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20 / 09 / 2004
Odón Elorza defends the city as a laboratory for coexistence and participative democracy

The mayor of San Sebastián, Odón Elorza, emphasized this afternoon that the city must be seen as a laboratory to produce new frameworks of coexistence, creating participative democracy and communitarian development. The mayor was taking part in the seminar "Rights for cities: participative democracy", held at the Forum

More information about Human rights, emerging needs and new commitments

Odón Elorza, mayor of San Sebastián, has defended the city as a laboratory to produce new frameworks of coexistence and to create participative democracy and communitarian development. The mayor of the San Sebastián criticized that young people are losing sight of values in terms of solidarity and volunteer services as a result of social and market conditions. "They are becoming more competitive and no longer want to participate in activities such as helping the elderly", said Elorza, referring in particular to the problems associated with Alzheimers.

Elorza took part today in the seminar "Rights for cities: participative democracy", within the Dialogue "Human Rights, Emerging Needs and New Commitments", being held in the Forum Convention Center. The Dialogue will close Tuesday.

Participative democracy is based on a participative budget, in which citizen and civic organizations participate in the decision making process for public investment priorities.

The mayor of San Sebastián emphasized five points for combating the problem of social exclusion and marginalization in cities. In the first place, he mentioned the importance of the city as a tool for the redistribution of wealth and as a space to guarantee a decent standard of living. Elorza went on to mention that the city must be a place for solidarity, but not only in terms of demanding better services, such as transport, education or health, but as a framework in which citizens are involved in collaborating in associative organizations or volunteer services.

The mayor insisted on the fact that the city must be seen as an instrument for education, as a complement to the traditional educational system: "Educating on human rights and values such as peace, especially in cities such as the Basque cities". Odón Elorza also defended the city as a place for solidarity.