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By Roxana Chiriac

After two successful days with fruitful talks and knowledge sharing from experts in several fields of interest for MOVE Congress 2014, Friday was the day to put the theory into practice.

To start the day, an introduction was given during the plenary session, let by two prominent figures in Italian grassroots sport, Filippo Fossati, from Italian Parliament and ISCA Europe Chair, and Nicola Porro, from the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, who introduced the topic of Open City – Active City from a social perspective.

“If we are good politicians, we have to take responsibility… Let’s start from our cities, and looking at Europe now, it is indeed a great space for growth. We are preparing an alliance between cities at a local, national and European level,” Fossati said.

He added that the elements that can contribute to successful change, such as economic factors, tourism, health and social inclusion, were important from an Italian perspective.

Nicola Porro followed with another perspective, stressing that Italians face a “cultural problem, as a more specific feature is represented by the early drop-out rate and its characteristics”.

And then came the big question relating to this dilemma: “How can school children become more active?” The answer, he said, can found in walking more, thus designing the city in such way so it is accessible for able-bodied and disabled citizens young and old, so they can walk and enjoy their surroundings. But it is a change that citizens need to contribute to themselves, he added:

“We need to work WITH the citizens, not FOR the citizens”.

The President of the Italian Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malago, closed the session, addressing the audience and re-enforcing the points made by the previous speakers.