Francisco Albuquerque, associated researcher at Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness, published the article “Reflections on the coronavirus from the territories”. The articles highlights two main issues: firstly, the need to ensure the active involvement of key local actors, in order to build a collective territorial governance; secondly, the importance of a collective elaboration of a territorial strategic agenda for the reconstruction of the local economy and society, incorporating the existing challenges at the productive, ecological, social, institutional and health levels.
According to Albuquerque, “the effective participation of key territorial actors is a crucial issue, since without such participation it is not possible to advance with a plan of action against the pandemic and also to address the economic, social, environmental, health and institutional reconstruction agenda that is needed”. However, as Albuquerque points out, informing or maintaining dialogue is not the same as participating. “When talking about participation it is not enough to simply inform the citizens. Neither is it enough to have spaces for dialogue or conversation with some territorial actors. (...) It is definitely necessary to promote the creation of forums, assemblies, committees or territorial tables for discussion and collective decision making in the face of the pandemic, which allow for a wealth of opinions and initiatives from key territorial actors and, above all, which allow for the construction of that fundamental intangible element that is territorial trust. Leadership should not be the result of a unilateral or vertical command, but of the trust generated in a collective effort and illusion in the face of the pandemic, for a bet on the future for the territories”.
Albuquerque also highlights that the agenda of economic, social, health, institutional and environmental reconstruction is not simply the recovery of previous economic growth. “It would be, in my opinion, a mistake to limit oneself to trying to "recover" previous economic growth, which incorporates many of the components that explain the origins of these pandemics, such as the transformations caused in ecosystems and in our health by industrial agriculture, intensive livestock farming and the transnational food system, mostly hijacked by large corporations in the sector.”
You can read the full article here.