Article by Mihaela Vetan, CRIES, Rοmania

In 2023, Timisoara was one of the three European Capital of Culture, together with Elefsina (Greece) and Veszprém (Hungary).

In this context, CRIES association developed a multi-annual project to promote sustainable development and the contribution of social solidarity economy to local development. The program is called LA PAS/Slowing Down and was implemented for 5 years, 2018-2023.

The project promoted environmental sustainability and a healthy life style by stimulating responsible consumption and a better use of the city as a public space, by promoting regional products, mobility and green energy. The program raised awareness of the shortcomings of the current agricultural practices, as well as of the benefits of alternative methods. It supports local farmers and small entrepreneurs in shortening the food distribution chain, proposing innovative models of collaboration and mutual support.

More European partners and social solidarity organizations were involved in different activities,such as RIPESS, Solidarius (Italy), Largo (Portugal), Fekete Sereg (Hungary), UFISC (France).

The project included several components aimed at promoting sustainable production and consumption models, education for sustainable development, and responsible practices for organizing cultural events. Regarding the results obtained, we note the following:

• 3554 students involved in the educational program to promote responsible consumption.
• over 300 educational activities regarding responsible consumption were organized, with a focus on reducing food waste, educational gardens, healthy nutrition;
• 80 teachers involved in training sessions and in the organization of educational activities;
• 2346 parents involved in educational activities organized in schools;
• piloting a methodology to train teachers involved in education for sustainable development
• 235 volunteers involved in organizing LA PAS program.
• more than 70 small local producers, social enterprises and artisans who participated in 3 editions of the LA PAS Festival: Festival of artisanal gastronomy;
• more than 200 workshops, debates, round tables, and tastings of local products, have been organized.
• national campaign to promote food as an intangible cultural heritage, organized in the context of the launch of the war in Ukraine: Ukrainian borscht in the UNESCO heritage
• local campaign to promote the consumption of water from the public network, Good drinking water.

More information about the program can be find here: and some impressions from our European partners involved in the program: