The first event of the series of consultations called Com’ON Café took place in Satu Mare. On October 19th, about 50 young people discussed about their current needs, what their city lacks and what they would change.
The discussions use the World Café method: there is a short introduction, then two half-hour sessions during which the participants discuss in groups of five. After the first 30 minutes, all participants but one per group change places, the ones that remain brief the newcomers about the previous discussion and they continue the debate. During the discussions, the so-called harvesters gather information from the groups and show these separately.
On the first event, in Satu Mare, the participants discussed three questions: “If I were the mayor…”, “In the everyday life my greatest preoccupation is…” and “What my city lacks most in my opinion is…”.
During the discussions, broader subjects like transforming the city centre into a pedestrian zone, creating bike lanes, restoration of monuments and recycling came up, but the young people also pointed out some specific shortfalls or needs like a „town hall of the young”, meaning a department that deals with the young people, creating an urban drawing on the steps near the Syndicate Cultural House or painting the busses. A great deal of the ideas concentrated on the specific needs of the young people, like the public safety of teenagers or discounts in the transport system.
After the discussions the participants get the opportunity to say their thoughts in front of the audience. In Satu Mare a number of young people took this opportunity. Here are some of their ideas:
„It was specifically mentioned that a real dialogue is needed with the young people.”
„In my group we talked about a centre for young people, independent of schools and providing trainers in various fields: mountaineering, music etc. A centre with people you can learn from. For example, if you want to learn to play the cello, have someone from the Philharmonic to learn from.”
„We talked about the need of bike lanes, but first we should encourage people to ride bikes.”
The organisers will centralise and publish the ideas formulated during the event. Further consultations will also take place.
The Com’ON Café event in Satu Mare was organised by PONT Group and SamStudia Association, with the support of the City Hall of Satu Mare. The series of consultations will continue in other Romanian cities, too.
Com’ON Café events are part of the Com’ON Romania program. The program aims to identify the needs and desires young people and to encourage their civic engagement, especially through dedicated participatory budgeting mechanisms for young people in cities of Romania. Sister project of Com’On Europe.
The program is supported by Erasmus+ National Agency Romania.