Actors of Urban Change – Academy Meeting

From the 16th until the 19th of February Co-Lateral hosted the 3rd Academy Meeting of the Actors of Urban Change program. Nine teams from all over Europe and beyond – Hello to our Siberian friends! – gathered in Porto and Aveiro to work, exchange and learn from each other.

Actors of Urban Change – a program promoted by the Robert Bosch Stiftung in cooperation with MitOst e.V. aims to achieve sustainable and participatory urban development through cultural activities – brings together actors from the public, private and cultural sector to implement innovative local projects. This cross-sectoral constellation receives support over the course of 18 months not only for the project itself but to strengthen the collaboration between sectors, to obtain professional qualification and to increase networking opportunities.

In this Academy meeting two main topics were approached: Urban DIY/DIT and, the most important question of all, “How to make the teams’ initiatives more durable and sustainable in terms of organization and finances?”. As there is no right answer to this (monster) question, all teams worked together with experts like Nuno Frazão from Positive Benefits and Andreas Knoth from Socius with different methods and techniques to help participants to further develop their projects.

To bring the discussion to the public the URBAN CHANGE TALK was held at Ordem dos Arquitectos SRN. The panelists Paula Marques (Deputy Mayor of Lisbon), João Pedro Rosa (VivaCidade), Anke Strauß (organizational researcher) and Samuel Kalika (Critical Concrete) were invited to discuss how to balance the impacts of top-down and bottom-up initiatives in order to arrive at a sustainable do-it-together practice in the city. The Actors of Urban Change exhibition was also officially inaugurated and will be in display until March 11 at Ordem dos Arquitectos SRN.

In the frame of this event was published the newspaper with articles from Anke Strauss (Urban Do–it–Yourself Together: Let’s Talk Politics ) and Carsten Janke (Breathing New Life into an Ilha).

To finish the Academy in a different scenario the Actors traveled to Aveiro to visit the project Vivacidade (Actors Alumni) and other initiatives working in the field.

The 2nd generation of the Actors of Urban Change program is coming closer and closer to an end! If you have interesting idea, project, etc. and are anxious to get started, find your partners and stay tuned here! Applications for the 3rd round will start after the Summer 😉

Co-Lateral would like to thank the Actors of Urban Change and all Actors for supporting our project, for coming to Porto and for helping us to spread the word about good and solid initiatives happening all over Europe! Much love and see you in Berlin!

Photos by Panos Georgiou and Martin Schwegmann

Special thanks to The Worst Tours, Berta Granja, Luis Coelho, Quinta Musas da Fontinha for helping with our Field Trip, Casa da Horta and Casa Bô for the catering and Vivacidade for co-hosting the event.

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