In May, the Town Council of Lefkara (Cyprus) organized the annual meeting of the Charter of European Rural Communities. The theme of debate over the five days from 14 to 18 May was participatory democracy. The 170 participants, representing 26 European municipalities, organized different activities to share their experiences. In order to help visitors to integrate and give them more direct knowledge of life in Lefkara and Cyprus, the participants were accommodated in the homes of families in Lefkara and neighbouring villages.
On day one, after being welcomed by the Minister of the Interior and the Mayor of Lefkara, participants were given a tour of the old town. The architect Vassilis Ierides, member of the local RehabiMed team and director of the rehabilitation work carried out in the pilot operation in Lefkara, conducted the visit around the rehabilitated streets and gave a presentation of the objectives proposed by RehabiMed. The project centred on the recovery of the traditional urban landscape, which had been altered due to the imposition of stereotypes, for use by residents. Resident participation was vital throughout, from the planning phase to the completion of rehabilitation work, and the project was considered an example to be followed with regard to participatory democracy. The RehabiMed presentation and experience stimulated great interest, and the architect answered the questions of participants, who valued the results as an example of good practice that can be applied in their respective municipalities.