Who we are

Lazio Region Association of Cities and Municipalities - ANCI LAZIO

Lazio Region Association of Cities and Municipalities - ANCI LAZIO

In the last years, ANCI Lazio has worked in several projects developing and testing new services and policies in order to increment LAs capacities and know-how. ANCI Lazio has created a specific committee to coordinate the development of the cultural systems existing in Lazio Region, involving 100% of the museums, archaeological sites and libraries. Moreover, ANCI Lazio coordinates the institutional table in Lazio Region aimed to support the development the economy of the sea where participate the Lazio Region Administration, all the coastal municipalities and the port authority.

In SuSTowns project ANCI Lazio is leading partner. It aims to develop new services and policies for local sustainable development in order to transfer this know-how to all the 378 associated LAs.

ANCI Lazio is specialised in know-how transferring to Las and capacity building. The important know-how developed by SuSTowns project will impact on local policies and instruments to support the local development.

MUSOL foundation – MUSOL

MUSOL foundation – MUSOL

Musol was created by a group of local and regional authorities chief executives and experts in 1998. The organization aims to promote sustainable development and human rights, encouraging rights holders - without leaving anyone behind-, and reinforcing the capacities of duty bearers -holders of responsibilities and obligations-, particularly of subnational public authorities and civil society, in Africa, Latin America, Spain and the rest of Europe. All this, within the framework of the current local governance processes in the territories, in which we will act by promoting democracy and equal participation, the empowerment of the most vulnerable people, gender equality and the overcoming of any form of discrimination.

MUSOL already has experience in the promotion of sustainable tourism policies having worked with several local authorities in Spain, Colombia and Chile in the recent past. It supported municipalities to elaborate and implement sustainable tourism plans as well as heritage conservation and promotion in collaboration with Spanish and European Union programs (such as PLATFORMA).

BSC, Business Support Centre, Kranj – BSC

BSC, Business Support Centre, Kranj – BSC

Founded in 1995, is regional support institution for entrepreneurial and socio-economic development of the Gorenjska Region, which is spread out in north-west Slovenia. Its mission is to carry out development activities that take into account the needs of the region and the opportunities it offers, thus contributing towards the creation of favourable development conditions in Gorenjska and the establishment of a regional environment favourable to economic growth. Together with partners shapes the region’s development strategy and implements programmes and integral projects that strengthen the economy by linking the needs of SMEs and local communities with national and EU development policies.

In a Sustowns project our responsibilities are

-    Seting up of a Common methodology Coordinating with Horizontal projects communication, transferring and capitalisation activities

-    Communication tools

-    Launch and final Conferences and national Events Participating to external events Contributing to Programme communication activities

Tourism in Gorenjska region is based on the national strategy for the tourism development, which supports green, active, boutique and 5 star tourism. We are facing the problem of increasing mass tourism, with the number of overnight stays increasing by 15-20% every year. In this way we can not monitor the national strategy and goals in the field of tourism development. In Gorenjska we have 3 large tourist centers, which are actually small towns, namely Bled, Bohinj and Kranjska Gora. The problem is very tipical for us.

Development agency of eastern Thessaloniki’s local authorities – Center for the development of human resources and the support of local economy – ANATOLIKI S. A.

Development agency of eastern Thessaloniki’s local authorities – Center for the development of human resources and the support of local economy – ANATOLIKI S. A.

ANATOLIKI s.a. is a Development Agency establishment in May 1995 to act as a Center for the Development of Human Resources and the Strengthening of the Local Economy in the wider area of Eastern Thessaloniki.

The area of influence consists of inhabitants in urban and rural complexes with a variety of features, from dynamic parts of urban area to disadvantaged remote mountain villages.

The Local Authorities of the peripheral units of Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki have decided to join forces and implement a strategic plan with the goal to transform the region into a “green zone”, mainly by supporting Sustainable Development.

The basic operating policy of ANATOLIKI is the combination of parallel interventions in all sectors of society and the incorporation of elements of integrated development to all individual actions by utilizing our participation in co-funded by EU programmes projects.

Among the SHAREHOLDERS are:

•     The Region of Central Macedonia

•     9 Municipalities

•     3 Chambers of Thessaloniki

•     3 Local business Associations

•     7 Cooperatives

We have particularly contributed to promoting recycling in the Municipalities of Eastern Thessaloniki and the Municipality of Thessaloniki, addressing employment issues, promoting renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, the management of mobility, the management of water resources, the functioning of social structures, the operational planning of LAs and supporting the operation of the European Network of Elected Greeks in Local Authorities Abroad.

ANATOLIKI s.a. operates in the following axes:

•    Human resources

•    Environment and infrastructures

•    Energy

•    Sustainable mobility

•    Environmental education

•    Consulting support on school communities

•    Social economy

•    Agricultural development

•    Promotion of innovation and new technologies

•    SupportingLocalAuthorities

•    Supporting enterprises

During operations ANATOLIKI sa particularly emphasizes on the following:

•    the sustainable management of natural resources by means of a balanced development in all sectors of the economy

•    strengthening the endogenous growth potential, particularly human resources

•    ensuring quality of life through the promotion of infrastructure works, the changing of consumption patterns, and the support of information dissemination and cultural development

•    sharing expertise and introducing innovation in the production process and in civic administration and services

•    promoting cooperation between public, private and social sectors to achieve common development goals.

The result of the above was the selection of ANATOLIKI s.a. by the Greek Ministry of Environment and infrastructures as the Greek proposal for the initiative ‘101 ways towards Sustainable Development’ during the United Nations Johannesburg Summit 2002

In SUSTOWNS project ANATOLIKI sa will contribute to the project during the testing activities with two pilot areas the Municipalities of VOLVLI and ARISTOTLE, both experiencing all the social and environmental impacts, attributed to the tourism sector.

ANATOLIKI sa will lead and supervise the WP4 TRANSFERRING activities together with Federation Aragonesa de Municipios Comarcas y Provincias FAMCP(PP6), Make it Better Association for Innovation & Social Economy miB(PP9), The most beautiful villages of Italy BBI(PP5).  During this phase of the modular project all the appropriate activities and procedures will be included to disseminate the results of the pilots and transfer the tested methodology, under the principles of the Total Quality Management, to new MED small fashionable Towns, prioritizing the islands and the low density areas. The WP4 Transferring will have to output “a tool” to illustrate in easy way how to get an action plan to prevent the decline of the tourism.

Under the specific work package all participants will have to organize their national transferring plan including a national dissemination seminar  (one per country), a training course for possible future adopters (one per country) and create an advisory service for interested targeted groups, stakeholders (one per country). Furthermore an international transferring plan will be implemented under the coordination of Anatoliki responsible partner, including the participation in international events and the organization of two international seminars one of which will be held under the responsibility of Anatoliki. Key international agents will be addressed.

Association of Albanian Municipalities – SHBSH

Association of Albanian Municipalities – SHBSH

Organization of activities, trainings and events. Publications regarding Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Fiscal Decentralization, Urban Planning, etc..

The benefits for AAM in this project will be two folded for the Association and for municipalities as the final beneficiaries. AAM itself will acquire knowledge and know-how with project implementation, increasing its capacities in tourism development and improved services to the members. Secondly, the benefits that lay with municipalities are improved tools available on tourism and urban planning, awareness rising among local population, increased use of local potential on historic tourism, etc. Target groups for the activity, municipal administration, and local communities will have increased knowledge from the experience sharing on the use of touristic values as to encourage revitalisation of small villages.

The most beautiful villages of Italy – BBI

The most beautiful villages of Italy – BBI

The Association I Borghi più belli d’Italia (The most beautiful Villages of Italy) was created in 2001 for initiative of ANCI (the Italian National Association of Municipalities). The main purpose of the Association is to valorize and promote the great heritage of history, art, culture and landscape of the Italian smaller centers, matching respect for the cultural and environmental heritage with the need for economic development, promoting jobs and improving the quality of life. A circuit of excellence of 307 selected destinations, places of timeless charm, landscapes of incomparable beauty, cultural and artistic treasures fragmented throughout Italy.

The "Quality Charter" and the Statute define the criteria on how to award the label of I Borghi più belli d’Italia. The activity of the villages, in terms of maintenance, development and tourist reception, is constantly monitored. To be eligible the municipality must:

• have an architectural and/or natural heritage certified by the applying municipality and/or by the Ministry of cultural heritage and environmental conservation. Historic buildings must prevail over the total constructions and must form an aesthetically homogenous whole;

• offer an heritage valuable for its urban and architectural quality;

• show through actual facts a policy of enhancement, development, promotion and dissemination, meeting certain criteria.

In over 15 years of activity, the Association has gone far beyond the expectations that led to its foundation and has become a true cultural and tourist brand with an international reputation. Over the years, the Association has also enriched itself with important promotional tools and today it stands on national and international scenarios as a real network capable of promoting Italy at 360 degrees:

- the association's guide and website: the guide, published every year in 50,000 copies and distributed at newsstands and bookshops, one of the main information and dissemination tool, providing detailed information on all the villages in the circuit; the website www.borghipiubelliditalia.it registers more than 1.5 million unique visitors every year;

- the social media: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are a key tool for the promotion of the villages. The official accounts of the Association in these three social media register more than 500.000 followers, with the Instagram profile having more than 380.000 followers and being the first Instagram profile in tourism in Italy!

- Borghi Italia Tour Network, the tour operator operating exclusively for the Association in the promotion and marketing of tourist packages toward the villages of the network; the Consorzio di Prodotti Tipici Ecce Italia (Consortium of typical products), which markets and distributes the best of the local wine and food productions and of small craft industry in the territories of the Borghi più belli d’Italia.

Every year the Association organizes some important events at international, national and regional level. Among the most important are:

- The Borghi più belli d’Italia National Festival, which takes place in September/October in one of the villages of the network or in an Italian city;

- The Borghi più belli d’Italia Sailing Regatta, which takes place in June in Cefalù (PA);

- CiBorghi, the Borghi più belli d’Italia Festival of Regional Cuisines, which takes place in July in Offida (AP),

- The National Assembly of the Association, taking place in spring time in one of the villages of the network;

- The Borghi più belli d’Italia Romantic Night, which takes place in June, on the Saturday after the summer solstice, in all the villages of the network;

- international events in collaboration with Enit (The Italian Government Tourist Board), ICE (The Italian Institute for Foreign Trade) and the Italian Cultural Institutes abroad.

In April 2019, the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy obtained the ISO 9001 certification with regard to “services aimed at the enhancement, maintenance and recovery of the national cultural heritage of memories and monuments, and at the tourist promotion of the member municipalities”.The certifying body, TÜV Italia, has in particular focused its attention on:

- the process of evaluation and certification of the villages,

- the Quality Charter and the criteria and reference values,

- the processes of periodic verification of the maintenance of the membership requirements and the use of the logo.

On the international level, the Association I Borghi più belli d’Italia has constituted, together with similar associations in France, Belgium (Wallony), Spain and Japan, the International Federation “Les Plus Beaux Villages de la Terre” (The Most Beautiful Villages of the World); these countries are active members of the Federation and are part of the Board of Directors. The associations of Most Beautiful Villages of Germany (Saxony), Russia, Switzerland and Lebanon also participate to the Federation activity as associated members, while China and Portugal participate as observers. The Federation of Les Plus Beaux Villages de la Terre aims at fulfilling at international level all the objectives that these associations focus to reach in each country, i.e. the protection and valorization of the historical, artistic and rural heritage, fighting depopulation of the villages and fostering their economic and social development.



As association of 730 Municipalities all over Aragón and thanks to our participation in EU projects, we have developed a strong net of institutions and professionals working in tourism sector. In fact, we  have been active partner in the PAET 2016-2020 ARAGON PLAN OF TOURISM STRATEGY. The aim of boosting the charm of the small cities in our region, that have increasingly become tourist destinations for a large number of visitors, favoring both the development and the growth of their territories. In addition, our close collaboration with the regional government makes also possible for us the transfer of the conclusions, GPs into recommendations for regional policies is one of our contributions to the project.

The tourism sector in Aragón accounts for 8% of the Aragonese GDP and 10% of employment, with significant growth potential in terms of number of visitors and economic repercussion with respect to other Spanish destinations. The Aragonese tourism is a generator of wealth, job creation, maintenance of the population and offers an undeniable strategic value for Aragon, not only of economic growth, but of a sustainable and lasting development, which comply with the three principles of sustainability: economically viable, socially fair and respectful with the environment. Aragona is composed by micro municipalities (less then 1000 inhabitants) and the role of FAMCP became crucial to guarantee to those LAs to develop new policies and services.

Island Development Agency Ltd – OTRA d.o.o.

Island Development Agency Ltd – OTRA d.o.o.

OTRA (Island Development Agency) has been established in 2011 with the aim of implementing the Local Development Pilot Project promoted by the Council of Europe. It is a body governed by public law under joint ownership of the Town of Cres and Town of Mali Lošinj. Today OTRA has 5 employees with different educational background. Its main mission is to promote development initiatives and implement projects aiming for the sustainable development of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago, having in mind to always involve as many local stakeholders as possible.

OTRA has numerous areas of interest and the projects it implements varies from the protection and valorisation of natural and cultural heritage to enhancement of local agriculture, diversification of tourist offer and promotion of “smart island” initiatives, including the improvement of broadband internet access, energy transition activities and reduction of plastic use.

OTRA will implement the SuSTown project on the territory of two pilot local authorities – the municipalities of Cres and Mali Lošinj, located respectively on the Adriatic islands of Cres and Lošinj (Primorje-Gorski Kotar County). The tourism represents the most important economic sector on both islands and is very significant industry, both at the regional and national level.

The outcome of the testing activities related to the participatory elaboration of the local action plans to face/prevent tourism decline in the towns of Cres and Mali Lošinj will be disseminated and the results of the tested methodology will be transferred to other small towns on Croatian islands and the low-density areas.

University of Algarve – Ualg

University of Algarve – Ualg

University of Algarve is a scientific institution and the main organization’s thematic competences and experience relevant for the project are: methodology, data research, screening and analysis. The scientific groundwork of the University of Algarve is developed around four main areas: Sea, Health, Food and Well-Being, Arts and Heritage and Tourism.

Steered by international, inter-personal and inter-institutional networks, and projects developed in cooperation withother  universities, the University of Algarve aims to update its learning contents and to foster innovation considering these synergies as an opportunity not only to contribute to its curriculum development but also to boost research project incubation pursuing the ultimate goal of higher educationinstitutions: to reach academic expertise and to demonstrate excellence in research.

Make it Better, Association for Innovation & Social Economy – miB

Make it Better, Association for Innovation & Social Economy – miB

Make it Better, Association for Innovation & Social Economy (miB), private, is a non-profit organisation, settled in South Alentejo, Portugal, that capitalizes the experience of its promoters and team of more than 20 years of joint work and cooperation with public and private organizations in Portugal, Europe and as well in several other parts of the world (South America, Africa and Asia). It complies a multidisciplinary team of associates and workers that give powerful input in big umbrella areas, such as sustainable development, social responsibility, social economy and social entrepreneurship, in the different frames where most disadvantaged groups are settled.

In its action miB intends to: create, develop, adapt and apply sustainable and responsible work models and tools, cooperating and supporting the most disadvantaged groups. Its mission is the development of human society, in all its dimensions, namely, economic, social, environmental and cultural, linked to moral duties of solidarity and justice and all the other values registered in its charter of principles.

MiB has long experience in methodology, development, testing & validation, evaluation of social innovation practices, and solid experienced in cooperation, networking, transfer, communication, and involvement of stakeholders and third parties (public & private). In organizational strategic plan we can find, under priority 2 - Partnerships and Cooperation, strong emphasis in the promotion of the spirit of co-operation and sharing of best practices and models developed, tested and validated within similar contexts of development, namely in the context of sustainable and responsible tourism. Entrepreneurial skills, Employability, Initiative, Creativity and Innovation are equally thematically focused in the plan, being simultaneously the organization key tools and expertise for cooperation and development.

Together with all partners, miB will test the methodology for sustainable tourism management, working particularly with two Portuguese pilot territories: Cuba, Alentejo Region (inland) and Culatra Island, Faro, Algarve Region (costal, Island). Under the framework of the work package 4 (WP4 - Transferring), it will be responsible for organizing an international seminar in Portugal, in articulation with the University of Algarve (also a project partner) to disseminate the results of the testing phase and the methodology to deal with the tourism decline in fascinating small towns. During capitalization, at national level, miB will collaborate with University of Algarve to propose and disseminate to regional and national authorities the integrated sustainable tourism model, together with recommendations for the improvement of its public policies on sustainable tourism. Furthermore, miB will be disseminating activities through social and other media, reporting dissemination activities to stakeholders and presenting the project at local events.