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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Strengthening local cultural scenes: The Local Operators’ Platform

Local Operators’ Platform (LOCOP) is an independent initiative and research lab specialised in cultural research. LOCOP’s aim is to critically assess cultural policies and transnational funding programmes according to their real-life effects for local cultural operators and sustainability. It offers in-depth experience in practical cultural management both in independent and institutional frameworks, as well as […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 #7: Labour

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 IN QUARANTINE #4: Community centres

Probably all community centres in Europe have a lot in common regarding the way they work during this challenging and totally new situation. Community venues, normally serving as spaces for encounters and exchange between individuals and organisations, now cannot accommodate any activities and had to close their doors. Nevertheless, communities organised around these venues need […]

Co-Hab Athens: changing the ownership paradigm in Athens

Co-Hab Athens is a research project which aims to elaborate long-term models of collective housing ownership, claiming the quality of housing as a right. Active since January 2016, it aspires to act as an exchange platform for urban researchers and activists on the issue of collective ownership, to propose new policies and to promote the […]

Exploring FRIEDA 23: a media and arts space in the city centre of Rostock

FRIEDA 23 is a venue for art and media production. Located in Rostock, Northern Germany, it was opened as a result of the cooperation of various institutes in the city – Kunstschule Rostock, the Institute For New Media, the Lichtspieltheater Wundervoll, the Lokalradio LOHRO, and other organisations who wanted to work in a shared space. […]

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 […]

Polis Athens: citizen-led urban regeneration through pop-up activities

Polis is a platform developed by Martha Giannakopoulou and her studio, If- untitled, to  enhances collaboration between architects and the Municipality of Athens. It aims to support civic engagement into urban regeneration by promoting community-led interventions and temporary use of space in vacant buildings. An important part of its work is to evaluate urban vacancy, […]

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 […]

Fusolab Roma: Regenerating the periphery through education

Fusolab is a non-profit community hub in Rome’s Eastern periphery, offering educational activities within the arts, communication, technology, new media, sports and a variety of other fields. With a strong focus on the neighbouring Alessandrino and Torre Maura districts, among the most disadvantaged areas of the Italian capital, Fusolab works closely with local communities, connecting […]

Variante Bunker: temporary use of a land in between vacancy and master-planning in Torino

The Bunker is a cultural project launched by The Cultural Association URBE – Urban Regeneration and the Torino Quittengo Srl, owner of the area. Bunker is located near the Vanchiglia Railway Station, decommissioned since the 1980s and to be subject to urban transformation in the coming years.  The association Variante Bunker temporary manages the area […]

A Város Mindenkié: resisting homelessness and housing crisis in Hungary

A Város Mindenkié, in English The City is for All, was established in 2009 to advocate for housing rights in Hungary. Homeless people, those experiencing housing poverty and their allies, work together to overcome homelessness in Hungary by campaigning for social housing policies and for a homeless care system and by fighting against the discrimination […]

Urban redevelopment at the neighbourhood scale: the case of Bagni Pubblici di via Agliè 9 in Torino

Bagni Pubblici di via Agliè 9 is a community space where more than 15 organizations, associations, traders, schools and institutions, work to improve the quality of life of their district and to encourage relations between neighbors. In this interview, Erika Mattarella presents the projects and its importance in the neighborhood of Barriera di Milano.   […]

Fragnebenan – empowering neighbourhood life with a local social network.

By working at a small scale, a digital platform helps neighbourhoods to strengthen social cohesion at many different levels: promoting local businesses, cooperation between neighbours and thus enhancing citizen participation. FragNebenan represents a smart way of using social networks to form a better social life within our cities both on- and offline. “To keep neighbourhoods […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Plateau Urbain – Temporary use for new ecosystems of work

Plateau Urbain is a temporary use organisation in Paris. Established in 2013, it examines the possibilities of vacant spaces in the city, bringing together property owners with a diversity of tenants. Together with the temporary housing organisation Aurore and the architecture collective Yes We Camp, Plateau Urban was a key actor in reactivating a former […]

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 […]

Laituri Helsinki – An urban laboratory to make strategies alive

Laituri is an urban information centre in Helsinki established in 2008. Attached to the Helsinki Municipality’s city planning department, Laituri helps disseminating information about the city’s development plans and new projects through exhibitions and presentations. Instead of being a one-directional communication channel, Laituri also acts as an interface for feedbacks from citizens: with the help […]

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 […]

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 […]

Spacehive – Crowdfunding for local projects

Spacehive is a civic crowdfunding platform based in London. The platform, established in 2012, supports projects aimed at improving local civic and community spaces. Besides collecting donations from individuals, Spacehive also connects initiatives with funding sources including city councils, companies and grant-makers. Furthermore, the organisation and its partners help people with project ideas to build […]

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 […]

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 […]

Goteo – Crowdsourcing for open communities

Goteo is a platform for civic crowdfunding founded by Platoniq, a Catalan association of culture producers and software developers. Goteo helps citizen initiatives as well as social, cultural and technological projects that produce open source results and community benefits, with crowdfunding and crowdsourcing resources. Since its launch in 2011, Goteo’s crowdfunding campaigns have mobilised more […]

Tartu’s new masterplan – A platform for ideas by citizens

“The trick is how to translate the masterplan to something that people can understand” The Estonian city of Tartu has recently created a new masterplan. For the Tartu Municipality, an administration with a strong focus on citizen participation and a long-term engagement with the digital transition, this was an occasion to call for proposals and […]

Stiftung Trias – Taking properties out of the speculation market

Stiftung trias was established in 2002, to help community groups and co-housing projects access financing. Trias takes land off the market by separating the ownership of land and buildings: supported initiatives lease the land from the foundation in the form of a long-term Heritable Building Right (Erbbaurecht) and their lease fee is collected in a mutual […]

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 […]

Officine Zero – experimenting new ways of co-working

Officine Zero (OZ) was born in 2012 following the failure of the RSI corporation (ex Wagon-lits). The re-appropriation of the corporation’s facilities by the workers, with a vast support of the social network, has fuelled a process of revaluation of the space, based on a collaborative economic system. Officine Zero is made up of diverse […]

We defend markets – citizens’ initiative to protect the public good

Anna Maria Bianchi is the president of the association “carteinregola”, an initiative aimed at promoting collaboration between citizens and committees as well as other associations in Rome. Among the activities offered by “carteinregola”, Anna Maria is in charge of the initiative “We defend neighbourhood markets”, which she will present in this interview. She not only highlights […]

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 […]

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 […]