We would like to inform that Congress participants selected through online voting the winner of this year’s Best Practice Contest in the Local Government. The best practice comes from the Municipality of Gdynia in Poland. Congratulations! We would like to thank everyone for participating in the Contest. Each submitted practice is unique and valuable and may serve as an inspiration to others.

Contest finalists:

1) Muratpasa Municipality, Antalya, Turkey:
Muratpasa district (Turkey) is called the heart of Antalya. It is the region with the highest population density. When the pandemic broke out, the Muratpasa Municipality became a pioneer in the protection of public health. Seeing the increasing demand for personal protection measures, the municipality decided to focus its efforts upon the distribution of protective masks and the production of 3D masks. The municipality reacted in a very short time and at the earliest possible stage of the pandemic outbreak. A group of 250 people, constituting a mask distribution team, was quickly formed which distributed protective masks to 209 thousand households with a population of 510 thousand in just 11 days. The masks were hung on the door handle in packs of three and then the doorbell was ringed to inform the residents that the masks were left. The Muratpasa example, with free masks distribution, was later followed by other cities in Turkey.
(https://muratpasa-bld.gov.tr/)


2) Ramallah Municipality, Palestine:
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for local government. It is estimated that as a result of the pandemic, Palestine's GDP decreased by 14%, and the budget of the Ramallah commune itself decreased by as much as 50%. This forced the authorities to allocate funds mainly to services critical to the city's functioning, at the same time trying to support activities that counteract the effects of the pandemic in an innovative way and responded to the current needs of citizens. For the city of Ramallah to thrive in the face of these challenges, an urban crisis management system has been implemented, dividing the city into 19 zones using the GIS spatial data system. In this way, the city allocated resources in accordance with the analyzed data, in order to ensure equal access to the provided public services for all residents. Dividing the city into 19 zones included setting emergency indicators to track each zone in the city and to assign a team for each designated zone to follow-up on the incoming inquiries, track any changes in behavior, and track urban services delivery to each zone. Nevertheless, when cities entered a lockdown, the Ramallah Municipality had not only provided the critical public services, it became the first-line responder to citizens’ social needs as well. The city organized cultural and social activities depending on online platforms and applications to keep citizens engaged in the process and informed to ensure their mental health and wellbeing in critical times.



3) Municipality of Gdynia, Poland: The work of Gdynia Contact Centre (GCK) has been reorganised allowing to maintain contact with the residents under all circumstances, even working remotely. During the pandemic, there were launched:
  • a new website – with all collected and updated information on the municipality office and the City;
  • Account of the Resident - an original solution enabling online visit booking to the Municipality Office, obtaining psychological help as part of the Gdynia Supports programme, managing the presence of children in kindergartens that were launched in May, reporting problems through the Resident's Assistant;
  • the extended digital catalogue of city services (https://koronawirus.um.gdynia.pl/)


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