Sports for social and urban transformation
ROOM: Auditorio principal
1st Thematic Session on Inclusion
Organized by: Metropolis and Government of the City of Buenos Aires
CONTEXT & CONTENTS
Sport is currently a superb instrument for integral human development. In addition to its potential as an educational tool and for conveying moral values, it is linked to other areas such as health, urban development, the economy, and international awareness. The sports policy of a city ought to include its social integrating aspect, encouraging the participation of citizens through suitable programmes and spaces such as schools, clubs, federations, and other bodies.
Practising a sport has a social and territorial dimension, which is understood as being a public policy for countering urban segregation. The first refers to sport as a way in which to promote solidarity or to favour sectors of the population who have some difficulty in accessing sports facilities, or schools, or the labour market. Furthermore, as these activities are normally practised in public spaces and require the improvement of sports infrastructure, the recycling of urban land has been promoted through the refurbishment of derelict sites in order to encourage the community to give them a new role.
This session was held on 19 May from 16:30 to 18:00 hours in the Main Auditorium of La Usina del Arte. It was moderated by Francisco Irarrazábal, Deputy Secretary for Sport of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. Each speaker was given the opportunity to present a particular experience, followed by questions and dialogue with the audience. Those speaking were:
Horacio Muratore, Chairman of FIBA, presented 'The social and urban impact of the basquetball 3x3 FIBA project”'.
Mpho Parks Tau, Mayor of Johannesburg, talked about 'The social legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup'.
Iolanda Latorre, Manager of Barcelona Sports Institute, of the Barcelona City Council, talked about 'The Social Inclusion and Cohesion Network of Sport'.
Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, talked about 'The new sports policy in the city'.
David Mora, Director of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation Institute (INDER) talked about 'Sport and Recreation in the Social Transformation of Medellin'.
During the session, we heard of the specific experiences of cities which managed to transform their urban landscape and value and involve their populations through activities and sporting events. Some examples of successful projects were: the Basquetball 3x3 initiative, the ‘Physically active Montreal’ plan, or the ‘Adrenalina’ Programme, amongst others. The importance of attracting large-scale international sporting events in order to transform the reality of cities was also highlighted, such as the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, the 2010 South American Games in Medellin, or the organization of the first Football World Cup in Africa in 2010.
The various presentations all agreed that team sports contribute to educating and reinforcing values such as friendship, respect, and confidence, which are fundamental for the functioning of society and peaceful cohabitation. Furthermore, the common denominator of all of these experiences was the attainment of positive results with regard to the inclusion of citizens and the improvement of the quality of life through the fight against sedentary lifestyles and the promotion of healthy habits. Thus, sport is seen as a successful tool in social and urban change given that it promotes integration, social cohesion, the consolidation of interpersonal relationships, the training of young people, and the generation of employment. For this reason, it is essential for cities to be able to bring sport to the community from school age.