People at Work :8 Labs to Define the Ideal City

Urban management and everyday life in the city space are complex issues: so many are the stakeholders involved, so different the needs and expectations, so peculiar the resources available.

If you had the chance to actively contribute to improve the space you live in, how would you do it? What do you feel is the most urgent need to satisfy, for our cities to become more liveable? URBACT Summer University 2013 is the right occasion to share your ideas!

URBACT involves the participants to its Summer University in a stimulating session of Labs, tackling the most crucial and up-do-date issues of city management. We want your contribution to define a realistic path to improve our ideal city of Allium.

Work in Progress by blumpy, on Flickr
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Eight brilliant lab managers will guide participants through different sessions, during which crucial issues will be examined and ideas will be proposed. Contemporary cities have numerous issues to deal with and URBACT Labs aim at tackling some key ones:

Bela Kezy will lead the Lab on the use of shared public spaces, questioning how to make of the most of the common spaces in town; while Nils Scheffler will investigate which activities can be integrated in mixed city centres, which functions can coexist in close space to have the better synergies.

Involvement of people will be the central focus of different labs, beginning with Willem Van Vinden’s one, which will explore the possible ways to incentive entrepreneurship in contemporary cities.

Another perspective on inclusion will be provided by Robert Arknil in his lab analysing the dynamics of active participation of youth in the city activities.

People as a powerful resource will be the guiding line also in Allison Partridge’s lab on human capital, tackling urgent issues as economic growth and resilience to be reached through involvement and cooperation.

Eddy Adams will share ideas and raise questions on the challenges of contemporary public services, trying to better define what we should expect from the public administration and how could we modernize services, updating them as our cities evolve.

Finally, focusing on the disposable resources and their smartest possible use, two labs will tackle the issues of sustainability and development: Laura Colini will question how to measure and control the environmental impact of city life, towards a low carbon shift, while Sally Kneeshaw will explore the potential of open innovation to make our cities more sustainable, thanks to the efficient cooperation, exchange of ideas and know-how of all stakeholders.

Lego City by avrene, on Flickr
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Developing an ideal city is certainly not an easy tasks. The recipe to improve our daily routines, spaces, habits is quite complex. For sure, the eight Labs proposed by URBACT Summer University will generate a stimulating flow of ideas and insights. Who knows which shape will our ideal city of Allium will eventually have. Bring your own stories, share your point of view, make your experience count!