Partners from six European countries gathered in Plovdiv

By BgBeActive

On 7th and 8th June 2022, BG Be Active Association hosted the kick-off meeting of the Park(ing) Day for Fitness project. Representatives of partner organizations from Poland, Romania, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Bulgaria gathered in Plovdiv to discuss innovative ideas and successful practices on how to improve the urban environment and provide more opportunities for people to be physically active.

On the first day of the meeting, the partners presented the National plans for the implementation of the project - how the initiative will be revived in parallel in six European cities. In September, Vienna (Austria), Suceava (Romania), Wroclaw (Poland), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Nice (France) and Plovdiv (Bulgaria) will hold their pilot Park(ing) Day for Fitness event, transforming parking spaces into open gyms.

The partners at Placemaking Europe have launched a Park(ing) Day for Fitness guide, which can be used by any organisation that would like to organise their own Park(ing) Day for Fitness event. During the meeting, Ana Rivas, a guest speaker from the Technical University of Munich, talked about street experiments as part of the Urban Mobility initiative at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, or in short: how to improve the urban environment through small and creative interventions.

To end the day, the participants took part in urban games organised by TimeScape. While touring key locations in the city and solving puzzles, the project partners not only enjoyed the sights but also discovered new opportunities for how the urban environment and the element of play can be combined and used to promote physical activity.

The second day of the meeting was not inferior in the number of interesting activities. In the morning, partner organizations joined to create the first parking space for the fitness project. With the help of simple and easily accessible materials such as jump ropes, weights, steppers and artificial grass, the partners transformed the parking space at 36 Otets Paisii Street into a kind of mini outdoor gym where passers-by could practice more than 10 types of exercises.

Later, the participants were able to visit and be inspired by the installation Urban Living Room, deployed by BG Be Active through the Boris Hristov House of Culture as part of the long-term program for improving the urban environment _TheSpot Bulgaria. At the end of the day, BG Be Active friends and long-time partners from graphic design studio Punkt presented the visual identity of the Park(ing) Day for Fitness project.

More about the Park(ing) Day for Fitness project:

The mission of the Park(ing) Day for Fitness events is to draw attention to the many (untapped) opportunities our cities offer for physical activity, the need for more outdoor spaces where people can exercise safely, and to provoke public debate on how to adapt in times of crisis and improve the quality of the urban environment. The project also aims to highlight the urban features of public spaces in modern cities, specifically parking spaces, and how they can contribute to promoting physical activity.

Park(ing) day for Fitness is funded by the European Union. The project coordinator is BG Be Active, and the other partner organizations are Placemaking Europe, Association Sport for all Suceava (AJSPT Suceava), V4 SPORT FOUNDATION, Azur Sport Sante, and XsentrikArts. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EACEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Posted on 08/06/2022 by BgBeActive