11th October, 2021 is the birth date of the DANUrB International Association (DIA) in Esztergom, Hungary. The ceremony wrapped up the 1st DANUrB+ International Conference, hosted by the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) and the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre (KÉK). The participants had the opportunity to attend the event in person at the Szent Adalbert Event Center or to join it online.

The Saving Values Conference is linked to two occasions. On one hand, it commemorates the 20th anniversary of the reconnection of two cities on the opposite banks of the Danube: Esztergom (HU) and Sturovo (SK) by the Mária Valéria bridge, which literal reconnection became a rather symbolic act after 56 years of history. On the other hand, the DANUrB+ team planned to formally establish DIA, aiming to transform an international project into a sustainable, active, and rooted collaboration format. One of the purposes of the association is to coordinate cultural initiatives along the Danube River and to create the certification label of the Danube Settlements (Danube Urban Brand).

The aim of the event was to boost knowledge transfer on operational strategies to sustain cross-border corporations in an institutionalized framework focusing on the different eco-social aspects. The focus points of the conference were the following:

  • Introducing established practices of significant cross-border associations and collaborations
  • Sharing know-how about strategic thinking in terms of Danube communities
  • Examining connectivity potential among different networks
  • Boosting networking of networks considering long-term impact and quality label systematization

„Saving Values” Conference was about highlighting cross-sectoral and cross-project cooperation at an international level. Sister and closely related  projects along the Danube shared values united by the River - LIFE Danube Free Sky, Amazon of Europe Bike Trail Project, Danube-Networkers for Europe, New European Bauhaus on Danube, Ciklo COOLtura, Transdanube Travel Stories, Heritage IG official, Living Danube Limes. Through various collaborations and initiatives one can join forces and contribute to the sustainable development and preservations of the values along the Danube.

And the legend was born! The foundation stone of the Association was made by the DANUrB+ project Lead Bálint Kádár, PhD (BME). “The work to develop communities and their potentials along the Danube, the work to define what is the value and what is the heritage along the Danube, that should be revived, needs a personal commitment. No matter the scale of the organizations, large or small, the fact is that individuals are the ones getting involved in the world of the possibilities along the Danube. The network will be able to induct new initiatives even if there is no project like DANUrB going on. Somebody has a project idea, then the Association will be able to get the needed partners, references, and administrative knowledge. Not to speak about the professional knowledge, hopefully the greatest along the Danube. Any professional or organization will have the possibility to initiate a new project along the Danube anytime, and of course, to join projects initiated by others. The Association is expected to be the organization with the greatest know-how on the Danube's potentials and in time, one of the most influential organizations on the Danube related policies”, Mr. Kádár declared. The first president of DIA was unanimously elected by all founding members - Ms. Annamaria Orban, PhD (BME).

There are three main priorities of the Association. First, to make the Quality Label running. The first group of services/providers/producers will be selected in the framework of DANUrB+ project, but after this, it will be the duty of the Association to make a yearly monitoring on the labeled entities (if they still comply/exist), and to extend the Quality Label to other entities along the Danube. The marketing activities should also be its responsibility. Second, it should be an initiator of any DANUrB related project in the future, many EU funded and other projects that care for the development of communities and the development of heritage and authentic values along the Danube. It must initiate projects and connect them with each other. Third, to become the most prestigious organization caring about the heritage and communities of the Danube at an EU level. To be constant advisor of EU programmes, of national programmes, and of course, of local programmes. To be important part and have a word in the future of the Danube as a river connecting communities.

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Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF and IPA).

Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)