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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Festival as exploration: Super Festival in Milan

“Super, the festival of peripheries” was started in Milan in 2015 by an interdisciplinary group of professionals. The event was initially conceived to create a more accurate, diverse and complex overview of the city’s outer neighbourhoods by reporting experiences of active citizens and entities, as well as stories about the daily life of those territories. […]

Redefining Post-Coronavirus Travel: Does Barcelona Hold the Key?

By Nikolas Kozloff To the extent that at least some people will be able to travel after the pandemic subsides, and haven’t gone bankrupt, how will tourism change in future? A cursory search on the internet reveals scores of articles delving into such questions. “The crises of 2020,” notes the New York Times, “…have caused […]

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 […]

Busy as bees: A rooftop garden and a dynamic community hub for social integration – BeeOzanam in Turin

BeeOzanam is a community hub whose challenge is to combat cultural poverty and social exclusion, stimulating the growth of a sustainable generation through the co-production of cultural, educational and aggregative activities. Following the deindustrialisation of the city of Turin, several workers’ districts scattered across the city generated many empty spaces that were once factories, workshops […]

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 […]

Manifesto

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 #12: Community Spaces

Since the 2008 economic crisis, cities in Europe have witnessed a veritable revolution in community-led development processes. Prompted by the opportunities offered by the last crisis, many formerly vacant buildings and complexes have been reused by “citymakers” and “Re:Kreators” – concerned citizens with the necessary skills to make use of these spaces. In the last […]

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 #5: Tourism

Tourism is big business: It employs more than 12 million people in Europe, it counts for 3,9% of EU’s GDP, in 2019 global tourist revenues amounted to 9,25 trillion USD, and half of the tourists worldwide visited Europe. Due to the current lockdown, international tourism may drop by 30% in 2020, causing unprecedented damage to […]

MANIFESTO – IT

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 […]

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 […]

Mindspace: A consultancy for urban regeneration in Budapest

Mindspace is a non-profit organization based in Budapest and founded in 2011. It manages cultural urban projects with a focus on smart and livable neighbourhoods and sustainability, using participatory methods and recreational activities. Ádám Kobrizsa, co-founder of Mindspace, talks about the history of the project and its future. How did Mindspace start? We opened Mindspace […]

Deviszont Közösségi Tér: a new community space for teenagers in the periphery of Budapest

Deviszont is a community space located in the suburban area of Budapest. It offers non-formal educational activities and space for the socialization of disadvantaged working class teenagers. Deviszont was recently opened by a group of young professionals following a long process consisting of organisation and fundraising, as well as the refurbishment of a vacant building. […]

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 […]

NORDBAHNHALLE – Promoting mixed-use affordable spaces in Vienna

A former warehouse has become a living lab where the spatial and economical needs of small entrepreneurs are studied in order to promote mixed-use spaces in the future Nordbahnhof district. Working with the private and the public sector, “Mischung: Possible Nordbahnhof” is helping the City of Vienna to enhance a sustainable and affordable urban growth […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ökokauf in Vienna – Procurement for sourcing ecological food

ÖkoKauf (Eco-Purchase) is an initiative of the City of Vienna, part of the Eco-Business Plan of the City, that was started in 1998 to purchase goods and services according to ecological considerations (from laundry detergents and office supplies to construction services). The City of Vienna has around 65.000 public employees and a total cost 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 […]

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 […]

Community Land Trusts – A model to secure community access to land

Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are a model of community-led development, where local organisations develop and manage homes and other assets important to their communities, such as community enterprises, food growing or workspaces. The CLT’s main goal is to ensure that these spaces are affordable, based on the income level of the locals living in the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Rákóczi Collective – Alternatives to individual homeownership

In 2011 a dozen young people retreated for a weekend to one of the suburbs of Hungary’s capital to discuss the alternatives of individual home-ownership, and to sketch the contours of a possible model of co-housing. By Ágnes Gagyi, Csaba Jelinek, Zsuzsanna Pósfai and Márton Szarvas for Autoportret Magazine Images by Community Living initiative

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 […]

MÜSZI – Public functions in private spaces

Művelődési Szint (MÜSZI Art & Community Centre) is a cultural space operating on the 3rd floor of a socialist-style department store. Besides hosting events ranging from concerts to theatre performances and film screenings, Müszi also offers studios for artists, NGOs and start-up companies. Müszi stands as an unprecedented venture in Budapest, a venue that positions […]

Coop57 – Financing projects in the social and solidarity economy

Coop57 is a cooperative 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. Coop57 acts as a financial intermediary: it collects savings from citizens and channels them into social economy initiatives that promote employment, solidarity and sustainability.

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 […]

Carrozzerie n.o.t. – Where the theatrical workspace is ours

Carrozzerie_n.o.t​ is an ex-car repair workshop in Rome that has been transformed into an independent cultural and performing arts centre focusing on theatre and dance. The space accommodates both rehearsals and shows, and organises workshops conceived for teenagers and non-professionals, as well as for professional actors. “Culture needs public support for some activities, but it […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]