Japi-Awer was created at Quito in 2015 by a multidisciplinary group of professionals specialized in environmental topics as an initiative based on free public encounters to reinforce the environmental culture and promote sustainable urban systems. These monthly reunions take place at neutral and informal spaces such as coffee shops, bars, co-working places, municipality installations or public spaces, where everyone is free to give their opinion and learn about environmental issues and solutions and sustainability topics of their own city.
With participation everyone is a City Maker
Japi-Awer’s members understand that in order to reduce Quito’s ecological footprint they must get to the average citizens and involve them in the quest for solutions about these urgent issues. That is why, one of their main objectives is to make environmental education accessible to common citizens, in order to reach a sustainable development based on collective contributions and decisions.
“People have a lot to contribute; even though, sometimes the State, local governments or even legislation make participation really hard to achieve, we think that we can generate this involvement within the same civil society, that’s why we create these neutral, informal and free spaces to enhance participation.”
Tradition + Innovation
El Japi-Awer has organized 10 thematic events, four “Cine y Ciudad” which are movies events with the collaboration of Ocho y Medio, and four “Cafe del Barrio”.
“Café del Barrio” is one of the events organized by JapiAwer in collaboration with WWF, an organization that promotes natural patrimony´s conservation and sustainable development in Ecuador, this is a local reunion that gives neighbors or members from different communities the opportunity to talk, meet and connect with their pairs in order to learn from each other and generate solutions for their neighborhood or community.
The usage of traditional quiteñan habits such as the “café de la tarde” (a custom passed from generation to generation in which families and friends used to gather after their daily (after office) activities around 5 pm to drink coffee and talk about anything), plus the practice of interactive methods such as drawing, writing and playing, let people express themselves in a more participative and collaborative way, enabling everyone; even kids to give their “seed of citizen participation”.
The force for change is in our union
The initiatives from JapiAwer are always related to environmental sustainability and city topics such as: garbage management and recycling, livable communities, alternative mobility, sustainable entrepreneurship, urban agriculture, among others. Another requirement for the participation of JapiAwer is the active participation of people; they consider that it is important to include and invite people from different fields, like people from the municipality, academics, people from social movements, and private entrepreneurs. The participation of all these city makers generates a real impact in the city. If people do their own activities and make a positive impact on the environment and society, our cities can improve a lot.