Coordinator: EPCC Cité du design – Ecolesupérieured’Art et de design (FR)
Partners: Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (SI), Pro Materia, Brussels (BE), Politecnico di Milano, Milan (IT), Aalto-Korkeakoulusaatio (FI), Association Design Week (RS), Clear Village Charitable Trust (UK), Estonian Association of Designers (EE), FH JOANNEUM Gesellschaft mbH. (AT), Istanbul Kültür Sanat Vakfı (TR), Zamek Cieszyn (PL)
The focus of the project is on analysing, testing and implementing the process of engaging people in jointly creating urban public spaces in contemporary cities and challenging the scale and “flow space” of cities in Europe today. People are the key to designing new public spaces in a network society. The goal is to go beyond planned projects implemented in cities to study and understand the strength of unplanned activities and ideas in public spaces. Project activities are built from one or more Human Cities shared values: empathy, wellbeing, sustainability, intimacy, conviviality, mobility, accessibility, aesthetics, leisure, imagination, sensoriality, respect and solidarity. By rejecting compartmentalised disciplines, this European project partnership brings together designers, architects, urban planners, sociologists, art historians, bloggers, philosophers and artists all involved at one point in the evolution of public spaces. Through applied research and shared creation, the Human Cities network appears as a continuous human-driven cultural project addressing the position and status of people in relation to their cities and ever-changing flow space(s).
Some field studies will be carried out in the initial stages of the project to discover and create a review of participatory design initiatives in public space in partner countries. Next, an experimentation programme will be held. This implies all sorts of activities such as campaigns, projects and programmes to support joint work on existing initiatives or to create new ones in order to test new methodologies in the process of creating urban public space. The outcomes will be evaluated by collecting users’ experiences. The results will be integrated into a travelling exhibition and presented to the general public through several exhibitions held during major design events in the partner cities. In Ljubljana, this travelling exhibition will be held in May 2017 and related to some other activities in the city (e.g., BIO/Design Week 2017). As a part of the exhibitions, some educational tools for children and schools will also be created. A research publication will be published at the end, addressing the professional community and the general public. Between 2016 and 2018, education and training sessions will be jointly organized by partner cities at five design centres. The aim of these masterclasses for professionals is to challenge the city dimension in jointly creating contemporary public spaces and creating new response scenarios to ongoing processes in contemporary societies to improve the quality of life in cities today.
Project duration: 1 October 2014–30 September 2018