How to reclaim public space ? How may citizen re-appropriate and seize public space for collective activities and creative interventions?

During the several days of the Human Cities 2012 festival, local and international actors (both cultural and scientific actors) meet and share bottom-up initiatives set up by citizens (individuals, artists, associations, etc.) from across Europe. Through a series of happenings, lectures and active workshops, participants explore ways of reclaiming public space through concrete examples of human-centred initiatives.

SDS took an active part in the festival and proposed a participatory action-walk through the Saint-Boniface neighbourhood to discover an urban exhibition of citizen initiatives from across Europe. What if that abandoned lot was transformed into a community garden? Why not gathering here for an outdoor weekly knitting party? And why not gather there with the neighbours for a big lunch? The action-walk stimulates the participants in both discovering initiatives from the participating European countries and questioning the replicability of such initiatives here, in the neighbourhood? To help in projecting images of what could be set up here or there, participants were invited to use a dedicated toolkit composed of a set of cards showing reclaiming public space initiatives and to take a picture of the place with the card as an “added feature” of the scene. Click! A quick way to manually “photoshop” a street, a place or a store and give a new feature to it. The toolkit enables individual and collective projections.

Partners :
ISACF La Cambre Architecture (BE)
Pro Materia (BE)
Politecnico of Milan (IT)
Cité du Design (F)
Strategic Design Scenarios (BE)

Links :

Human Cities’ toolbox blog