Rationale of the project

The Standards for Outdoor Sports Cities and Urban Areas (STANDOUT) project, coordinated by the European Network of Outdoor Sports (ENOS) develops novel approach by setting standards for urban areas, promoting community well-being through outdoor sports. With a focus on inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability, STANDOUT targets inactive populations and addresses inequalities. The project aims to reshape urban planning, encouraging cities to adopt minimum standards and an accreditation system aligned with the European Green Deal. Through co-design and cross-sectoral collaboration, diverse stakeholders contribute to sustainable development. Digital tools enhance knowledge-sharing, supporting green infrastructure and addressing barriers, ultimately creating a toolbox of minimum standards for healthier lifestyles through nature-based solutions.

General objectives of the project

The STANDOUT project addresses the challenge of physical inactivity and disparities in physical activity levels across Europe. While existing initiatives focus on greener urban areas, STANDOUT pioneers new synergies by developing standards for urban areas. These standards aim to benefit local communities, fostering healthy lifestyles through outdoor sports.

Acknowledging the prevalence of physical inactivity in Europe, the project supports cities in reducing inequalities by employing nature-based solutions. STANDOUT aims to transform environments and opportunities, positively impacting the lives of local citizens. The development of minimum standards and an accreditation system encourages cities to reconsider urban planning, emphasizing support for sports and physical activities.

STANDOUT enhances the quality of work and activities among partner organizations and engages stakeholders for broader impact. The project builds capacity through collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and firsthand exposure to best practices. Emphasizing the value of green and blue spaces, the project enables positive transformations at individual, community, and societal levels.

Incorporating inclusivity and sustainability, the project targets cities aspiring to be exemplary in promoting equal opportunities and fairness in outdoor sports. Standards development involves cross-sectoral collaboration and engages stakeholders beyond the partnership, ensuring diverse perspectives throughout the decision-making process.

Aligned with sustainable development pillars, the project focuses on environmental benefits, positive social effects, and economic advantages for local communities. The multidisciplinary team emphasizes stakeholder coordination, recognizing the need for digital methods to facilitate knowledge-sharing and empower local communities.

STANDOUT aims to distill existing standards into common ones that support healthier lifestyles. The exchange of best practices contributes to a toolbox of minimum standards, promoting effective green and blue spaces and outdoor sports interventions. The project aims lasting positive changes in local communities by involving key stakeholders in urban planning and collaborating with representatives from the welfare and sports sectors.

Project consortium

ENOS is the lead partner of the following consortium:

Outdoor Institute (DK)

A visionary hub promoting the integration of nature into diverse settings, the Outdoor Institute serves as a knowledge center, providing guidance and support for societal well-being and growth. With expertise in both research and practice, the Outdoor Institute acts as a consultant, facilitating sustainable solutions and fostering a robust outdoor culture. As an independent initiator and bridge builder, the institute collaborates with various stakeholders guided by a formal agreement with Silkeborg, Denmark’s Outdoor Capital.

Municipality of Viana do Castelo (PT)

The Municipality of Viana do Castelo is an experienced local government entity in the district of Viana do Castelo, fostering a dynamic sports culture with 71 active associations/clubs and about 5,000 federated athletes. Known for promoting a healthy lifestyle and hosting major sports events, it offers diverse sports modalities against a picturesque coastal backdrop.

Technical University of Munich (GER)

The Technical University Munich (TUM), a three-time “University of Excellence” awardee, is a leading German and international research institution. With over 600 professors fostering interdisciplinary expertise, TUM addresses critical scientific and societal challenges. TUM’s Department of Sport and Health Sciences excels in diverse and interdisciplinary scientific approaches to sport and health. From supporting elite athletes to promoting a healthy lifestyle, the department emphasizes the significance of outdoor sports.

Municipality of Silkeborg (DK)

The Municipality of Silkeborg is a community with a strategic emphasis on well-being, nature, and outdoor physical activity. Recognized as the Outdoor Capital of Denmark®, Silkeborg boasts breathtaking landscapes, expansive woodlands, 51 large lakes, and the country’s largest river. The municipality’s commitment to nature and outdoor activities is evident in various recreational pursuits, including cycling, hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddling, and sailing. Silkeborg is considered the best place for outdoor sports in Denmark, according to an analysis by the Sports Confederation of Denmark. As a provider of welfare, nature, and outdoor sports, the municipality integrates these elements into public institutions like kindergartens, schools, and nursing homes.

Mountain Bike Tourism Forum of Germany (GER)

The Mountain Bike Tourism Forum (MTF) is dedicated to fostering sustainable development in mountain biking and cycling. As a registered German association, MTF engages in activities such as developing guidelines for sustainable bike tourism, researching biking’s impacts, organizing networking events, advocating for leisure cycling, and participating in cooperation projects like the Erasmus+ project “Re-Cycling.” With five paid staff members, MTF promotes knowledge exchange and dialogue among stakeholders in tourism, municipalities, politics, nature conservation, forestry, youth work, outdoor industry, sports, science, and media.

Mountaineering Association Tara (SRB)

PLANINARSKI KLUB TARA (Mountaineering Association Tara – MAT), established in 2012, unites outdoor sports enthusiasts from Bajina Bašta and Western Serbia. Initially focused on recreational mountaineering, the association expanded into rescue, competition, and project development. Organizing mountain tours, educational camps, and competitive events like trail running, MAT achieved notable success in the National Skyrunning Series. Engaging in diverse projects since 2015, including Erasmus+ Sport initiatives, MAT addresses themes like gender equality, ecology, and peacekeeping through sports. With over 120 members, MAT is a vibrant community fostering a love for nature, sports, and camaraderie.

LANSSTYRELSEN Västernorrland (SE)

LÄNSSTYRELSEN Västernorrland, with approximately 250 employees, serves as a vital link between the people, municipal authorities, and the central government. As a government authority, it ensures the implementation of parliamentary and governmental decisions in the county while coordinating various government activities. Taking the lead in outdoor recreational goals and national public health goals, LÄNSSTYRELSEN Västernorrland’s work aligns with UN global goals, Agenda 2030. It encompasses diverse responsibilities, such as integration, gender equality, spatial planning, nature protection, education, and sustainability, all aimed at reinforcing democratic principles.

Outdoor Active AG (GER)

Outdooractive is Europe’s largest outdoor activity platform, with around 150 employees, that connects a broad B2B network (+4,000) to over 13 million users globally. The Outdooractive platform offers powerful tools for activity planning and community engagement. Also, clients utilize the platform for efficient content management and promotion, creating sustainable benefits through digital transformation in the outdoor industry.

Charles University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport (CZ)

Charles University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport (FTVS), established in 1953 and integrated into Charles University in 1965, is the Czech Republic’s largest and oldest sport faculty. With three main divisions and 11 departments, FTVS educates future physical education professionals and scientists. Offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs, the faculty combines theoretical knowledge with practical application. The Department of Outdoor Activities, deeply rooted in research and practical experience, specializes in outdoor education for bachelor’s and master’s programs. Engaged in international projects, FTVS also provides lifelong learning courses for the public.

Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica Trekkify (IT)

Trekkify is a dynamic sports association specializing in outdoor and mountain sports. Born from the passion of five individuals, it rapidly grows to promote a healthy lifestyle, particularly focusing on trekking, environmental awareness, and sustainability. Based in Perugia, Trekkify collaborates with a diverse network of entities dedicated to outdoor life and environmental concerns. The team, comprising skilled researchers, project managers, and designers, innovatively caters to various target groups, emphasizing international partnerships and EU-funded projects in outdoor learning, environmental education, and healthy lifestyles.

Period of the project

January 2024 to December 2026

Expected outcomes

The project outcomes are multifaceted and aim to bring about positive changes related to promoting active and healthy lifestyles through nature-based solutions. The key anticipated outcomes include:

  • Development and appropriate management of nature-rich green and blue spaces within cities and municipalities to ensure accessibility for diverse users.
  • Formulation of appropriate policies and systems to optimize participation in outdoor sports while being mindful of sustainability and environmental impact.
  • Establishment of clear communication channels for promoting outdoor sports opportunities and facilities available in urban natural environments.
  • Support and capacity building for grassroots outdoor sports sectors, ensuring that clubs and activity providers can meet demand safely and inclusively.
  • Inspiration, support, and capacity building for welfare-supporting organizations and healthcare professionals to enhance urban natural environments’ use in core health and well-being tasks.
  • Educational initiatives focused on sustainability and opportunity, particularly on young people.
  • Recognition of issues associated with aging populations and strategies to empower older individuals to remain active outdoors.
  • Implement systems and mechanisms to ensure equality of opportunity for all, irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or status.

Project Phases and Activities

The project will unfold in a systematic and logical staged approach outlined composed with the following activities:

1. Research and knowledge building:

Research will be conducted to establish a robust evidence base for the project, encompassing drivers and barriers to outdoor activity in urban environments. This will involve desk research, data collection from cities outside the consortium, and the analysis of factors determining a city’s outdoor sport friendliness. Partners will compile good practice examples from various cities, and research digital solutions for promoting and assessing outdoor sports opportunities. Additionally, exploration of existing standards and labels will provide insights for ongoing improvement.

2. Stakeholder engagement through exchanges:

This step emphasizes actively involving local stakeholders through a comprehensive exchange program. Field visits, analysis, and engagement with community-based stakeholders will be conducted. Experts from other cities will contribute to exchanges, fostering knowledge sharing and good practice collation. The creation of stakeholder maps will serve as a tool for mapping stakeholders in any municipality relevant to outdoor sports development.

3. Developing and evaluating resources and standards:

Building on the knowledge gained in previous stages, this phase aims to develop outdoor sport city standards. It includes defining fields of action, analyzing stakeholder data, and developing indicators for monitoring outdoor sports quality. Pilots in two cities will test the standards and the assessment process, with continuous evaluation, refinement, and feedback from stakeholders.

4. Dissemination and impact assessment:

The final stage focuses on disseminating the project’s social, environmental, and economic impacts. This will be achieved through various platforms, including the ENOS website, the European Outdoor Group, and the EUROPARC Federation. A dissemination handbook and brand templates will ensure a consistent approach. A strong digital element facilitated by Outdoor Active and MTF will enhance the dissemination process. Partners will actively share project outcomes through seminars and workshops at national and pan-European events.

Target audiences

The STANDOUT project aspires to revolutionize urban living by promoting healthy lifestyles through outdoor sports and mitigating the climate impact of sports participation, and as such has identified several target audiences that are strategically categorized:

The project partners, comprising a diverse mix of professionals, educators, environmentalists, and academics, form a microcosm of stakeholders at the municipality level. Their collective expertise ensures comprehensive learning, research, and strategy implementation.

Local multisectoral stakeholders in partner countries, including sports, health, planning, and education, will contribute to short-term knowledge sharing, inspiring coherent development approaches. Their involvement in drafting urban standards fosters empowerment and ownership, which is crucial for local adoption.

In the long term, regional and municipality authorities throughout Europe will make the project’s standards openly accessible, enabling cities and municipalities to adopt them. The dissemination phase leverages existing connections and networks, with a self-assessment tool providing an engaging mechanism. The “label” or “accreditation” incentivizes adoption, ensuring sustainability post-EU funding.

Inhabitants and citizens being as the heart of the project’s vision, the ultimate beneficiaries are individual citizens and inhabitants of cities. The project envisions improving lives by enhancing outdoor sports accessibility, green and blue infrastructure, and promoting opportunities for citizens.

Project Funding

The European Commission has co-funded the project with the support of the Erasmus+ Youth Cooperation Partnerships program with a 400,000 euros total budget.

Environmental Sustainability Goals

In pursuit of environmental sustainability, the STANDOUT project has implemented various measures to minimize its ecological footprint. Recognizing the value of face-to-face interaction for quality collaboration, the project strategically reduces in-person meetings, aligning them with essential exchanges to optimize travel. Emphasis is placed on sustainable transportation, encouraging partners to choose eco-friendly options and considerate accommodations such as camping grounds or youth hostels. The project actively calculates and offsets unavoidable travel emissions, ensuring a commitment to environmental responsibility. Additionally, a comprehensive ban on single-use plastics during all face-to-face events underscores the commitment to reducing plastic waste. Embracing digital platforms for project management meetings and training resources further contributes to the project’s environmentally conscious approach.

STANDOUT Project Kick-off Meeting

The STANDOUT project embarked on its journey with a virtual kick-off meeting organized by ENOS over two days, on January 23rd and 25th, where partners had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the diverse consortium, fostering a collaborative atmosphere that cultivated unity and a shared sense of purpose.

Project overview:

In its role as the project lead partner, ENOS steered a comprehensive review covering the project’s objectives, timeline, deliverables, and activities. The session meticulously outlined roles and responsibilities, instilling a collective vision and mission among the partners.

Workplan dive:

Each working partner leader (totaling five) presented their respective work package content, providing a detailed insight into the upcoming workload and timeline. This strategic review ensured alignment with the project goals and milestones.

Administrative and financial guidance:

The meeting incorporated a session led by the project’s lead partner to discuss administrative and financial requirements. This facilitated a thorough understanding among partners of the operational aspects crucial to the project’s success.


The STANDOUT project’s kick-off meeting initiated a collective commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles through outdoor sports, resonating across European urban areas by aligning partners, elucidating project intricacies, and laying a robust foundation for collaborative efforts.