Virtual workshop on “Co-design for new forms of urban living"


In the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities, the Architects’ Council of Europe, the Federal Chamber of German Architects’ (Bundesarchitektenkammer - BAK), the European Council of Town Planners (ECTP) and the Institute for Spatial Policies (IPoP) held a joint virtual workshop on Wednesday 14 October 2020 from 4.30pm to 6pm (CET). Watch the video of the session.

Urbanisation, climate change and the housing crisis require new forms of habitat and urban space to be designed.  Quality projects can only emerge from interdisciplinary discourse, innovative funding schemes as well as the active participation of informed citizens. By putting people at the heart of the design process, citizens are empowered to participate in the creation and regeneration of the urban fabric.  They help decision-makers to understand communities' needs and thus to achieve socially and economically sustainable projects.

The session aimed to discuss challenges inherent to participatory approaches, through the presentation of concrete projects, but also good practice examples of how civil society can organise itself to influence the design of the built environment. With a special focus on small and medium cities. Ultimately, the workshop aimed to consider a possible methodology for effective participatory design processes.


- Mohamed RIDOUANI, Mayor of Leuven, Belgium
Read the presentation.

- Anna CHIAMBRETTO, Chargée de projets immobiliers, Community Land Trust Brussels, Belgium
 Read the presentation

- Sophia DE SOUSA, Chief Executive, The Glass-House Community Led Design, United Kingdom
Read the presentation

- Marta JASKULSKA, Director, Kongres Ruchów Miejskich / Congress of Urban Movements, Poland 
Read the presentation

Moderation by Eugen PANESCU, Member of the ACE Executive Board


"Sharing land is also building community. We involve future homeowners early on in the development of their housing projects. Together with neighbourhood organizations and local citizen initiatives we open up the project to the neighbourhood by integrating public facilities such a community garden, community centre, day-care facility, sports field, cooperative supermarket, and so on. The housing project becomes a micro-community to also address and experiment with (new forms of) urban mobility, ecology, circular economy, intergenerational or other needs for care. By participating since de development phases of the project, the inhabitants become the “real” holder of the project. The project is appropriable and appropriate = “something to be proud of”. Our projects are “sustainable” because there’re understood." Anna CHIAMBRETTO

"Empowering citizens to play an active role in the design of their cities requires: creating opportunities for citizens to engage with the language of design and placemaking and to play an active role in decision-making; building capacity among design and placemaking practitioners to effectively engage with citizens; and a multi-faceted, inclusive and accountable approach to design engagement. Sophia DE SOUSA

"It’s crucial to start with social change, with defining our common goals and values. We have enough tools, we have to agree why we are using them." Marta JASKULSKA

About #EURegionsWeek 

The European Week of Regions and Cities is an annual four-day event during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement EU cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance.  This year, the EURegionsWeek - under the motto “Restart. Europe. Together” - will spread over three consecutive weeks in October, each one dedicated to one topic: Empowering Citizens, Cohesion and Cooperation, Green Europe, in cooperation with the Green Week.

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