On the 7th and 8th of October 2019, the international community of practice Connective Cities organised a networking event for municipal experts from its pool of experts at the headquarters of the German Association of Cities in Berlin. The aim of the event was to look back on Connective Cities' past activities and to present the developed methods to new experts, as well as to offer a networking forum with actors who have already gained insight into the project's activities.
Ten municipal experts from ten German municipalities and municipal companies took the opportunity to share their impressions and experiences on the first day of the event. Feedback from the experts on the possibility of involving them more closely in the activities of Connective Cities was also asked and valuable insights were provided for shaping the cooperation.
In particular, the second day offered new experts from the expert pool the opportunity to learn about Connective Cities methods and to apply them directly in collaboration with seven international guests from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Northern Macedonia. After a presentation of the specific challenges faced by the international actors in their municipalities and municipal companies, the participants were able to use their specialist knowledge to design possible solutions to the challenges described first through peer-to-peer consultation, then in action planning.
The participants reported their surprise about the effectiveness of the methods when they presented a walkable city centre for Bjeljina, smart mobility for Ternopil, and optimised waste collection for Gostivar at the end of the day. They identified the individual steps towards the project goal and the time and expertise needed to achieve it. In addition to these concrete results, the participants were able to gain inspiration for their own projects and experience the value of these exchanges through Connective Cities.