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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Spazio 13 – School revitalisation for social inclusion

Rossella Ferorelli introduces us to Spazio13: a real connector in the city of Bari, a container of innovation open to everybody, a space where everyone can become the protagonist of a change. Spazio 13 is Bari’s good practice for Com.unity.lab network.

Cozinha Popular da Mouraria – A Social Kitchen for neighbourhood inclusion

Adriana Freire is the founder of Cozinha Popular da Mouraria, a community kitchen started-up as a BIP/ZIP project. In this video she explains how a BIP/ZIP project starts and what is the impact of such a project on the local level.

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 […]

Neighbourhood Mothers – from the target group to actor

Neighbourhood Mothers (Naapuriäiti in Finnish) is a social inclusion programme that is reaching out to women who moved to Finland and encouraging them to become active in society. Project is empowering women through strengthening otherwise often unrecognised skills, enabling women to get peer support, providing them with tools to organise activities in their own neighbourhoods, […]

Confiscated spaces as a common resource

Confiscation is an asset security measure consisting in the expropriation, in favour of the State, of something which has been used to commit an offence or which constitutes its profit; or even of something dangerous, objectively or subjectively. This measure is a legislative tool for the Italian State to fight the power of the Mafia, […]

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 | | […]

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, […]

Färgfabriken: From producing paint to producing culture

Färgfabriken is a platform and exhibition venue for contemporary cultural expressions, with an emphasis on art, architecture and urban planning established in an industrial building built in 1889. The building previously accommodated a paint factory, from which it also borrowed its name. Since its creation, Färgfabriken has not only become a key cultural institution in Stockholm, but has also pioneered a model of building inclusive, participatory processes through art and dialogue. Färgfabriken has a great impact on the development of the surrounding area and on the inclusion of a great variety of stakeholders in decision-making processes.

Co-Housing students and homeless people – VinziRast in Vienna

A four-storey historical building in the heart of Vienna that houses bicycle, woodworking and sewing workshops, a restaurant serving international cuisine and a café hosting events sounds like a hipster tourist trap. In reality, though, it is a social initiative by VinziRast, an ambitious volunteer-based organisation, that aims to give a second chance at life […]

Cooperative City in Quarantine: Connecting local initiatives during the COVID-19 crisis

Realising the need to create international dialogue on handling the COVID-19 crisis at the local level, Eutropian launched a weekly webinar to connect activists and experts from all parts of Europe with a broader audience. On a Sunday evening in early March, I received a few text messages. It was 8 March, and I was […]


Planning post-COVID-19 cooperative cities Building on existing efforts towards social economy We advocate for existing knowledge, policy recommendations and financial resources to be geared towards the strengthening of social and solidarity economy practices* throughout Europe. We believe that this is the way forward to not leave anyone behind. At the present time EU Member States […]

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 #9: Refugees

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the vulnerability of many disadvantaged social groups. Among these groups, refugees and asylum-seekers are particularly at risk, with limited visibility and restricted access to public services. Since 2015, Athens has become a main hub on the refugee route, facing the challenges of addressing the needs of tens of thousands of […]


Given the current situation, more than 200 million people could become unemployed as a result of this crisis. Not everyone can work home, and disadvantaged categories such as riders, sex workers, and harvest workers are risking even more.  It is undeniable that we will be facing a huge employment crisis, much bigger than the 2008-09 […]

Cooperative City webinars

#2 Placemaking at the street-level We discuss how tactical urbanism, notably street-level experiments can lead to systemic sustainable transition at the city-level. Watch video #1 Circular Economy The first episode of the webinar series Cooperative Urban Futures discusses cooperation at city level for various stakeholders in building a local ecosystem.  Watch video #6 Gamification How […]

Il Rilancio dei Mercati: spazio pubblico, servizi comunitari ed economia circolare

I mercati rionali sono spazi pubblici per eccellenza: luoghi di incontro, punti di scambio ma anche centri di aggregazione. Oggi sono però spazi in grande sofferenza, con pochi operatori attivi, forte competizione da parte della grande distribuzione e sempre meno abitanti che entrano per socializzare e comprare i beni di prima necessità. Che forma possa prendere il futuro dei mercati non è però una cosa semplice da immaginare e il tema è infatti stato oggetto di vari incontri nel corso degli ultimi anni con un numero crescente di persone. Alcune delle domande emerse vertono sulla possibilità del mercato di riprendere un ruolo centrale all’interno di una politica pubblica alimentare. Possono i mercati diventare degli snodi all’interno di una filiera corta del cibo? Possono i prodotti delle terre pubbliche gestite da cooperative di giovani agricoltori trovare un canale di vendita preferenziale nei mercati rionali? Possono i Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale (GAS) avere uno spazio di smistamento negli stalli mercatali? Può il mercato integrare servizi di consegna a domicilio o di acquisto online? Possono i rifiuti organici essere raccolti nei mercati e portati nelle aziende agricole per diventare compost?



Progettare città cooperative post-COVID-19.  Mettendo a valore gli sforzi compiuti nell’Economia Sociale               Vogliamo che in tutta Europa le conoscenze attuali, le raccomandazioni politiche e le risorse finanziarie siano volte al rafforzamento delle pratiche di economia sociale e solidale*. Questa è per noi la via da percorrere per non […]

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 #12: CENTRI DI COMUNITA’ – IT

Fin dalla crisi economica del 2008, le città europee si sono trovate ad affrontare una vera e propria rivoluzione dei processi di sviluppo a guida comunitaria. I “citymakers” e i “Re:Kreators” – cittadini interessati e in possesso delle competenze necessarie per intervenire su determinati spazi – hanno colto le opportunità dell’ultimo periodo di crisi e […]

Coopearative City in Quarantine #10: MOBILITA’ – IT

La crisi Covid sta cambiando la nostra vita, e la mobilità è certamente fra i temi più caldi – nonché una delle sfide più importanti del cosiddetto “ritorno alla normalità”. Ora che stiamo lentamente uscendo dalla quarantena, la grande sfida è legata al modo in cui ci muoviamo nelle nostre città e a come farlo […]

Cooperative City in Quarantine #9: RIFUGIATI – IT

La crisi dovuta al Covid-19 ha fatto venire alla luce in modo ancora più evidente la condizione di vulnerabilità di molti gruppi sociali svantaggiati. Fra quelli particolarmente a rischio ci sono i rifugiati e i richiedenti asilo, che hanno poca visibilità rispetto ai loro bisogni e un accesso limitato ai servizi pubblici. Dal 2015 Atene […]

Cooperative City in Quarantine #8: EDUCAZIONE – IT

Qual è il ruolo dell’e-learning nell’istruzione e nell’educazione, e quali sfide ed opportunità ci troviamo ad affrontare a seguito del rapido cambiamento delle infrastrutture digitali in corso? Quella del divario digitale è una questione fondamentale, interessa vari campi dell’esistenza e influenza, naturalmente, anche l’educazione. Ha un impatto significativo nello sviluppo della personalità dei giovani studenti, […]

Cooperative City in Quarantine #7: LAVORO – IT

Alla crisi Covid-19 potrebbero seguire ad oggi oltre 200 milioni di disoccupati. Non tutte le persone, infatti, sono in condizione di poter lavorare da casa, e alcune categorie socialmente più svantaggiate – come riders, prostitute e lavoratori dei campi – sono oggi maggiormente a rischio di altri. É innegabile che ci troveremo ad affrontare un’enorme crisi […]

Agri-urbanism with social integration in Paris – Ferme du Rail

How can a complicated, abandoned parcel of land in a dense urban tissue gain new life through gardening and housing? Ferme du Rail is an agri-urban space in the 19th district of Paris, addressing the challenges of homelessness, urban agriculture, gardening, social integration and circular economy. Selected within the framework of the project “Réinventer Paris” […]

The Art of Traveling Light: Tourism with a Positive Impact

The extractive nature of mass tourism is made possible by tourist behaviour, missing regulations and lacking alternatives. There has been very little work done to make tourism more responsible, sustainable and enriching for local communities. While there is a growing number of emerging NGOs, cooperatives and social enterprises to channel tourism revenues into socially meaningful […]

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 […]

Welcommon Hostel: sustainable tourism and social-cultural activities for the promotion of social innovation

The Welcommon Hostel is a responsible hostel using tourism revenues to invest in social activities. First converted from a hospital into a refugee shelter, the building located in Exarchia is now run by the social cooperative Anemos Ananeosis (Wind of Change in English), working for the promotion of social innovation, greenovation and circular economy in […]

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 […]

Masia Can Calopa: Cooperative Vineyard Plantation in Catalonia

The cooperative L’Olivera manages agriculture projects with social impact in the countryside outside Barcelona. Last autumn we visited Masia Can Calopa, where L’Olivera has cultivated a vineyard plantation and which produces Catalonian employing youngsters with mental disabilities, who live and work at Masia Can Calopa de Dalt. How did the project L’Olivera started? The project […]

Ecomuseo Casilino: an open-air museum in the Eastern periphery of Rome

Ecomuseo Casilino is a museum that operates beyond the standard walls of a museum. The Associazione Culturale Ecomuseo Casilino Ad Duas Lauros is committed to collect cultural resources, based on what local communities consider as such. Besides all the historical, archaeological and artistic heritage, the association also explores objects of cultural value that local residents […]

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 […]

Città e Lavoro

PER UN TERRITORIO CHE LAVORA Attrarre risorse per attivare il territorio Le politiche di sviluppo territoriale dal 1800 in poi in Europa sono state fortemente connotate da una visione di sviluppo espansivo del modello industriale, che ha strutturato la pianificazione delle città e dei territori circostanti. Tutte le infrastrutture sono state a servizio di una […]

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 […]

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 […]

WASTED – How to create local welfare from waste management

Based in Amsterdam since 2008, CITIES Foundation has been working to address global urban development problems by implementing solutions at the local level. CITIES first research project, Farming the City, has evolved into a social enterprise for local food distribution service, Foodlogica. In 2017, CITIES published “The Wasted City,” a book exploring models of circular economy […]

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 […]

PIGS, from crisis to self-organisation

Southern European countries were among the hardest hit by the 2008 economic crisis. In response to the economic pressure, declining public services and drastic unemployment situation generated by the crisis and the corresponding public policies, the Southern regions of the continent became terrains of experiments in self-organisation and gave birth to new forms of the […]

MAR Movilidad – Mobility initiatives for a new economic ecosystem

MAR Movilidad is the mobility hub of the Mares Madrid project, an initiative by the city of Madrid, co-funded by the European Union’s Urban Innovative Actions programme. Bringing together a variety of actors active in the city, from citizen initiatives, startups and social enterprises to cooperative networks and economic development organisations, Mares Madrid (an acronym […]

The Welcome Class – Language learning for social integration

The last decade has seen a significant change in the nature and pattern of migration flows within the EU. As a result one can observe a rapid change in the population structure and interactions between individuals and social groups in cities. Cities of migration are places of inclusion and exclusion. Local authorities need to deal […]

Complementary currencies for a commons-based economy

Responses to the economic crisis of 2007-2008, and ambitions to create autonomous systems of exchange generated hundreds of complementary currencies in the past decade. Created to connect local actors, help local businesses or assure financial transparency, mutual credit systems, convertible local currencies and cryptocurrencies have evolved into mechanisms used not only in socio-economic experiments, but […]

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 […]

Largo Residências – urban regeneration through local jobs

Largo Residências is a hostel, hotel, artist-in-residence and café in Lisbon’s fast-changing Intendente neighbourhood. Largo, run by a cooperative, aims at connecting the area’s past and future: it serves as a community hub for many of the area’s residents and initiatives, and develops projects to support the cultural and social inclusion of the neighbourhood’s precarious […]

Largo Residências – Urban regeneration through local jobs

Largo Residências is a hostel, hotel, artist-in-residence and café in Lisbon’s fast-changing Intendente neighbourhood. It serves as a community hub for many of the area’s residents and initiatives, and develops projects to support the cultural and social inclusion of the neighbourhood’s precarious inhabitants. The establishment of Largo was assisted by the Lisbon Municipality’s BIP/ZIP program in 2011.

Community Capital in Action: New Financial Models for Resilient Cities

In the past decade, with the economic crisis and the transformation of welfare societies, NGOs, community organisations and civic developers – City Makers – established some of the most important services and spaces in formerly vacant buildings, underused areas and neglected neighbourhoods. Consolidating their presence in the regenerated spaces, these initiatives are increasingly looking into […]

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 […]


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 […]

We Make Europe!

This is the report of the discussions held on 29.05.2016 in preparation for the signature of the EU Urban Agenda in Amsterdam. The event aimed at creating a dialogue between Cities and City Makers to enrich the ongoing work of the Urban Agenda Partnerships with experiences “from the ground”. The discussion focused on the ongoing Partnerships on Urban Poverty, Affordable Housing, Refugees and Migrant Inclusion and Air Quality. The expected impact of such events is to create an ongoing dialogue between City Administrations, City Makers, the EU Urban Agenda partnerships and European Institutions in order to guarantee a richer variety of inputs into the policy elaboration. We hope you will enjoy the reading!

The discussion was organised by the European Committee of the Regions, URBACT, Eutropian, Agora Europa and Pakhuis de Zwijger.

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 […]