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Coimbra delegates green space management to residents

Coimbra delegates green space management to residents

Ongoing process of decentralization of competencies in the municipality

Last week, the vice-mayor of Coimbra, Carlos Cidade, paid a visit to the parish seat of Santa Clara where he signed a cooperation agreement with the Valverde Residents Association (AMV). It stipulates the conditions in regard to managing the common green spaces and adjacent areas in the neighbourhood of Valverde.

That means the cleaning, sanitation and conservation of these space for the common benefit and collective use. The municipality, on its part, has the responsibility to provide an annual financial contribution of 7800 euros to the association.

Democratizing public space maintenance and conservation

In order to win the managing privilege, the AMV had to submit a project, called ‘Valverde Emotions – Bio Rede’, which detailed how it would go about respecting the ecological values of the place while also promoting ‘well-being, quality of life and sustainability'.

The financial contribution coming from City Hall is subject to the condition that the residents’ association presents an activity report at the end of the year which describes the operations and related costs incurred in carrying them out. This represents a direct example of involving civic organizations in municipal activities and if successful it is expected that it will be replicated to other neighbourhoods.

Coimbra’s official website reported that this kind of experimental approach is motivated by two parallel trends seen in recent years. On one hand, there has been a decrease in human resources allocated to public space maintenance, yet on the other, the areas of green spaces in the city have actually increased.

The city council has also issued an international public tender back in January for the maintenance of the urban parks and gardens for a period of two years, which was valued at 653,425.20 euros.

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