Programme in Montemor

By Marko Filipović

As part of the programme of DASH project activities that preceded the mid-term meeting and the thematic workshop, the hosts organised a working visit to Montemor on April 5. The goal was to get acquainted with the functioning of the Minga Cooperative, to discuss the project’s current obligations, to hear presentations about individual components of the cooperative, and to exchange knowledge about mechanisms for affordable housing.

Credits for images: DASH project 2024

Since a significant number of secondments were carried out in Portugal during the spring, the program was attended by representatives of all countries participating in the project, as well as hosts from Montemor, Évora and Lisbon.

The planned daily program looked like this:

  • 10:00 Welcome, by Cooperativa Minga (Brain warm up; team building)
  • 10:15 Presentation of the day’s goals and programme, by Minga
  • 10:30 An overview of WP3: Housing demands/ housing needs, and discussion on the guidelines for the national and local reports, by Sónia Alves, ICS-ULisboa, followed by a debate
  • 11:30 The planning system in Serbia and social housing in the city of Leskovac by Aleksandar Jevtić and Ivana Momić, Association of Urban Planners of Serbia, followed by Q&A
  • 14:00 Visit to Cooperativa Minga’s spaces.
  • 15:30 Informal exchange around mechanisms to provide affordable housing through collective ownership cooperatives.

The morning sessions were held in the library hall (Biblioteca Municipal de Montemor-o-Novo). Minga Cooperative, as host, welcomed the participants. Representative Joana Trindade also prepared a brain warm-up, as well as accompanying activities that made the rest of the work very efficient, and then presented the goals and programme for the day. In the next block, as part of a discussion about the project’s deliverables and milestones, Sónia Alves from ICS-ULisboa, project coordinator, presented and led a debate on the topic of housing demands / housing needs, which was followed by a discussion. In the next block, after the break, members from the Association of Urban Planners of Serbia spoke. Aleksandar Jevtić, president of the association, presented the planning system in Serbia, while Ivana Momić spoke about planning and social housing in the City of Leskovac. The discussion after the presentations was held in an extremely pleasant atmosphere in the courtyard of the library, which was followed by lunch at a local restaurant.

As part of the afternoon programme, the group had a tour of Montemor and Minga’s spaces. Led by Joana Trindade, the tour’s first stop was the cooperative’s store, where the participants were introduced to how it functioned and what it offered. The next stop was Minga’s working spaces, where members of the DASH consortium met numerous associates of the cooperative. Joana told all those present in detail about all sectors of the cooperative’s activities, with the main emphasis being on the affordable housing sector. These topics aroused particular interest among the participants, so there were many questions, as well as an exchange of opinions. After everything they had seen and heard, the members present had only positive reactions and agreed with Axel Burkhardt from Tübingen, who described Minga as an organisation that reflects the original aspiration of every cooperative.