Topics

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.

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Cities are home to the largest contrasts in our society, in terms of income, education, access to services and health. Our articles explore how municipalities, social businesses and civil society organisations have been developing a great variety of activities and methods of social inclusion, in order to create more equal opportunities for all citizens.

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In order to develop collaborative and democratic processes, the synergy between different stakeholders and the facilitating role of public administrations are increasingly fundamental. Stories here provide an overview of different organisational models between a variety of actors in implementing inclusive urban development.

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Organising the distribution of resources is a fundamental way to guarantee social inclusion, welfare services and democratic institutions. These articles explore how local communities and citizen initiatives develop new financial mechanisms and economic models to sustain their projects and ensure their durability.

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While global chains have dominated food production and distribution for decades, an increasing number of local communities and institutions have begun developing their short chain distribution networks between cities and their agricultural hinterlands. Locally sourced food systems play a key role in the creation of resilient, healthy and inclusive cities. 

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To counter the extractive nature of mass tourism, a growing number of NGOs, cooperatives and social enterprises have been working on developing tourism services that can channel revenues into socially meaningful initiatives. Our articles bring together these initiatives in order to understand their functioning and the ecosystems that feed them.

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Culture, while bringing together people from the most diverse social backgrounds, age groups or economic conditions, also constitutes the main pillars of our cities’ identities and their attractiveness. Heritage spaces and immaterial customs are important assets in organising communities around shared values and visions of belonging.

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Communities need spaces for social encounters, events or exchange. Such civic spaces – cultural, social, community and educational spaces – are laboratories of new forms of living, working, learning and collective exchange. Our stories present the protagonists behind these spaces and the models and mechanisms they use to build up these indispensable elements of civic infrastructure.

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Aware of local resources and capacities, the contribution of citizen initiatives rooted in their territories to cooperative urban development processes is crucial for environmental resilience and sustainability. Articles here identify innovative approaches to the urban environment, including experiments in energy production, recycling, upcycling and circular economy.

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Housing has been at the forefront of community-led initiatives to guarantee the right to an affordable city. It has been leading the way for experiments with innovative and inclusive urban policies. Our stories portray protagonists of this emerging housing movement, and explore the new financial and organisational models they employ for community-led urban development.

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Public spaces are key elements of sustainable and inclusive cities: they are the scenes where public life unfolds, and where unexpected encounters can take place. The quality, safety and sociability of our public spaces contribute to the vitality of our cities. Our articles survey strategies and experiments in designing, managing and animating public spaces.

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In the past decades, digital tools, platforms and applications have become an important dimension of social life, serving as key channels not only for peer-to-peer communication but also for organising communities. Our articles explore how municipalities, businesses, NGOs and civic initiatives use the digital realm for better collaboration and participation in the public life of cities.

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