training workshops and will conduct interviews, photo reports and videos in the community where the URBiNAT project is being implemented. The products will be available soon on the various platforms and social networks of the project.

The contribution to this process comes from the organization Viração Educomunicações, which has been operating in Brazil and Portugal for 18 years. The organization is responsible for promoting this cycle of training and mentoring in community communication for young people and professionals at the Living Lab in Porto, in order to enhance the Campanh’up Platform. And not only.

The experience of Viração in the Youth Press Agency has contributed to this goal. The Agency was created 15 years ago, during the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, and today it has offices in several countries and websites in Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. Journalists and educommunicators facilitate training meetings: Paulo Lima, Monise Cristina and Pedro Neves.

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