The Network is made up of diverse Catalan, French and Italian local and regional governments and aims at sharing real experiences and pushing for the further recognition of time policies on the international agenda.
In the frame of the Time Use Week’s Summit on Local, Metropolitan and Regional Time Policies, the relaunch of the Local and Regional Governments Time Network has been formalized, with the presence of more than 70 municipalities.
Time policies in an urban context have existed since the 1990s. They were especially implemented in Italy and France where time offices were set up in different municipalities. And they were also in Barcelona from 2003, with pioneer policies in Spain, and with the launch in 2008 of the European Cities Network for Time Policies, which included cities in Catalonia, France, Italy, Belgium and Germany. Some years later, in 2012, the Barcelona Provincial Council transferred the leadership of the Network to Tempo Territorial, in France, who has been dynamizing it until today.
Current situation: an opportunity to relaunch the network and promote time policies as a main driver for economic recovery.
Nowadays, through recovery plans to overcome the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate emergency, the strength of the feminist agenda and the consequences of digitalization in the future of work, the network’s members think it is the right moment to bet on time policies.
During the spring of 2021, three debates on time policies were organized to exchange good practices among European cities implementing time policies, with more than 200 online participants. As a result of these discussions, the opportunity to relaunch and improve the existing Network was also agreed..
Currently, the network includes 15 active institutions: Strasbourg City Council, Rennes Metropolis, Milano City Council and Metropolitan Area, Bolzano City Council, Bergamo Province, Barcelona, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, Barcelona Provincial Council, Catalonia Government, which coordinates the Catalan Municipalities Network for Timetable Reform, Tempo Territorial, which coordinates the French Municipalities Network for Time Policies, and the Barcelona Time Use Initiative for a Healthy Society (BTUI). In addition, other institutions such as: Lille Metropolitan Area (France), Terrassa, Lleida, Girona (Catalonia) and Montevideo (Uruguay) have already expressed interest in joining.
The network is the tool to share knowledge among its members by exchanging experiences, lessons learned and good practices on local and regional time policies as well as for studying the possibility of carrying out joint projects. The network relaunch is an opportunity to deepen into second-generation time policies associated with care, sustainability and the effects of digitization, as well as to expand the scope of the original network by including metropolises and regions, as well as cities around the world.
The presentation was attended by councilors from all the cities. During the event, Laura Pérez, 4th Deputy Mayor for Social Rights, Global Justice, Feminisms and LGBT at the Barcelona City Council, has mentioned that: “It is such an honour for the city of Barcelona to take on the responsibility of relaunching the Local and Regional Governments Time Network, a fundamental tool to promote time use policies aimed at improving the quality of life of everybody. especially women, who are the ones most suffering from time poverty”.
In her intervention, Núria Vergés, General Director of Time and Care Policies of the Catalan Government commented that: “The right to time must be guaranteed in all towns and cities. The relaunch of this international network must be an opportunity for Catalonia. We shall make possible a Catalan network that assures time for everyone, especially to women who are in charge of so much work, both paid and unpaid, precisely because they take care of us”.
From now on, the network’s secretariat is assumed by the Barcelona Time Use Initiative, which has a strategic agreement with the Catalan Government, the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Provincial Council, and the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) with the goal of promoting time agreements throughout Catalonia, improving citizens’s lives and placing Catalonia and its municipalities as world referents in time policies..
Regarding this new responsibility, Marta Junqué, co-coordinator of the BTUI has remarked that “It is such a pride to assume the Network Secretariat. We will work hard to ensure that in the next 2 years all participants share a common Local and Regional Time Policies Agenda, which would be a compilation of recommendations and experiences that could be a source of inspiration to implement time policies in many other territories.”