We present: The ten finalists chosen by the jury in the category “quality of life”


(In alphabetical order)

Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness

Jo Cox (1974 – 2016), MP / Seema Kennedy, MP / Rachel Reeves, MP


Start a Conversation: fighting the widespread problem of loneliness

A study by The Co-op and the British Red Cross reveals that over 9 million people in the UK across all adult ages are either always or often lonely. The Loneliness Commission was established by Labour MP, Jo Cox. She approached Seema Kennedy, Conservative MP, to become a co-chair and invited 13 organisations including Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, the British Red Cross and The Co-op, to form the Commission. Following Jo’s murder in June 2016, Seema asked Rachel Reeves MP to co-chair the Commission to help her fulfil Jo’s legacy. Jo wanted to start a conversation around loneliness to help break down the stigma around it. The Commission wants to highlight that loneliness doesn’t discriminate and wants to be a ‘call to action’. With the message ‘Start a Conversation’, the Commission tries to get people talking at all levels – whether chatting to a neighbour, visiting an old friend, or just making time for the people they meet. The Commission also targets businesses and employers, and looks at what local and national Government can do to combat loneliness.

KAPS – Koloc ‘A Solidarity Projects

Jean Paul Bret, Mayor of Villeurbanne


Neighbourhood solidarity: shared flats in exchange for community service

KAPS (Flat-sharing for Solidarity Projects) is based on a simple idea: providing young people with shared housing in “deprived” neighbourhoods, where each roommate (Kapseur) is responsible for carrying out solidarity activities with and for the inhabitants. With this programme, AFEV, a student volunteer NGO, aims to provide moderately priced housing to young people (students, volunteers, apprentices, etc.) and encourage their community engagement in deprived neighbourhoods. KAPS is implemented in partnership with local authorities, landlords and universities. The solidarity projects include making use of public space (e.g. shared gardens), catering to the needs of the inhabitants (with exchanges and services), and participating in neighbourhood events. Established in 30 cities in France, KAPS currently welcomes more than 600 young people in flat-sharing schemes who, in turn, reach out to more than 8,000 inhabitants.

More influence for the elderly when Stockholm reform the domestic care service

Clara Lindblom, Vice Mayor of Stockholm


Home care: making the system more responsive to patients’ needs

In 2015 the city of Stockholm initiated a major enquiry into the home care services. The aim was to improve continuity in staff and to give the elderly more influence over how these services are provided. The services offer elderly people who live at home, but need some assistance, regular visits from care providers who help with everyday things such as medication, cleaning or cooking. By replacing the much criticised “minute control” with “frame time”, patients now have more freedom to decide about their everyday life. Frame time means that the caseworker decides how many hours the patient needs per week or month, after which both create a plan together for how the actual services will be provided. Companies offering such services now also must provide dressing rooms and clothes for their staff, whose working conditions must be in line with the relevant collective bargaining agreement. By making sure the staff have good working conditions, the quality of the service for the elderly will also be better.

Municipal programs as a basis for the improvement of the quality of life of citizens of Ostrów Wielkopolski

Beata Klimek, Mayor of Ostrów Wielkopolski


Better community services: easier access to health care, housing and mobility

The authorities of Ostrów Wielkopolski have implemented a project to improve services with regard to health care, housing policy and mobility. In order to provide residents with easier access to health care, the city has gradually expanded its offer of free preventive examinations, and re-established a dental care and cavity prevention programme in schools. With regard to social care the priority is on senior citizens and families. The city offers a municipal newborn allowance, the Ostrów Family Card 3+, the Ostrów Senior Card, the day care centre Senior – WIGOR and the Tele-Care Programme for senior citizens. In 2016 Ostrów Wielkopolski was accepted into the prestigious WHO Age-friendly Cities and Communities Network. The Ostrów Friendly Housing Programme is directed at families who have a poor credit history, and the city has also started to build communal flats for senior citizens. With the help of EU funds Ostrów is going to invest in low carbon buses, build bicycle lanes and provide mobile apps for smartphones.

North Yorkshire County Council – No Wrong Door

Janet Sanderson, County Councillor


Breaking the cycle: better solutions for young people in council care

No Wrong Door is designed to break the cycle of young people who enter the care system in their teenage years following multiple fostering placements, insufficiently planned periods in residential care and placement breakdown. Such a cycle can lead to young people becoming increasingly vulnerable and developing offending behaviour, substance abuse, disengagement from education, risk-taking behaviour and frequently going missing. No Wrong Door replaces traditional council-run care homes with hubs which combine residential care with fostering. North Yorkshire has created two hubs, one in Scarborough to serve the east of the county while one in Harrogate serves the west. Each has a dedicated team trained to focus on solutions rather than problems. Each team includes a life coach, who is a clinical psychologist, a supportive police role and a speech and communications therapist. It also includes residential care home beds, emergency residential beds, community foster family placements, supported accommodation, supported lodgings and outreach support.

Praxagora – Feminist City Planning is Making the Men Move

Banar Sabet


“Feminist” architecture: making women feel safer and more at ease

The central area of Husby, a suburb of Stockholm with a predominantly immigrant population, has not seen much change during the forty years since its construction. The politicians of the Husby borough committee decided it was time for a makeover. Before the project was started, the public housing company Swedish Housing surveyed the Husby inhabitants’ experiences of their physical and social environment. It emerged that the women felt very unsafe in the centre, so that the area was frequented almost exclusively by men. This made local female politicians contact Swedish Housing to suggest that they apply feminist theory in architecture and city planning for redoing the centre. Scholars and architects were involved in the project named Praxagora after the Greek play about the female commander who seized power in Athens after the men had gone to war. The starting point for the project is that to reach a more gender-equal society one must adapt the physical environment.

Silver Fourchette – a national awareness program dedicated to the alimentation of seniors

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, former Minister


Fighting malnutrition: motivating senior citizens to eat nutritiously

Silver Fourchette (Silver Fork) started in 2014 after noticing the disastrous repercussions of malnutrition on the health of senior citizens. Indeed, it affects some two million people in France, and more than 38% of people entering retirement homes suffer from malnutrition. The project has three main aims: transforming eating into a true pleasure, not only a basic need – fostering healthy and pleasurable nutrition for senior citizens by turning meals into a creative and stimulating experience; promoting cooking for seniors – a gastronomy contest, workshops to cook together, training for chefs, a lab to innovate; bringing together all generations – allowing students in hotel management schools to discover what cooking for seniors is like, and getting everyone to savour the meals together. During 2015-2016, more than 320 events were organised during the gastronomy contest. In 2017 the project will make a fresh start with the Silver Fourchette Tour: it will target all seniors and launch collective prevention plans as well as local and departmental contests.

Uist and Barra Public Bus Redesign Project – Outer Hebrides

Roddie Mackay, Councillor


Participatory procurement: generating higher satisfaction at lower cost

The Uist and Barra Public Bus Service Redesign Project has used innovative decision making methods to improve service outcomes for rural communities and reduce costs. By using a participatory budgeting methodology, the people in the Outer Hebrides islands of Uist and Barra have driven the design, procurement and ongoing contract management of their bus services. Four year contracts for these services started in 2016. Engaging early with people to understand their needs, an output specification and priorities were developed, approved by the communities, and used to frame the tendering process. The evaluation of tenders was carried out by community representatives including teenagers and older people. Community councils now lead the bi-annual contract and timetable review. Giving people real choices and decision making power over a service of significant value has paved the way for the use of a participatory budgeting approach in other areas. The council has approved a target of undertaking at least one procurement exercise each year using a participatory approach.

Vienna Urbanites / Guidance through the network of social services in Vienna – Stadtmenschen Wien

Tanja Wehsely, Abgeordnete des Wiener Landtags und Mitglied des Gemeinderats


Urban scouts: showing the way through the extensive social services network

When people face problems and uncertainty, they don’t always know how and where to find help. Often it requires a lot of time and resources to simply find out whom one can turn to. The mission of Stadtmenschen Wien is to shorten this search and provide, from the start, relevant information to people seeking help. Vienna offers an extensive network of social services through public institutions and organisations run by civil society or private initiatives. However, people who need support are often overwhelmed by the numerous social service institutions and struggle to find the right contact point for their problem. The Stadtmenschen volunteers know Vienna’s social services. In a non-bureaucratic manner they point citizens to the right social institution. Beyond that they help make and prepare for appointments with public authorities and assist in applying for financial support (e.g. Austria’s needs-based minimum benefit or housing assistance). Trained volunteers at six locations around the city provide consultation five days a week.

Videotranslator / sign-language translation at your hand –

Piotr Kowalski – działacz społeczny i miejski / Członek Platformy Obywatelskiej


Equal access to public offices: video sign language interpreting for the hearing-impaired 

.In 2012 a new law on sign language and communication methods came into force in Poland. Because of this, hearing-impaired people are now able to communicate better with the world, and the authorities are required to make access for them possible. The system – successfully implemented in local authority offices (e.g. in Lodz), labour offices, municipalities, communities and voivodships – enables deaf people to use public services like hearing people, without special appointments or other preparations. Getting access to a sign language interpreter is often a nightmare for hearing-impaired people. This problem has been solved by the video transfer and an interpreting studio, organised by the Polish Deaf Association. The project started with one office and 20 points at which an interpreter was available. At present, there are over 200 such points. The system also allows people to connect with an interpreter from home on a website.