The promotion of the commons in Naples: from self-organisation to co-governance

The city of Naples (Italy)[1] is an exemplary case study of how a city can co-design legal and sustainable urban commons governance mechanisms and enable city inhabitants and local communities to act collectively in the general interest. In 2011, the City of Naples enabled the activity of a network of local communities in Naples that […]

Cascina Roccafranca – The Public-Civic Governance of Space

Cascina Roccafranca is a multi-functional community centre operating in a building owned by the City of Turin. The centre is managed through a cooperation between public and civic actors: a scheme that offers a valuable governance model while providing a wide range of social and cultural activities.

Roadmap to Digital Urban Governance

Interactive Cities an URBACT network that explored how digital, social media and user generated content can improve today´s urban management in European cities, whatever size. This challenge has been tackled in two ways. Firstly, as an opportunity to redefine and deepen the concept of citizenship and civic engagement today, providing a path to spark cohesion, commonalities and shared value as well as increasing sense of place. In other words, making the most of the new channels to revisit the relationship between the individual and the local community in the digital era. Secondly, as a way to improve the quality of public services, in terms of efficiency and transparency, and even widen the current service chart provided by local authorities.

Digital media for relational urban governance

With today’s European cities hosting most of the continent’s population and urban areas being the stage for many of contemporary conflicts such as social inequality, environmental threats or economic crisis, collective action must be taken immediately. In the past years, there has been a lot of discussions about the potential role of smart technologies in […]

Cascina Roccafranca – The Public-Civic Governance of Space

Cascina Roccafranca is a multi-functional community centre operating in a building owned by the City of Turin. Partly financed by the municipal budget, the centre is managed through a cooperation between public and civic actors: a scheme that offers a valuable governance model while providing a wide range of social and cultural activities.

PlaceCity participatory interventions with students for better school spaces

As part of the European project called PlaceCity, placemaking for sustainable, thriving cities Nabolagshager established a collaboration with H20 High School in Grønland, Oslo to empower and facilitate the students to create inclusive meeting places in Grønland, Oslo’s most diverse district. The area has significant social challenges such as high child poverty rate, high unemployment […]

Public procurement with social impact

Local communities and their local governments have two possible ways to cooperate. One is centred upon the use of public procurement for social purposes. The second is based on new forms of partnerships. The perspective of new types of partnerships that overcome the public-private binary and allow new forms of public-community or public-private-community collaboration is […]

The story of the Lazareti Heritage Complex

In the year 2000, the Art Workshop Lazareti, one of the most significant Croatian organisations in the field of contemporary arts and culture, signed a long-term contract with the City of Dubrovnik. This contract, with a duration of 25 years, allowed the organisation to use three of the ten buildings of the Lazareti heritage complex […]

Kultura Nova: Supporting networks in the field of culture

Kultura Nova is a public foundation promoting civil society organisations in the field of contemporary arts and culture. The foundation was established in 2011, when the Croatian parliament adopted the Law on Kultura Nova Foundation. The idea of this new institution was born among non-governmental associations that work in the fields of arts and culture […]

Citizen Innovation Maps – Visualising relevant communities as a tool to link us with our natural allies

When we undertake any type of project, of whatever nature, it is more necessary than ever to be able to count on natural allies for its development, so that their contribution allows us to give relevance and pertinence to our practice. By Miguel Jaenicke co-creator of [VIC] Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas | www.vicvivero.net | www.civics.cc […]

New Book: The Power of Civic Ecosystems

The Power of Civic Ecosystems: How community spaces and their networks make our cities more cooperative, fair and resilient Public-civic cooperation has never been as important for European cities as today. Fading trust between public administrations and the civic society, rising authoritarianism and deteriorating services all make urban life more burdensome, especially for the most […]

The Power of Civic Ecosystems

The Power of Civic Ecosystems: How community spaces and their networks make our cities more cooperative, fair and resilient Edited by Levente Polyák, Sophie Bod and Luca Sára Bródy (Eutropian – Cooperating for Urban Justice) Design by Jorge Mosquera Suárez Publisher: Cooperative City Books, Vienna, June 2021 Format: Paper size B5, 320 pages ISBN 978-3-9504409-2-8 […]

Gamification and new scenarios for digital participation: tools and methods

Living and working in times of physical distancing and – sometimes forced – digitalisation cannot always be about video meetings via Zoom, Skype or other similar platforms. Or at least, we should not limit ourselves to these kinds of interactions. The Eutropian team, as many other researchers and practitioners in the field of urban studies, […]

Towards a More Social Europe: Inclusion and innovation in three UIA projects

In 2021, Europe is facing a number of challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to surface many structural problems in European societies, from climate change through innovation gaps to geopolitical tensions. Inequality is of key importance among these challenges: the gradual polarisation of European societies has brought us towards political populism, social exclusion and damaged […]

Užupis Republic: A self-governing micronation in the Lithuanian capital

The Republic of Užupis was declared in 1998 in the old town of Vilnius, in a run-down and undesirable district of the capital of Lithuania by a community of artists. With a population of circa 7,000, the micronation is an independent, self-declared republic – unrecognised by other countries. With a population of circa 7,000, the […]

Collaborative housing: innovation in community engagement, social inclusion and participatory design 

Collaborative housing can be conceived as an approach to complement state- or municipality-led public housing schemes with bottom-up, self-organised housing projects. It has been the object of a great diversity of experiments throughout Europe, turning housing into a field of innovation when it comes to community engagement, social inclusion, solidarity economy, ethical finance and participatory […]

Building community and culture in Warsaw’s urban village – Exploring Open Jazdow

Right in the centre of Warsaw, where there once was the summer residence of royals, now lies a one-of-a-kind symbol of resistance, rebirth and civil consciousness, a settlement of Finnish wooden houses that resist the modern processes of urban development. Open Jazdów is a bottom-up community on its way to become a new, atypical neighbourhood. […]

Peter Weiss Haus: a literary centre in Rostock

The Peter Weiss Haus is as a free educational and cultural centre located in an historical building in downtown Rostock.  Through the creation of an original and spontaneous governance structure, supported and bounded by different entities in the city, the Peter Weiss Haus Association has launched a community finance scheme to buy its building and […]

From ACTive NGOs to solidarity networks: civic ecosystems during and after COVID-19

Written by Eutropian Director Levente Polyak for Urbact. The COVID-19 crisis has heavily disrupted the activities of NGO Houses and their civic ecosystems. While the lockdown and rules of social distancing have made most of the activities of these spaces impossible, many NGO Houses moved their activities online and became protagonists in existing or emerging […]

Cooperative City in Quarantine #14: Manifesto – Planning post-Covid cities

During the first weeks of the lockdown we noticed that there was little or no exchange across nations about how to respond to the emerging crisis. This is why we launched Cooperative City in Quarantine, bridging this gap and brought together lots of people from different backgrounds and countries to contribute to the discussion. We […]

Cooperative City in Quarantine #14: Manifesto – PROGETTARE CITTA’ POST-COVID – IT

  Nel corso delle prime settimane di lockdown ci siamo resi conto che fra i paesi colpiti dalla crisi seguita alla diffusione del Covid-19 non è avvenuto, o solo in minima parte, uno scambio di informazioni rispetto alle soluzioni da adottare per rispondere a questa situazione. Abbiamo lanciato Cooperative City in Quarantine per colmare questa […]

Cooperative City in Quarantine #13: INCLUSIONE SOCIALE – IT

Il lockdown ha messo in luce l’entità delle disuguaglianze nelle nostre società, ma altrettanto il ruolo fondamentale svolto dalle comunità e dall’attività cooperativa nel raggiungere gli strati più fragili della società. Quali questioni stanno emergendo e quali sono le soluzioni più adeguate? Per ottenere davvero che nessuno resti in una condizione di esclusione nella nostra […]

The Bip/Zip strategy – empowering local communities in priority districts of Lisbon

Based on the experience developed over the past ten years in Lisbon, the Bip/Zip program is currently at the basis of the URBACT Transfer Network Com.Unity.Lab which aims at sharing the knowledge with other cities across Europe. In this article the different tools of the strategy are outlined.  The Portuguese capital city of Lisbon counts […]

Tackling urban poverty in Bari

The City of Bari joined the Com.Unity.Lab Urbact network to be inspired by the Bip/Zip program to improve its local strategy. In this interview Vitandrea Marzano from the City of Bari explains to us what are the key priorities in the city and how they are developing collaborative strategies to tackle urban poverty.  What is […]

PiediPerTerra Primavalle

Il 28 Aprile 2018 un gruppo variegato di abitanti di Primavalle e di altre aree di Roma si è incontrato per conoscere assieme la storia ed il futuro del quartiere durante un Piedixterra:. Un’esplorazione urbana insieme ai cittadini e ai comitati di quartiere per guardare la città in un modo diverso: osservare i luoghi come […]

There’s more to Digital Democracy than just a tweet

The US presidential election results came as a surprise to many of us especially because we hadn’t encountered any testament of sweeping support towards the current president in any of our communication channels. None of our friends on Facebook seemed to support Trump, so how could he be elected? Recent public discussions have highlighted the […]

How to strengthen the position of cities in the digital domain? Amsterdam’s ecosystem of cooperation

Recent newspaper articles highlighted the controversial position of large ICT companies in terms of taxation, data management, political leverage and spreading of fake news. With Google and Facebook becoming one of the major global players in terms of turnover thanks to our digital actions, their relationship with the public interest is no longer a secondary […]

Cycling for alternative systems – The Cargonomia experiment in Budapest

In Budapest, a group of enthusiastic and passionate young people came together to mix their own ingredients, in the form of independent initiatives: an organic and biodynamic farm, Zsámboki Biokert Spaces; a community-based Do it Yourself (DiY) bike workshop, Cyclonomia Spaces; and a self-organised bike messenger and delivery company, Kantaa, with an intended ‘spill’ of […]

Interactive Cities – A conversation with Daniela Patti

What is the local challenge when implementing digital governance tools?
Daniela Patti, Interactive Cities Network’s Lead Expert, answered to this and other questions to introduce us the work that has been done with the Interactive Cities Network.
Interactive Cities’ final Conference in Genoa 11-13 April. 2018

TERRITORIALISING EUROPEAN DEBATE – Preparing for the 2019 EU elections and the post-2020 funding strategy

While decisions taken in Bruxelles are increasingly recognised as affecting our daily lives, little if any discussion is taking place on what our impact on decisions of the European Commission may be. As a contribution towards the 2019 EU elections and to the post-2020 funding debates, this article wants to highlight some of the messages […]

Caught between the public and the private: urban cooperative solutions in Central Europe

In the early 2000s, some cities in the Central Eastern European region began to introduce new mechanisms for citizen participation in urban development. These attempts have remained mostly sporadic however, and the possibilities of the third sector in shaping the region’s cities have remained very limited. In order to understand the reasons that hinder the […]

Járókelő – A platform for street maintenance

Communication between citizens and local administrations is a key element of well-functioning services. The rise of digital platforms and smartphone applications created new interfaces for communication and have shown the potential of civic tech in triggering structural change in how cities work, from civic engagement, to stronger participation in the accountability of municipalities or major […]

Public policies in support of civic initiatives

Civic initiatives regenerating urban areas emerged all over Europe as an answer to the crisis of traditional urban policies. Often they share a conflicting attitude towards the public sector or aim at extending their independence. In the following chapter, we focus on citizens’ demand for cooperation with public administrations. Firstly, we describe some opportunities for […]

Regulating the Urban Commons – What we can learn from Italian experiences

The international debate on the commons has a long history but only in recent years has it started gearing towards the definition of Urban Commons and what their role is in shaping our society, especially at the wake of the economic crisis. This debate developed strongly in Italy as a result of a referendum refusing […]

Il programma Bip/Zip Lotta alla povertà nei quartieri prioritari di Lisbona

Per ridurre la povertà nei quartieri svantaggiati delle nostre città molto può anche essere fatto anche senza una forte cooperazione del governo nazionale. In questo senso, l’esperienza del Comune di Lisbona è di grande ispirazione grazie al programma Bip/Zip, ormai attivo da quasi dieci anni, che ambisce a ridurre la povertà nei quartieri svantaggiati della […]

Foundations for affordable space – a Swiss case study

While affordable space for housing and community activities in Europe has traditionally been provided by states, public companies and private corporations, the transformation of the welfare state and labour markets in the last quarter of the 20th century has gradually caused the disintegration of these institutions. The financialisation of real estate together with the growing […]

Stad in de Maak – From crisis to a shared ownership model

Stad in de Maak is an association set up to take on the redevelopment of vacant properties in Central Rotterdam, together with the local community. The association renovated six buildings, investing upfront the amount of loss the buildings were projected to generate for their owner, a housing corporation, in the coming 10 years. Stad in […]

Locality – Supporting self-organisation in local communities

Locality is the national network of ambitious and enterprising community organisations, working together so neighbourhoods thrive. They support organisations to work effectively through best practice on community enterprise, community asset ownership, local services contracting and collaboration. In a continually evolving landscape, Locality supports community enterprises to develop their organisational and business models to survive and […]

Regulating crowdfunding – International resources for local communities?

In the past years, civic crowdfunding has become an increasingly used tool by communities to help finance their urban infrastructure projects. However, while some legal contexts encourage experiments around community finance, other national regulations categorically exclude the possibility of peer-to-peer lending or crowdinvesting, thus limiting the impact crowdfunding can have in the built environment. Jan […]

Community Land Trust Bruxelles – Enabling low-income homeownership

The Community Land Trust Bruxelles was created in 2012 as an initiative of residents, activists and neighbourhood organisations. The CLT was founded as a reaction to the emerging housing crisis of Brussels, addressing the insufficiency of public tools to create social housing. With 9 homes finished and many more in the plans, the Community Land […]

Exploring property: Perspectives of ownership

In the last decades, ownership has become a key factor of our societies and economies. As Thomas Piketty demonstrated in his recent book Capital in the Twenty First Century, the late 20th and early 21st centuries witnessed the return of the primacy of wealth over work in economic benefits and ownership has become an increasingly […]

New institutions and cooperative finance in times of austerity

To a large extent, the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 was a result of excessive real estate speculation and the irresponsible management of investments and debts by the mainstream banking system. Already before the current crisis, a variety of new, responsible financial institutions were established according to ethical and sustainable principles in order to counterbalance […]

Coop57 – Financing projects in the social and solidarity economy

Coop57 is a cooperative for ethical financial services with the objective of financing projects in the social and solidarity economy. It was created in Barcelona in 1995 from a compensation fund that former employees of the publishing house Bruguera received when the company went bankrupt. In the following years, the organisation gradually increased its member […]

Lessons from community-led housing for city-makers across Europe

During the past few decades, housing has been at the forefront of community-led initiatives to guarantee the right to an affordable city. As a consequence, housing, in many respects, has been leading the way for experiments with innovative financial and organisation models for community-led urban infrastructure and development projects. Solidarity funds, shared ownership models, organisational […]

Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas – Mapping and co-producing citizen initiatives

Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas is a platform to support citizen projects in Madrid. Initiated by the architecture office Estudio SIC, the platform maps and brings together citizen initiatives that shape the city’s various neighbourhoods, identifying their competences and needs. Based on this mapping process and the related research, Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas teamed up with […]

BIP/ZIP – Promoting partnerships in sensitive urban areas

BIP/ZIP is a pioneering strategy by the Lisbon Municipality’s Body of Housing and Local Development, promoting partnerships in the city’s priority neighbourhoods. Besides establishing local governance structures that facilitate communication and shared decision-making between the public administration and neighbourhood organisations, BIP/ZIP also includes an ignition funding programme for community partnership initiatives with a strong local […]

Banca Etica

We met Massimo Marinacci at the Primavalle market in Rome. Massimo is the membership coordinator in the northern part of Lazio for Banca Etica, a bank that hardly resembles any other financial institution in Italy.  As Massimo passionately explains, Banca Etica’s strength lies in its popular and cooperative nature. Indeed, it is entirely run and […]

Zappata Romana – connecting urban gardening communities

The idea was to seize an abandoned piece of land and recover its utility. Rather than publish an article on this phenomenon, we decided to create a map and upload it online for people to access it freely. This map, called Zappata Romana, is indeed a map that showcases multiple locations where citizen-led urban activities […]

About us

About Cooperative City Magazine The Cooperative City Magazine is a project run by Eutropian, based in Vienna, Austria. The company is working with various European cities and partners in order to improve the urban tissue, involve citizens and defend their rights to the city.  This online magazine is collecting and sharing promising practices from European […]

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Our cities are complex systems: they are not produced exclusively by development agencies, municipal departments or planning institutions. Instead, they are created by a multiplicity of actors, formal and informal, from neighbourhood initiatives and citizen movements to private and public development projects, policy frameworks and international funding schemes. City making is a set of negotiated […]

Topics

Urban regeneration Neighbourhoods, the building blocks of cities, are in constant transformation. Improving the quality of life, relationships and opportunities in a specific area requires an integrated approach to urban regeneration. Our stories explore how building new communities, networks and services can contribute to more liveable and inclusive urban areas. All articles on Urban regeneration […]

Accommodating innovation: temporary use and the access to vacant urban properties in Europe

Temporary use is a learning process of accommodating innovation and adapting needs and capacities to available resources. It offers benefits to owners and users, in terms of security, maintenance, anchor tenants and social vibe on the one side, and affordable rents and spaces on the other. And it can help shaping new forms of cooperation […]

Civic participation and the management of urban green spaces

European cities are still in the wake of the economic crisis. Public administrations are struggling with urban maintenance and the delivery of local services. Driven by community energies, citizen participation and a multi-stakeholder approach, small-scale local development is on the rise. Levente Polyak and Daniela Patti explain what is happening across Europe and how sustainable […]