The cooperative city magazine was our first and initial venture into researching ad documenting inclusive urban processes; and as such, can be considered to be our flagship product. The magazine has acted as a catalyst in positioning us as a bridge between the initiators and communities of such initiatives, the broader public, and the municipal institutions and instruments that support them. By focusing on the experiences of those who make, transform and enhance our cities, the magazine addresses their relationships, their challenges and their successes in bringing forward more inclusive and resilient cities. It goes without saying that the contributions of numerous professionals from various backgrounds has made the magazine possible. Our experience and direct contact with urban protagonists has has played a crucial role in molding us as experts and consultants that keep the pulse of our cities and connect policy makers and government institutions with the needs and requirements of citizen initiatives.
Cooperative City Magazine publishes the stories of collaborative urban development processes from across the European continent. Run by Eutropian, the magazine researches, collects and shares promising practices from European cities. By focusing on the experiences of those who make, transform and enhance our cities, the magazine addresses their relationships, challenges and successes in contributing towards the creation of more inclusive and resilient cities.
Active in collecting stories of initiatives and grass roots organizations for years, the magazine become an online archive of European best practices.
Through our connections and extensive network, as well as through site visits and interviews with community activists, we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing and observing first hand, the operational structures, finances, models, challenges and success stories of local initiatives and organizations.
Whether it be the cooperative city magazine or other initiatives we’ve launched – connecting with communities across the continent, providing them with tools for development, learning from their experiences, advocating on their behalf and providing them with a platform that amplifies their voices, is at the crux of what we do.
In essence, our cities are complex systems: they’re not exclusively produced by development agencies, municipal departments or planning institutions. Instead, they are created by a multiplicity of actors, formal and informal, from neighborhood initiatives and citizen movements to private and public development projects, policy frameworks and international funding schemes. The Cooperative City magazine highlights this fact through every product it produces.
Cooperative City magazine was our first step into this wonderful and inspiring world of citizen initiatives and the communities they are a part of.
The passion we have for making our communities more inclusive and increasing participatory practices is what drives us, and is what has catapulted cooperative city into a portal that’s followed and read across the continent.
Today, the magazine continues to discover potential stories and report on them-expanding our database of social solidarity movements and initiatives from across Europe, and continuing to shine a spotlight on the hard work they do.
Cooperative City has inspired unique initiatives that promote dialogue and support our need to hear positive, inspiring stories.This was even more pressing during the time of the COVID-19 crisis, when the world felt a universal sense of despair and hopelessness.
Our need and desire to establish a line of communication between various stakeholders and keep the discourse active manifested itself in the creation of the Cooperative City under quarantine series: a weekly live broadcast that aired during the Corona lock-down, aimed specifically in relaying positive stories and inspirational community run initiatives in the face of the COVID challenge.
The series was broadcast on the Cooperative City facebook page, and continued to go live every week throughout the quarantine period: providing a much needed voice to social solidarity movements working on the ground and in local communities. A summary of every episode and access to the videos can be found on the Cooperative City webinars page.
During the first weeks of the lock down, we noticed there was little or no cross-border exchange on how to respond to the emerging crisis. We felt it incumbent upon us to launch a weekly series that could bring lots of people from different backgrounds and countries together to contribute to the discussion. Throughout the 14 weeks and episodes, we focused on a diverse range of topics: food, culture, tourism, mobility, labor, urban commons, education, refugees, public spaces, community venues. Our broadcasts struck a chord with audiences, reaching more than 65,000 viewers.
Based on these two themes we co-developed a Manifesto that advocates Europe to support social and solidarity economy as an opportunity to ensure economic sustainability to all those people who are already in a condition or at high risk of poverty. This manifesto provides an overview of the key items to take into consideration to ensure Better Knowledge, Better Policy and Better Funding, in terms of financial allocations and in-kind support, as a means to strengthen social and solidarity economy in Europe. We advocate for existing knowledge, policy recommendations and financial resources to be geared towards the strengthening of social and solidarity economy practices* throughout Europe. We believe that this is the way forward to not leave anyone behind.
Our drive to research participatory practices and focus on inclusive and sustainable urban projects has also led us to the creation of the Planning post-COVID-19 cooperative cities manifesto, which advocates for existing knowledge, policy recommendations and financial resources to be geared towards the strengthening of social and solidarity economy practices throughout Europe.
The discussions held during the live broadcasts resonated with the audience. The COVID-19 experience saw profit-driven activities such as tourism evaporating in a matter of a few days, while socially anchored projects with a strong engagement and value-driven mission proved to be more resilient and capable of maintaining their local initiatives.
The lockdown amplified divisions and inequality, bringing to the forefront, an increased need for social inclusion.
The Cooperative City in Quarantine webinar series came to en end, but the demand for a webinar series covering the efforts of civic initiatives persisted. Time and time again, we were approached by experts, citizens, academics and community representatives to continue broadcasting and ensure a voice is given to social movements.
Following the pandemic and the current crisis heading our way as a result, we felt raising awareness and amplifying the fact that local initiatives are necessary and play a crucial role in assisting society when faced with crises was more important now than ever. We also wanted to follow up on the manifesto and continue the work we had started.
That’s why we launched a new series titled “Cooperative City Dialogues.” Broadcast over our facebook page every second Wednesday of the month, the series will continue to tell the stories of our cities, neighborhoods and how we take ownership of our spaces. In short, it will tell our stories.
If you have a story you’d like us to cover, an initiative you believe deserves the spotlight or a collaboration to propose, please get in touch with project leader Sophie Bod.