About the Project

21st century cities and towns are expanding and developing exponentially with over half the world’s population now living in an urban footprint. Yet despite this growth many towns and cities are failing to provide a high quality of life for the people who occupy them. This includes a range of problems including:

  • Social isolation - older and younger people
  • Over reliance on cars and underinvestment on greener modes of transport
  • Poor air quality
  • Insufficient and poor quality housing
  • Poorly designed neighbourhoods
  • Lack of green spaces, parks and leisure
  • Public health inequalities

A key factor underpinning these negative indicators of urban life is that citizens are disengaged from civic processes that steer the development of their towns and cities. There is an urgent need for city officials and agencies leading change to take account of the agency of citizens in long term planning of the urban form and in the design and development of short term projects such as creating a new residential development, library, park etc. There is also an imbalance between economic, social and environmental drivers of change.

This project explores collaboratively how in five European countries, each with their own traditions and contexts shaping urban development, how best practice is emerging to empower citizens in urban development practice both at a micro level (within a neighbourhood context) and macro level (transport modalities, industrial and planning policies). In particular it explores the push for creating greater equilibrium between economic, social and environmental drivers for change placing emphasis on the needs of future generations and designing places for and around people.

Finally, it explores how community leaders can help bridge the divide between institutions and development agencies and citizens to enable more sustainable and citizen centric cities.

This project explores how citizens can become more active in shaping the design of the urban form – modes of transport, places of work, retail and living neighbourhoods.

‘Active Citizens Reimagining the Community’ (2020-1-UK01-KA204-079002) has been funded with support from the Erasmus+ programme.