Under the title “Make your vision concrete”, CrAFt Cities Session 1 —30 January 2023— focused on the first development stage for New European Bauhaus-inspired programmes. Within our framework, the vision outlines a city’s long-term objectives and has ideally been co-created and agreed upon with significant stakeholders, especially citizens and local businesses.
Three CrAFt Cities presented their cases :
- Kristin Kverneland, Stavanger, Norway, presented her city’s activities as one of the New European Bauhaus lighthouse cities. For them, connecting with existing projects, finding front-runners in critical sectors in the city to cooperate and inspire others to follow, and using topics that have the potential to include everyone, such as food, have been crucial.
- Aylin Göknur, Izmir, Turkey, shared with us how the municipality succeeded in creating a shared vision for the city by involving key local organisations and NGOs, and dividing the city into sections so different teams could take care of each area. Aylin also stressed the importance of evaluation in this process.
- Jantine Verver, Leeuwarden, Netherlands, brought us the idea that culture can be used as a catalyst for social and policy development. Leeuwarden focused its strategy on cultural tourism to create economic opportunities. Jantine showed us how bottom-up initiatives can be turned into successful initiatives through collaboration with local organisations and involving thousands of volunteers.
After the city presentations, participants were split into seven groups. Each group had the opportunity to delve into the vision development stage, how to make it inclusive, and how artistic and cultural practices can be incorporated.
Numerous ideas were discussed, and the groups seemed to have similar views on a few topics:
- Cities usually work with visions and strategies. However, these visions and strategies are often per department and, generally, need more alignment. Cities therefore seek to strengthen alignment across these strategies, and to include the inclusiveness, aesthetic and local collaboration promoted by the New European Bauhaus.
- Facilitating meaningful public participation is one of the most common concerns among cities.
- Some common pathways to inclusiveness and diversity are involving diverse stakeholders, activating local organisations to co-lead the community involvement process, using food to promote participatory dialogue among citizens, integrating artistic co-creation practices, etc.
- The cultural and creative sectors are seen as crucial partners for their capacity to engage and move people through participatory practices.
As a final tip for inspiration, the City of Espoo, Finland, shared a collection of co-creation tools used in different urban areas. Check it out!