Actors of Urban Change Program Documentation 2013-2015 - Robert Bosch Stiftung
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3 Table of Contents 4 Preface 66 Methods 6 About the Publication 68 Collective Mind Mapping 8 Actors of Urban Change: Introduction 69 BBC – Bring Back the Cube 70 Performative Spacing 16 Case Studies 71 Juxtaposition of Entertainment and Critique 18 Participating Cities and Projects 72 Open Source Bikesharing Platform 20 Athens, Greece :: PEDIO_AGORA 73 Face-to-Face Meetings 24 Aveiro, Portugal :: VivaCidade 74 Urban Game – Playing Estate 28 Barcelona, Spain :: Alice Archive 75 Urban Hackathon 32 Berlin, Germany :: Moabiter Mix 76 Guided Tours as Part of an Open Call 36 Bratislava, Slovakia :: More Bike Kitchen 77 Cross-Sectoral Football 40 Kaunas, Lithuania :: The Šančiai Kiosk 44 Lublin, Poland :: Tenants. Narrations about Urban Utopias 78 Participants 2013 –2015 48 Maribor, Slovenia :: Living City 84 Picture Credits 52 Zagreb, Croatia :: Light in Places 85 City Data Sources 56 Zugdidi, Georgia :: Open House 86 Imprint 62 City Comparison 65 Focus Categories
4 Preface Social change, especially in urban contexts, plays an important role in a number of the programs at the Robert Bosch Stiftung and also in the activities of MitOst. We are con- vinced that complex urban challenges can be met more effectively by committed actors who are working toward a common purpose, and who combine a range of different back- grounds, competencies, and resources. Joachim Rogall Chief Executive Officer This is of particular importance in cities, as the Robert Bosch Stiftung challenges and potential associated with social change are intensified in the urban context. Mutual learning and international exchange about specific urban issues, as well as about new models of participation and collaboration, strengthen the motivation of committed actors and create a significant added value at both an individual and an institutional level. These tenets lie at the core of the cross-sec- toral approach on which the program “Ac- tors of Urban Change” by the Robert Bosch Darius Polok Managing Director Stiftung, in cooperation with MitOst e.V., is MitOst e.V. based. This approach supports the changing of perspectives and the fostering of synergies through new forms of collaboration. We believe that culture is an enabler of and a driver in the sustainable development of cities. This perspective is central to our work as a funder and motivator of positive change, both because culture is inherently linked to creativity, heritage, knowledge and diver- sity, and because of its potential to facilitate citizens’ participation, intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding, social inclusion, and innovation.
5 Furthermore, cultural capital, such as social without their active and ongoing support and norms, shared values, attitudes and aspira- cooperation. tions, has the power to shift our behavior in a more sustainable direction. In this sense, We hope that our publication will inspire and culture is not only at the center of the chal- encourage actors, now and in the future, who lenges at stake but also an integral part of the dedicate themselves to urban change. long and involved process of urban and social change. Joachim Rogall “Actors of Urban Change” gives insights into Chief Executive Officer parts of this complex process in the European Robert Bosch Stiftung cities which were part of the pilot stage of the program that ran for the last 18 months. This Darius Polok publication presents selected results of the Managing Director extraordinary commitment of ten European MitOst e.V. teams and is the product of an intensive ex- change across sectoral and national borders. In this regard, our program links to the EU 2020 strategy which aims at “smart, sustain- able and inclusive growth” and in which towns and cities play a significant role. Moreover, the program “Actors of Urban Change” is intended to committed actors, both in the EU member states and beyond. We are convinced that pan-European collaboration presents an enormous potential for learning and we believe that the current and the future genera- tions of Actors of Urban Change can be a good example of a European community engaged in the practice of the positive and participatory development of our cities. We would like to extend our gratitude to the participants of this program, to their partners and supporters, and to the many inspiring experts who were involved. None of what is presented here would have been possible
6 About the Publication This publication provides a cross-sectoral view of urban development and showcases the experience gathered by the participants of the program “Actors of Urban Change” during its pilot stage, which took place from autumn of 2013 until summer of 2015. This booklet is organized in three sections. The first section offers an introduction to the program “Actors of Urban Change,” including Agnieszka Surwiłło-Hahn Program Officer the program’s approach, structure, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung supporting offers and qualification activities provided for its participants. Furthermore, it elaborates on the role of culture and points out the positive potential of cross-sector col- laboration and participation in the sustain- able development of cities. In the second section of the publication, ten case studies illustrate projects from different European cities developed and implemented by teams made up of members from three sectors: the cultural sphere/civil society, the Dr. Martin Schwegmann Program Officer public sector and the private sector. All of the MitOst e.V. projects presented tackle relevant urban is- sues, and have given citizens the opportunity to participate in the co-creation of innovative solutions for specific urban challenges. In this sense, each of the projects exemplifies a collective effort for the common good. As one might however imagine, just reaching consensus about the definition of the ‘com- mon good,’ as viewed from the perspective of divergent interests within distinct social and ethnic groups and generations, can represent an enormous challenge.
7 The above-mentioned case studies provide This publication is mainly addressed at prac- insights not only into the specific urban chal- titioners; however, decision-makers, resear- lenges faced in the particular local context, chers and citizens can also benefit from the but also into the complex process of changing knowledge contained within these pages. perspectives, developing and implementing common goals, and dealing with divergent There is a lot we can learn from each other in interests. They underscore the importance order to make our cities (more) livable, inclu- of the process not only for the success of the sive and sustainable. With this in mind, we project, but also for the promotion of cross- wish all committed actors an interesting and sector collaboration and positive social inspiring read. impact. The third section of this booklet is anchored Agnieszka Surwiłło-Hahn in a process-oriented reflection about the Program Officer implemented projects. This section provides Robert Bosch Stiftung an overview of the methods developed and/ or implemented by the cross-sectoral teams Dr. Martin Schwegmann within their local projects in order to inspire, Program Officer facilitate, reflect on, precipitate and co-cre- MitOst e.V. ate positive urban change. Moreover, some of the participatory methods illustrated seek to improve social involvement through the em- powerment of individuals as well as through increasing community involvement, develop- ment and ownership. This brochure aims at sharing the experi- ences gained during the program. It pro- vides neither perfect recipes nor universal solutions for each and every specific urban challenge. Rather it presents insights into how to create real partnerships, gives con- crete examples of citizen participation and empowerment, and describes cases that fostered committed actors’ self-efficacy and strengthened the role of culture in the posi- tive development of cities.
8 Actors of Urban Change: Introduction Actors of Urban Change at a Glance: What is ring the implementation of their joint local the Program and Who is Behind It? projects. Furthermore, they became part of a “Actors of Urban Change” is a program by trans-European network of “Actors of Urban the Robert Bosch Stiftung in cooperation Change.” with MitOst e.V. The program is the result of experiences and expertise gained through Support for the local teams consisted of different programs initiated and implement- Project Grants of up to 5,000 € as well as ed by both partners over the last years in the custom-tailored support by local or interna- fields of cultural exchange, civic engagement tional experts such as coaching, consulting and participation, such as the Robert Bosch and mentoring, which was funded through Cultural Manager Programs. The pilot stage Process-Related Grants of up to 5,000 €. of the program took place between autumn of 2013 and summer of 2015. Qualification of the program participants and knowledge exchange were fostered through The program’s goal is to achieve sustain- five international academies in different able and participatory urban development European cities, which offered lectures, fa- through cultural activities implemented by cilitated workshops, peer learning sessions teams of partners coming from the cultural and field trips. The expert inputs, discus- sphere/civil society, public administration sions and working sessions during these and the private sector. The program partici- international meetings focused on the role pants put their skills into practice through of culture and participation in urban change, local projects. They strengthened their com- as well as on the advantages, but also chal- petencies in cross-sector collaboration and lenges, related to cross-sector collaboration. profited from peer-to-peer exchange, profes- The exchange between program participants sional trainings with international experts centered on the experiences acquired within and Europe-wide exchange. the implementation of the local projects with regard to knowledge gained, lessons learned Program Offerings and Activities: Whom Do and methods tested in the course of the par- We Support and How? ticipatory approach. In the program, actors from the cultural sphere/civil society, the public administra- Furthermore, the academies provided ad- tion, and the private sector formed cross- ditional opportunities to learn (more) about sectoral teams to implement innovative local specific urban issues in other European cities, projects. Over the course of 18 months, ten with their varying social, cultural, economic teams from ten European cities received and political contexts, as well as to network financial support and mentoring, obtained with other local initiatives. professional qualification, and exchanged experiences in international academies du-
9 In addition, each participant was given the the places where people, knowledge, money chance to spend a Shadowing Internship of and ideas meet. For this reason, this program up to ten days in another program partici- focused on cities as transition arenas and pant’s city and thereby share experiences, mutual learning environments where urban learn from one another, and expand perspec- and societal changes can be envisioned, tives from a local to an international level. tested and monitored. Potential Topics and Scope of the Projects: If we want to find satisfying solutions for to- What is Our Perspective on Urban Change? day’s and tomorrow’s challenges, we need to From the program’s perspective, urban develop sustainably in a way “that meets the change is not focused on formal processes of needs of the present without compromising urban planning or development, but rather the ability of future generations to meet their on strengthening community-driven engage- own needs.” 1 This claim has to be achieved ment for local urban development. In this while balancing the ecological, social and context, potential topics to be addressed economic dimensions of human cohabitation. include: enabling or increasing citizens’ par- ticipation, participatory governance, afford- However, the ability to balance the differ- able housing/gentrification, inclusion/inte- ent elements (social, economic and envi- gration, cultural diversity, accessibility of ronmental) equally without focusing on or (formerly) public urban resources and spaces, prioritizing one endangers the ability to find sustainable mobility, health and physical adequate solutions to complex urban prob- activity, and green cities/climate change. The lems. Overarching sustainability objectives main issues addressed by the participants of are therefore needed. So-called integrative the program during its pilot stage included sustainability strategies provide orientation community development, identity building, in this way, so that feasible strategies and citizen empowerment, the appropriation of practices to achieve concrete goals in a most urban space and sustainable resource man- sustainable way can be developed. Examples agement. of overarching goals include ensuring hu- man survival, the maintenance of society’s Why Do We Believe in Sustainable Urban productive potential, and the preservation of Development Through Culture? society’s ability to act.2 1 World Commission on Cities can be understood as laboratories for Environment and Devel- and windows onto the societies of today and To implement these strategies and practices, opment 1987, Our Com- mon Future (Brundtland tomorrow. Urban areas are fertile ground for a profound process of rethinking the way we Report), p. 27 both challenges to and solutions for socio- behave, interact and collaborate with each 2 Kopfmüller 2007, Auf economic, political and environmental issues, other is required. To be able to start this pro- dem Weg zu einem inte- grativen Nachhaltigkeits- especially since more and more of the world’s cess, we need to change our attitudes, values, konzept, in: Ökologisch- population lives in urban areas and cities are behavior, and consumption patterns, as“ es Wirtschaften (22) 1
10 Actors of Urban Change perceived needs are socially and culturally The actors involved in this process require from ten cities on Var- determined, and sustainable development large amounts of time and commitment to vakeios Square during the Academy Meeting in requires the promotion of values that encou- reach these goals. We consider culture to be a Athens in April 2014. rage consumption standards that are within central dimension in this process, facilitating, the bounds of the ecological possible and to catalyzing and triggering social innovation which all can reasonably aspire.” 3 and aim to strengthen its role in the sustain- able development of cities. Culture can therefore said to be the fourth and connecting pillar of sustainability, Cross-Sector Collaboration – alongside ecological, economic and social A New Approach factors. Culture lies at the heart of change, As already mentioned above, many of to- both as an enabler and driver of sustainable day’s societal, environmental, economic, development. sustainability-related and humanitarian challenges in cities and urbanized areas are We are convinced that the sustainable de- so complex and interconnected that they can velopment of cities needs a new culture of only be tackled by different sectors working dialogue, a new understanding of collabora- together. Multi-stakeholder collaboration tion and new ways of dealing with divergent between NGOs, government representatives, interests in order to develop innovative, cus- communities and local business are essential tom-made and robust solutions for concrete to develop inclusive and sustainable cities problems. Some of the case studies presented with a high quality of life, both now and in the in this publication exemplify how the poten- future. It will be needed at a scale and quality tial of culture can be used more effectively in that dwarfs current levels of collaboration. order to create meaning and identity, pro- 3 Brundtland Report 1987, mote participation, facilitate intercultural “Actors of Urban Change” supports the buil- p. 27 dialogue and support mutual understanding. ding of unlikely alliances and strengthens
11 the skills of the participants in the manage- importantly) trust. Very often, in the early ment of cross-sector collaboration towards period of formation, the connection between a collective impact. We assume that co-cre- the actors involved in an alliance and their ation and the involvement of citizens leads enthusiasm and excitement about and com- to a more sustainable and innovative urban mitment to a shared vision ‘clicks.’ This can development integrating multiple perspec- be critical for helping the team hold together tives that support thinking outside of the during the project’s implementation. box and a better allocation of resources and know-how. The experiences gathered within the pro- gram “Actors of Urban Change” underline However, effective collaboration between that crucial factors for success at that stage organizations with different approaches, include: a common understanding of targets missions, interests and cultures is difficult. and the measurement of goal attainment, It requires a common understanding of the agreement about responsibilities, shared re- process and its challenges, a collaborative sources and governance or decision-making mindset, and a key partnering skill set. With structures, and an open and honest exchange these critical elements in place, partner- about the potential risks to all parties in- ships can achieve real impact. Without them, volved. partnerships are likely to underperform or fail altogether. During the implementation phase, a constant renegotiation of the goals, strategy, partner- Different factors influence each phase in the ship, and assessment of the achievements is lifecycle of a cross-sector partnership – from needed. A partnership’s intricate dynamics initiation and creation to implementation change continuously within a complex and and institutionalization. Specific skills and often muddled social and political context. competences are required throughout the process. In addition, the priorities, needs and re- sources of the partners and stakeholders can The initiation phase of a tri-sector alliance also be in flux, and key people in the partner- always requires a clear and defined issue ship can change as well. As a result, teams as well as the motivation to act upon it, even have to deal with an ongoing process of trust when it is triggered by an external factor like building and moderation of the rules, respon- this program. sibilities and balance of power. The creation phase of both a cross-sectoral As trust is the partnership’s main resource, team and a culture of collaboration is based successful teams usually start small and on a mutual understanding of the rules and scale up during the process. This allows ‘language’ of the other sectors and (most partners to develop effective relationships
12 and adjust the partnership’s operational and The projects in “Actors of Urban Change” governance arrangements before moving tested new ideas, developed prototypes or on to more ambitious plans. This step-by- implemented creative solutions for the chal- step approach supports the development lenges at hand. Simultaneously, they contri- of ‘hybrid governance’ models within the buted to changes in the structures and prac- partnership. tices in their sectors and to the development of a culture of cooperation in their cities. But even a clear memorandum of understan- ding and the best strategy will not save a “You Can Only Do Something with People, partnership from issues when partners per- Not for People” – The Quest for Participation ceive differences in values or are taken aback Citizen participation has gained popularity by the others’ ‘strange’ or unexpected beha- in urban development processes in the last vior. This phenomenon, known as a ‘storming few years. Local governments now actively phase,’ which is part of team-building pro- strive for or are instructed to involve local cesses in general, seems to be an especially inhabitants in order to get more precise ideas risky period for cross-sectoral teams, as the for local needs, develop more adequate solu- different organizational cultures also include tions, or gain legitimization and acceptance different approaches to decision making, for planned measures and projects. Addi- feedback and reflection. tionally, many people do not find their needs and visions adequately represented by the During the process of negotiation and ‘storm- globally interconnected markets and inter- ing’ in the implementation phase, moderation national government cooperation, or simply skills and managerial resources are needed do not understand their local administra- and a neutral ‘third space’ can be supportive – tion’s procedures and actions, which has led this is what the Academies and the network of to an emerging trend of ‘do it yourself,’ shar- “Actors of Urban Change” sought to provide. ing economies, and self-help and commons The facilitators and peer-to-peer exchange approaches. These social developments have support the ongoing communication in the been supported by rapid increases in techno- partnership and the operation’s efficiency. logical applications and solutions which can be used to self-organize, share knowledge, A successful cooperation between sectors collectively develop ideas, and make one’s requires a structural adaptation and sup- voice heard. These emerging civil society ports the development of new interfaces actor networks seek to take an active role in and possibilities for collaboration. Success- the co-creation of their surroundings and ful trans-sectoral projects contribute to a societies. simplification of administrative decision processes, and therefore to an increase in the Participatory processes in urban develop- willingness to cooperate on future endeavors. ment, which are usually limited in time,
14 consumption patterns of a society, it is para- Potential Success Factors for Participation mount to involve the local communities and :: Be transparent and authentic concerning the reasons behind stakeholders from the very beginning. one’s own involvement. :: Build personal relations and win local heroes as multipliers to As one can see from the focus categories of inspire others and guarantee continuity. the participating teams, from local identity :: Manage participants’ hopes and expectations. building to community development and :: Pay attention to the right frequency of actions in order to avoid citizen empowerment, reaching out to frustration among the community. diverse communities is a key challenge and :: Adapt event times to local schedules and try creative communi- activity of the participating teams. Each team cation strategies. developed a specific participation strategy to determine where, who, why, how and when to involve local inhabitants in their process. geographical area and participant group, span from project-based processes to regu- Another main challenge for all of the teams larly convening committees deciding about was to cope with target groups’ social the use of local funds or providing political inequalities, such as different income and advice and critique. Citizens’ and admin- education levels, political interests and very istration’s expectations concerning these different experiences of political efficacy. processes are usually equally high. However, In order to take participation seriously, it is these mainly project-based participation critical to be clear about what kind of partici- processes often do not address or reach the pation is possible in the different contexts. 4 Arnstein 1969, A Ladder relevant target groups and stakeholders, are According to Sheryl Arnstein’s 4 “Ladder of Citizen Participation, not able to engage the critical topics, or are of Participation,” there are different levels in: Journal of the Ameri- can Institute of Planners just not long enough. This can contribute of participation, from manipulation (non- (35) 4, p. 216-224 to a reinforcement of experiences of ex- participation, citizens are only informed), 5 The term hackathon is clusion and discrimination or just lead to to consultation (token involvement), to real a combination of ‘hack’ and ‘marathon’ and was frustration. Thus attitudes towards citizen partnerships and delegated power (citizens’ a format first used by participation are very mixed, with it either power). Against this backdrop, the informing software developers. regarded as a panacea or as an overly used of citizens is often misunderstood as citizen It describes a collec- tive effort lasting from buzzword. participation. one to several days, to explorativly code a new Within “Actors of Urban Change”, the inclu- The ten teams both adapted well-known software. In this context hackathon is adapted to sion of local communities has been a central formats and invented new methods for the collective problem solv- part of the program from the application involvement of local communities. Some of ing in the urban context phase onward. Since, as previously men- the methods are illustrated in this publica- including practical ele- ments of mapping and tioned, sustainable urban development tion and include door-to-door invitations, intervention. requires a change in the behavior, values and focus group discussions, hackathons5, open
15 space methods, urban games and collective tors of Urban Change” is a good example of a mapping exercises. European community engaged in the positive and participatory development of our cities. To summarize the lessons from ten cities in ten different European countries, it can Participants in the program’s pilot stage be said that community participation and became part of a European network through involvement is a difficult but fruitful process. which they experienced in-person exchange It is necessary, however, to replace alibi- during the international Academy Sessions participation with transparent communica- and Shadowing Internships. Furthermore, tion of planning processes from the start. they benefit from virtual exchange with Additionally, a main challenge lies in the fact future generations of the “Actors of Urban that the trust between different stakeholders Change” program through an online platform (such as citizens and administrators) needs to and community even after having taken part be carefully fostered while dealing with the in the program. chronic scarcity of resources such as time. Application: How to Get Involved in the Program Details about application procedures and the call for applications are provided on the program’s website. Committed actors from all over Europe, who are engaged in and/or interested in the positive development of their cities through cross-sector collabora- tion, cultural activities and participation are welcome to apply. The participants will be selected by an international jury. What We Gain by Learning from Each Other: Good-Practice for the Participatory and Sustainable Development of European Cities The ability to change one’s perspective and the willingness to broaden one’s horizon re- main a crucial part of the learning and quali- fication process, both at an international and at a local level; these aims can be supported through cross-sector collaboration and international exchange. In this sense, “Ac-
18 Participating Cities and Projects
20 Athens, Greece PEDIO_AGORA – Reviving Varvakeios Square Country Greece Region Attica For the explanation, see p. 65 City Athens Population 3,547,773 (metro area) 799,979 (city) Population Growth -12 % Unemployment Rate 28 % Youth Unemployment Rate 65 % City District Psiri Type of City Capital city A laboratory for Context :: A Detached Space in a City Strongly Affected by the Financial Crisis participatory Athens is one of the most prominent showca- ses of the country’s worst recession in modern decision-making and history. Over the past years, severe economic, political, and social turmoil has forced Athens participatory urban into unprecedented urban decline, visible planning through abandoned shops and houses, a dramatic increase in the rate of homelessness, and regular street protests. Varvakeios Square is one concrete example where the described dynamics can be experi- enced. The central square, located opposite the main meat market, has been the object of multiple urban planning mistakes. In prepa- ration for the 2004 Olympics, the square was rebuilt and elevated about two meters in order to make space for underground parking. This detached the space from the street level and led to the square’s abandonment. Erased from the Athenians’ mental map of the city center, Varvakeios Square is today home to a thriving drug scene. It is however also an example of
21 a successful project for the activation of civil market” in order to fill the derelict square with The elevated and aban- doned Varvakeios Square, society. The synAthina project is made up new life. Upon realizing the institutional barri- in the center of Athens. of both a kiosk located at street level, which ers to civic engagement, this idea was aban- is publicly owned and open to local groups’ doned in order to focus on process design activities, and an online platform encouraging and advocacy. The strategy was based on four and coordinating community projects. Team phases, each of which involved workshops Athens was involved in the development and with local stakeholders. The phases included implementation of this project, and was there- mapping local dynamics, a SWOT analysis fore motivated to extend its activities to the (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and elevated part of Varvakeios Square. threats), collective envisioning, and proposal design. The project developed both a step-by- Challenge :: Implementing a Participatory step manual of know-how about participatory Process and Creating Advocacy urban regeneration projects and a creative In Greece, citizens are institutionally excluded framework of bottom-up proposals for the from the decision-making processes that revival of Varvakeios Square. shape the public space in their cities. The challenge of the project is therefore twofold: a) Implementation :: Different Formats to Gather to develop, document and disseminate a pro- and Disseminate New Perspectives totype of participatory processes for cross- The project started with open meetings in or- sector collaboration in urban regeneration der to build a strong interdisciplinary pro- and b) to build a community of advocates and ject team. In the first phase, the analysis of develop concrete proposals for the regene- Varvakeios Square area took place in partner- ration of Varvakeios Square. ship with experts from the National Technical University of Athens. The diagnosis phase in- Strategy :: Workshops to Engage Stakeholders volved 20 practitioners from the public, private The initial strategy was to install a local “meet and non-profit sectors who discussed the
22 Creating a vision for Var- challenges and opportunities for participatory Impact :: Visibility for a New Approach vakeios Square: Experts’ urban design in Greece and produced a collec- The project enabled an unprecedented level of Workshop in October 2014 (top right) and prepara- tive mind map. In the third phase, the envision- community-building around a concrete cause, tions for and implementa- ing workshop engaged 40 people using the and engaged diverse stakeholders. It yielded tion of the 2nd Citizens world café method. Its results were confirmed knowledge and information about local needs Workshop in April 2015 (left and bottom right). through a survey of an additional 50 residents which can be used in municipal regeneration from the area. In addition, stakeholder map- plans for the square. In addition, the project ping, in which semi-structured interviews were manual offers information about methodolo- conducted with 50 more stakeholders, provi- gies that was not yet available in Greek. The ded a wealth of information and opinions on dissemination of the project in the local press the issue. The range of inputs were developed and at academic conferences and its advoca- in working groups and documented on struc- cy in the relevant municipal agencies has spar- tured canvases using the open space method- ked a much-needed public dialogue on citizen ology. In order to implement the final phase, participation in urban design and laid the the canvases were given to experts who then foundation for new participatory urban pro- drafted or visualized concrete proposals for jects. Indicatively, the Mayor of Athens Gior- the square. The project was presented in five gos Kaminis publicly announced that “What public events and conferences, and the proj- happend in Varvakeios Square must happen ect’s results were disseminated in the relevant in every neighborhood for every important municipal departments. A final open air event matter of the city.” on the square presented the process and its re- sults to the public, and marked the beginning of In addition to the direct local impact on the new partnerships for the revival of the square. described communities, the project team All of the events were preceded by door-to- foresees procedures on two levels which will door information and engagement campaigns ensure sustainability and the potential for and social media and press releases. scaling up:
23 :: Active involvement of Team Athens mem- other examples of citizens’ participation in Local stakeholders are invited to Citizens’ bers in the official urban regeneration urban planning across Greece; Workshops (left) and plans for Varvakeios Square so that the :: Affecting the official plans for the regenera- discuss market operation knowledge gained can be incorporated tion of Varvakeios Square, capitalizing on regulations using the Open Space method (right). into local policy. the project’s outcomes and satisfying the :: Targeted dissemination of project manuals community’s needs. through presentations and networking with similar teams and projects across Greece. Most Important Lessons :: Community participation is not a given, es- Transferability pecially when citizens feel mistrust towards General Problem municipal urban development practices, A socio-culturally important public square be- and busy work schedules and daily prob- came a dysfunctional urban space marked by lems make participation seem like a luxury. criminality, abandonment and disuse after a An independent young team showing genu- top-down urban planning mistake. Failed mu- ine interest, regular presence on the ground, nicipal promises over the years contributed to adaptation of event times to local schedules community conflicts and discontent. and creative communication campaigns can build trust and empower participation. Success Factors :: A private sector – civil society partnership :: Helping to change procedures and under- cannot yield tangible results without political standing of citizen engagement within the commitment from the public administration. municipality of Athens, providing a good :: Simple citizens in a creative framework can practice example of citizens’ engagement; succeed in adopting a culture of collabora- :: Producing creative material that serves as tion and effect consensus for urban change. a useful toolkit for other similar projects, sparking a multiplier effect and encouraging
24 Aveiro, Portugal VivaCidade – Dress up the City Voids Country Portugal Region Centro (NUTII), Baixo Vouga (NUTIII) For the explanation, see p. 65 City Aveiro Population 78,093 (city) Population Growth 7% Unemployment Rate 9.93 % Youth Unemployment Rate 10.29 % City District Glória e Vera Cruz (Aveiro city center) Type of City Industrial, harbor and university city Engaging the Context :: Economic Growth and Spatial Fragmentation community through Aveiro has a population of about 78,000, and is home to the headquarters of the Baixo place-making by Vouga Region that comprises almost 400,000 inhabitants in eleven municipalities. Aveiro developing temporary is surrounded by salt-flats, beaches and interventions in urban lagoons and the city center is crisscrossed by canals. It is strategically located between voids the two main metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto, makes up one end of the Aveiro- Madrid axis, and is easily accessible due to the railway and road infrastructures. Its port is also significant for regional development. The city’s main industries are ceramics and software development, and it plays an impor- tant role as the R&D center for the former na- tional telecom monopoly. The founding of the University of Aveiro, directly connected with this R&D center, dates from 1973; though young, the university quickly became one of the most dynamic and innovative universi- ties in Portugal.
25 Its growing economy and the founding of age groups living near the first urban void) Filling the void: Work- ing with experts, local the university changed city life significantly. and a group of former and current students residents build street Therefore both the new residents and stu- from the university yielded the result that the furniture for the urban dents, who make up around 20% of the city’s spatial intervention should be less makeshift, void to realize the jointly developed vision for the population, have a weak relation to the city more durable, and of higher quality than ini- new square. and lack a coherent local identity. tially envisioned. For this to happen, a local artists collective, small local shops and local Challenge :: Uniting Different Groups for enterprises joined up. In a ‘pop-up factory’, a Collective Action small temporary workshop, experts assisted The challenge was how to bring students and participants in learning how to build the the local community together and how to various elements for the space, thereby em- transform urban voids into useful spaces. powering them and transferring know-how. In the end, a local plaza was created with Strategy :: Urban Voids as a Focal Point elements of an open living room, outdoor The strategy was to find a common topic and wooden furniture, a community garden, two start working on it. In this case, urban voids walls made out of hanging gardens, a painted in the city center formed a good starting tile mural and an interactive light panel. Be- point. The initial idea was to refer to a local fore the lot became vacant, a tavern had been tradition of facade dressing for festive events. located there. The memory of this space was This temporary intervention was simultane- still embedded in the collective memory of ously low cost and showed immediate results. the inhabitants, who wanted to incorporate this history into the reinvention of the space. Implementation :: Semi-Permanent Spatial Interventions Impact :: Community Empowerment A thorough participation process with both The project has had impact for three main the local community (residents of various groups: firstly, for the local community,
26 During community meet- including neighbors and small local shops; Transferability ings, residents create a secondly, for the students, young professio- General Problem step-by-step vision for de- veloping the void (left and nals from different sectors, and local artists Different population groups have difficulties bottom right) and share collective; and thirdly, for the local munici- engaging with each other and the place that their ideas in an on-site pality. For the last group, the local municipa- they live in due to a lack of contact between public meeting to gather feedback from other resi- lity, it was a process of ‘seeing is believing,’ them and a general lack of local engagement dents (top right). but in the end skepticism gave way to more and participation. This is especially the case confidence in these kinds of processes. for students, who often only live in the city for a limited time (i.e. during their studies). In addition to the direct impact for the Students have the ability to boost the city on described communities, the project team various levels (cultural, economic, social), foresees procedures on three levels to ensure but at the same time, a solid foundation of lo- sustainability and potential scaling up: cal identity is needed. :: Handing over the management and main- tenance of the new place to local communi- Success Factors ties (through a process of local capacity- :: The engagement of local collectives, pri- building); vate companies and a specialized team for :: Compiling a handbook in order to make the the management of workshops; process visible and reproducible; :: The workshops and cultural events or- :: Implementing the process knowledge ganized in the intervention space, which gained into a local policy framework em- attracted a diverse public; powering local communities to directly :: The significance of having a team member engage and positively influence their socio- who works at the City Hall. urban surroundings.
27 Most Important Lessons :: Citizen participation processes take time and patience. :: Face-to-face communication is a crucial factor. :: Media support is important to give credibi- lity and trust/reliability to the local com- munity and local authorities. :: Finding local, interesting and committed personalities to be ‘Project Ambassadors’ is important for advocacy. :: Once you have started the process, you cannot get out, so always keep in mind that Aveiro in action: To improve the void (bottom ‘you cannot control the wind, but you can right), the cube (top left) always adjust the sails.’ and a ‘pop-up factory’ :: If the timing between meetings and actions next to the void (bottom left) invite the community is not right, people get easily frustrated. It to engage with the new is important to manage participants’ hopes square. The opening was and expectations. celebrated in March 2015 (top right). :: The newly-built community is fragile. Local heroes are needed to guarantee continuity, local connectedness and trust in the envi- sioned endeavor.
28 Barcelona, Spain Alice Archive: Childhood, Experience and Public Space Country Spain Region Catalonia For the explanation, see p. 65 City Barcelona Population 3,759,240 (metro area) 1,620,943 (city) Population Growth 0.27 % Unemployment Rate 15.9 % Youth Unemployment Rate 58.8 % City District San Martí Type of City 2nd largest city, indus- trial and cultural hub Creating an interactive Context :: Children’s Opinions are not Considered in Spatial Planning online platform to In Barcelona, there is a relatively good system of planning procedures and measures for promote children’s public space. However, the understanding of the needs and desires of user groups without perspectives about a strong voice is limited when it comes to the public space design of public space. Thus the infrastruc- ture that is put in place for children for ex- ample is limited to a few fenced-in, standard playgrounds which do not promote explora- tion, discovery or creativity. Children are not often considered; they are relatively neglec- ted by academia, the administration and thus excluded from specific proposals made about public space. The fact that the phase of child- hood from 9 to 12 is officially considered to be a transition formed the starting point of this project, which considers children to be unbi- ased and alert urban thinkers and perceivers who can clearly identify and address issues, and whose voice should be heard.
29 Challenge :: How to Harness Children’s The process, strategies and methodologies A class of school children uses ‘performative spac- Perspectives will be entered into an online platform to cre- ing’ to take a measure- How to collect and share children’s perspec- ate a virtual community where children (and ment of the perimeter of tives about their city and public spaces and their educational communities and families) a fenced-in void near their school. make this information available for urban can share their ideas with professionals from discourses and decision-making? urbanism, politics and the creative sectors. Strategy :: Innovative Physical Methodologies Implementation :: Workshops with Children This project intended to detect both how and Collaboration with Artists children experience and live in public space In the implementation phase, the process was and which ‘problems and demands’ exist in started at the La Llacuna del Poblenou School relation to the coexistence of children and in the district of Sant Martí in Barcelona. The the local population in public space. Then, work took place with three groups of children through a series of workshops at different over a period of 16 weeks. There were three schools with children aged 9 to 12, important phases of workshops which were built into topics are identified and discussed, including the official curriculum; each phase took place the difference between use and appropria- three times per week for three hours during tion, urban voids, conditions and structures the daytime. In the first phase, in addition to that are necessary for play to be possible, and listening to the children’s perspectives, sever- the meaning of coexistence. In the next steps, al methods were employed to actively engage artists and designers developed interventions the children. Team Barcelona created a large and objects with the children, in order to en- map of the neighborhood showing significant able them to directly experience and experi- sites for the children. The neighborhood was ment with the identified topics. explored with the children, who explored the space with their five senses, conducted inter- views, took photos, and made audio recor-
30 Workshops encourage dings. The children also experienced the threefold: Firstly, the workshops made the children at the La Llacuna space bodily through Performative Spacing, children more aware and observant about del Poblenou school to become more aware of thereby gaining a new insight into the size their socio-urban context, and identified their their immediate living and feel of the place. Lastly, Team Barcelona desires and necessities. The children were environment (left and top generated a visible strategy to demand access also empowered; the workshops helped give right) and appropriate urban space with nomadic to urban voids, including a letter to the mayor them the feeling that they can interact with objects (bottom right). of the district, a petition, and an intervention and act on developments in their city. in the urban void, marking it with red balloons. Secondly, the school learned that it could be In the second stage, designers from the Berlin- an active part of negotiations concerning the based architect collective Raumlabor used the urban space in its vicinity. concepts of play and communication to de- velop nomadic objects located in public space. Thirdly, the local municipality’s education department learned that children can have The website www.arxiualicia.com formed a demands that do not fit the usual patterns of preliminary virtual space during the project. participation. In the end, the project ended In the next months, an ‘official’ platform for up being an enriching experience, and might the Alice Archive will be launched. There inspire concrete urban development projects. people will be able to see what the children have investigated and the places, situations, In addition to the direct local impact on ideas and strategies that they propose. the described communities and actors, the project team foresees procedures on three Impact :: Raising Children’s Awareness levels which will ensure sustainability and the of Space, and Policymakers Awareness of potential for scaling up: Children’s Perspectives :: Handing over the lessons to the school as a The impact of the project so far has been pedagogical tool, creating an educational
31 guide (through a process of local capacity ment the experience in other contexts and Equipped with maps, icons, and photo cameras, building with both school children and realities; children explore and re- teachers); :: Building a virtual community where chil- flect upon their district. :: Documentation (brochures, Alice Archive dren and their educational communities, but web site, media reports); also experts, people from the creative sector, :: Implementing the process knowledge and political makers can take part. gained in this project into a local policy framework (workshops with experts and Most Important Lessons policy makers, generating a manual for edu- :: Understanding that, to start a project with cation on public space and sensible urban- children and public space issues, it is im- ism interventions). portant to have a realistic strategy to draw attention to the different actors involved: Transferability the administration, the private sector and General Problem the public; Those who control the design of the public :: Coordinating a complex team and having spaces that children use every day do not the ability to generate a discourse that suits perceive children as active stakeholders in the each member of the team; urban environment. :: Generating resources and methodologies to work with creativity in urban contexts by Success Factors introducing performative situations, using :: Finding the right partner (start with one randomness, and engaging in active reflec- school, expand to other schools and con- tion through the work of different artists; texts, ideally in other cities, to continue with :: Using visual impact to generate attention for the project); a space; :: Stabilizing the team, finding resources; :: Learning to appreciate children’s know- :: Generating pedagogical resources to imple- ledge about their environment.
32 Berlin, Germany Moabiter Mix Country Germany Region Berlin For the explanation, see p. 65 City Berlin Population 4,386,551 (metro area) 3,562,166 (city) Population Growth 1.2 % Unemployment Rate 11.1 % Youth Unemployment Rate 11.13 % City District Moabit Type of City Capital city Reinventing cultural Context :: Post-Industrial Transitions Like the most of Berlin, Moabit is a district formats to empower undergoing increased urban transforma- tions. These transformations put economic and involve residents pressure on local population groups. The district’s population of around 75,000 inhabi- in the appropriation tants is socio-economically diverse, includ- and creation of their ing prominent Turkish and Arab communi- ties. Gentrification is increasingly becoming neighborhood an issue, or has already taken place. For that reason, the Quartiersmanagement (district management) has been politically imple- mented to strengthen social cohesion in this heterogeneous neighborhood. In 2012, the “Center for Arts and Urbanis- tics” (ZK/U) opened on the premises of a former goods depot. The center is sur- rounded by a small, newly built public park. The compound is both part of a larger urban redevelopment plan for former railway sites and designated open-space compensation for high density development, as stipulated by German planning regulations. The park,
33 which is squeezed in between new commer- Implementation :: Berlin Favorites: Football The ZK/U, a former goods depot, is now a venue cial warehouses, a noise protection wall and and Flea Markets for arts and urbanistics. a fence with gates, is situated at the fringes of The team benefitted from the popularity of It is surrounded by a the neighborhood. Due to its recent comple- the Football World Cup in Brazil as a low- public park, and major city infrastructure bypasses tion and slightly remote location, it is not yet threshold occasion to motivate people to the area. on the mental map of the local population. come to free public events at the ZK/U and discover the place as space for community- Challenge :: Integration/Interaction for the based activities. Public viewing was given a Benefit of the Neighborhood new twist: the matches were shown on vari- The challenge is to connect the new park and ous small ‘old school’ TV sets, with the com- cultural institution ZK/U to the local commu- mentator’s language differing from screen nity, in order to make the complex a meeting to screen. Mini public-viewing clusters in place for mutual exchange and to encourage Turkish, Arabic, German and other langua- collective activities for diverse communities. ges were scattered through the complex. The program was enhanced by short documen- Strategy :: Giving Well-Known Formats a New taries, gastronomic experiments, parallel Twist screening of Brazilian citizens voicing their In order to establish the park and the ZK/U concerns and public discussions about event- on the mental map of the local residents, driven urban development with planners, Team Berlin focused on attracting local citi- activists and citizens. zens through the reprogramming of known cultural formats. These included public Flea markets are another Berlin favorite. viewing during the Football World Cup 2014 Again, they were implemented with a twist: and a format known as the Gütermarkt (engl.: during four flea markets in and outside of goods market) that combines a flea market the ZK/U, the usual buying and selling of with a repair café. household goods was combined with local
34 Fußballaballa: Public craftsmanship. Local craftsmen and -women The impact of the project so far can be viewing of the World Cup offered their services to repair and enhance regarded on different scales. In a broad in different languages (left and top right), comple- used and sometimes broken items. Tailors, sense, a general awareness of the park and mented by screenings of carpenters, bike mechanics and others there- the cultural center has been established. live protests in Brazil (bot- by promoted the idea of recycling, upcycling, More specifically, the community developed tom right). or simply repairing instead of wasting. Next a greater understanding about alternative to those ‘tandems,’ artists in residence at the approaches toward urban challenges and ZK/U offered more unusual repair services started to understand that the park and cen- such as tailoring for transforming national ter are a place for gathering, exchange and flags into transnational costumes. Addition- citizens’ activities. ally, an alternative local currency has been established in order to support non-mone- In addition to the direct local impact on the tary exchange of services and goods. described communities, the project team foresees procedures on three levels which Impact :: Increasing Awareness on Multiple will ensure sustainability and the potential Levels for scaling up: The football activities put the park and the :: Increasingly handing over management ZK/U onto the mental map of local citizens, and maintenance tasks of the park to local who had previously not been aware of the communities (through a process of local possibilities of engaging or simply enjoying identity-building); the compound. Team Berlin’s project created a :: Compiling various handbooks/manuals greater understanding between the Quartiers- for all aspects of organizing a community- management and the ZK/U, which had previ- driven market, in order to make these ously stood in a fixed relation of grant giver processes visible and reproducible, and to and grant receiver. The joint effort enabled assure knowledge transfer; them to understand each other’s needs. :: Prototyping and implementing these ac-
35 tivities into a local policy framework, thus ous cultural backgrounds, unless you want Gütermarkt: Local crafts- men repair and tailor se- empowering local communities to directly to talk only to a certain group of citizens. cond-hand clothes bought engage and positively influence their socio- at the same flea market spatial surrounding. Most Important Lessons (top left), costumes made from upcycled national :: If a community has not been involved in flags from the World Cup Transferability creating and building a space, it is going (bottom left), and offer General Problem to be very difficult to activate them after- bike repairs at the market (right). Urban planning processes are still not sub- wards. ject to fundamental citizen involvement. New :: You can’t make everyone happy, but you parks, new public spaces and new institu- can create spaces that allow everyone to tions pop up to the surprise of citizens, who enter. do not know how to enter, use and shape :: Don’t underestimate the knowledge of the these new places according to their needs. people on the social margin. Many unem- How can these places become locally accep- ployed persons possess valuable skills, and ted and actively used by citizens? only require an outlet in which to let their talents shine. Success Factors :: Diversity is a precondition for real ‘urban :: Build trust with the local community culture.’ Maintaining diversity is a great through long-standing, regular face-to- challenge and always has opponents. face meetings; :: Cross-sectoral collaboration depends on :: Offer low-threshold activities with a twist the personalities and attitudes of the actors so people don’t feel intimidated by econo- involved. mic or social hurdles but are still chal- :: Alibi-participation has to be replaced by lenged and surprised; the transparent communication of plan- :: Clear and simple communication: find for- ning processes from the start. mats that are appealing to citizens of vari-
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