We weren’t quite sure what to expect in January of 2022, as we began a fresh new orbit around the Sun. And who can blame us, given the precedent set by a highly unusual 2021. Yet the progressing months saw to it that we were kept busy and productive on our quest for Urban Justice. From publications to conferences, research projects to new platforms: Eutropian remained fully active on all fronts. Here is an account of the year, from our perspective. There’s a lot to go through, so make sure you have a cup of coffee handy.

To Start Things Off: We Celebrated our 7th Anniversary this summer

Has it really been that long? Well, apparently, it has. Seven whole years have gone by since we began working on cooperating for urban justice. We grew with each project, developed unique sets of skills and experiences, and expanded our team. What an amazing ride it’s been, so quite naturally, celebrations were in order! Our team from Rome and Budapest descended upon the Austrian capital to discuss and plan new projects, initiatives and undertakings.

Well, alright… Full disclosure: we probably spent more time enjoying each other’s company than working – but in our defence, it had been quite a while since we last saw each other in person due to a certain pandemic we prefer not to name. So we made up for the lost time in style, and a few too many slices of Sachertorte!

We Began the Year with a Wrap Up of the Generative Commons Project

The Generative Commons Living Lab was an H2020 funded project, aimed to assist commons initiatives through research and know-how. As project partner, Eutropian supported the creation of unique resources produced to aid commons initiatives. The tools we created are still available for use and viewing:

The gE.CO Toolkits: researched based tools providing initiatives with the resources necessary to launch and maintain longevity.

The gE.CO Toolbox:  a collection of online  software services that allow communities to take advantage of free to use technologies.

The gE.CO Map and database: an online resource displaying initiatives throughout Europe while the database provides much needed information and a detailed account of initiatives from across the continent.

The gE.CO museum:  an online resource that collects, connects and describes, through three thematic itineraries, the spread of generative commons throughout Europe

We Launched Solidarity City, a Brand New Platform

It was quite the endeavour, yet it proved to be worth the effort. Months of hard work resulted in the launch of a brand new platform. Solidarity City is now in full swing, bringing you the stories of initiatives that shape our communities, with a particular focus on Vienna as it’s starting point. Solidarity City has been designed as your go-to platform to discover initiatives that focus on social inclusion, fair employment, participation, sustainable food systems, ethical consumption and responsible tourism. Head on over and check out some high quality content.

What a Year it's been for AGORA

AGORA is an exchange project that deploys and adopts creative governance instruments for public administrations in the Danube region. We’ve been developing tools and communicating research results as the project comes to an end. The year started off with a partner meeting in Sofia, where we visited the local pilot project site, conducted interviews and created this zoom-in on the city of Sofia and the Toplocentrala.

AGORA at the 58th ISOCARP World Planning Congress

“From wealthy to healthy cities” was the title of the congress, which invited participants to reflect on the possible ways of building a future focused on solidarity and well-being. The  Brussels Capital Region was a suitable location for the event thanks to its ‘Shifting Economy’ strategy.  Eutropian’s Jorge Mosquera joined the event on behalf of Eutropian and our partners in the project to disseminate research findings. Read more on our experience at the conference here.

Open Heritage had a Busy Year!

We’ve been working on the Open Heritage project over the years, in various capacities. For instance, we had created a series of case studies accompanied by documentary films, accessible in our viewing room.  This year saw even more output, exchanges and the publication of results from the project. Here’s an overview of what we’ve been up to with the Open Heritage project.

Eutropian attends Open Heritage Policy conference

Daniela Patti and Levente Polyak travelled to Ghent with the OpenHeritage network to explore community-run monasteries, cultural venues in churches and convents to be turned into co-housing projects – and of course, Europe-wide policies for the adaptive reuse of heritage spaces. They also attended and took part in the Open Heritage Policy Conference the next day. 

The Open Heritage Training Modules

The positive feedback we received from participants on the relevance and quality of the online training program prompted us to use some of the materials on which the OH Training was based, to create a series of e-learning videos focusing on the four main aspects of adaptive heritage reuse. Read more and access the videos here!

We traveled to Newcastle for final Open Heritage project meeting

Towards the end of this year, The OpenHeritage project consortium met up one last time in Newcastle, UK to for a final meeting. The project formally ends in 2022and cooperation between consortium members will continue in future projects. Read more here.

The House-IN Exchanges

House-In is another project we’re active in, funded by JPI Urban Europe. The project focuses on challenges of housing-integration for migrant newcomers in European cities. While the House-In project was already ongoing when the war broke out in Ukraine, the partners found it essential to react to this new situation, given that it offers a new perspective and puts forth challenges to questions of housing and discrimination. So Eutropian co-hosted and co-organized a series of exchanges on the subject matter. The workshop on the topic of migrants’ access to housing can be accessed here; the exchanges on connecting racism and discrimination in refugee housing and home-making can be accessed here.

 

Final House-IN Meeting in Leipzig

Leipzig was host to the final meeting of the JPI Urban Europe project. Partners discussed past events of the project, what the outcomes are, and what activities they’d hope to resume with in the future. In addition to planned project meetings, excursions to various locations in Leipzig were also organized. Read more here.

Promoting Deliberative Democracy has Kept us Busy

EUARENAS is an H202 project that investigates the ways in which social movements, coupled with local government reform initiatives, manifest themselves in local-level experiments and create momentum for political change. The project promotes inclusive and participatory forms of governance.
It’s been a busy 2022 for our colleagues working on the project, given that Eutropian is involved in WP3 (case study research), WP4 (piloting) and WP5 (foresight). Read more on what we’ve been up to and the current status of the project, in our blog post.

Deliberative Democracy in Reggio Emilia

Eutropian team members descended upon Reggio Emilia in May, to discover the culture and social history of the region, take part in a deliberative democracy workshop on participative tools and of course… to make some tortellini! The workshops, discussions and exchanges took place as part of the EUARENAS project Eutropian is a partner in.

We launched Eutropian Zoom-ins

Over the years, we’ve visited numerous cities and sites through the projects we’ve worked on. During our visits, we not only collaborated with our partners, but also utilized the opportunity to gather the stories of the initiatives, cities and communities we had the privilege of meeting and spending time with. We now have a database filled with interviews, photographs, anecdotes, data, information and everything in between.

So we present to you Eutropian Zoom-ins, where we’ll be “zooming in” on the cities and communities that are partners in the projects we’re working on, or have already been involved with.

Go ahead… Feel free to take a stroll through Eutropian’s cities, and make sure to check in regularly for updates.

In other news

Here are some snippets of other activities we’ve been a part of this past year:

CO4CITIES

We opened and closed the year with the commons. This Autumn we concluded the URBACT-UIA Transfer Mechanism network CO4CITIES that brought the commons concept into municipal policies in three Eastern-Central European cities, Budapest, Cluj-Napoca and Gdańsk. Based on Turin’s Urban Innovative Actions project CO-CITY, the CO4CITIES project aimed at transferring a set of legislative tools and formats to the recipient cities. Eutropian’s Levente Polyak was coordinating knowledge exchange between the city in the role of a Lead Expert.

We Organized a Guided Tour of Vienna

What better way to get to know the city than walking in the autumn sunshine on a guided tour with a fantastic group of experts on urban regeneration, social and collaborative housing, green and public spaces? Eutropian organised a liveability tour for a cheerful group of 30 urban planners from Holland who came to learn about the city’s regeneration and housing trends.

We attended The Power of Civic Ecosystems Conference

We were in Ljubljana for the international conference The Power of Civic Ecosystems: How community spaces and their networks make our cities more cooperative, fair and resilient. Levente Polyak and Sophie Bod from Eutropian joined the conference with a presentation of a broader European picture of city-civil society cooperation.

Our work on REFLOW continues

REFLOW is an EU Horizon 2020 research project aiming to enable the transition of European cities towards circular and regenerative practices. The project will provide best practices aligning market and government needs in order to create favorable conditions for the public and private sector to adopt circular economy (CE) practices. REFLOW is currently busy creating new CE business models within six pilot cities: Amsterdam, Berlin, Cluj-Napoca, Milan, Paris and Vejle. Together with the Municipality of Milan, Eutropian is involved in WP5 – Pilots – more specifically in the fulfillment of T5.5 – Citizen Engagement and Capacity Building Strategies.

Placemaking in Budapest and Pontevedra

In 2022, we continued our cooperation with the KÉK – Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre in Budapest to bring international innovation to the Hungarian capital. In June, we co-organised the Budapest Placemaking Day with KÉK, VALYO, MOME, re:Kreators and Placemaking Europe, with a series of workshops and presentations held at the Danube quay. During the 2-day festival we opened a vacant restaurant and storage facility at the riverbank, thus testing a new venue for the car-free Danube riverfront of the future. In October, we brought Milan’s Agency for Mobility, Environment and Territory to Budapest for a workshop and public lecture, focusing on the Piazze Aperte programme that has redeveloped 40 public spaces in Milan, covering over 20,000 m2, with the participation of thousands of citizens, NGOs, associations, schools, religious organisations and businesses. And of course, In September we were in Pontevedra for Placemaking Week Europe!

Cultural Heritage, Local Networks and Scial Cohesion

Besides OpenHeritage, we contributed to a variety of events focusing on cultural heritage, local networks, social cohesion and territorial development. In mid-September, Eutropian’s Levente Polyak was in La Rioja with the Council of Europe to present the territorial and economic development, knowledge and education as well as the social cohesion components of the European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century. A few days later Levente joined the Cultural Heritage in Action programme in Cantabria as an expert to support the peer learning visit to the region’s rural cultural heritage sites

We continue to work on combating energy poverty

Energy poverty is becoming a real threat for many Europeans.  Eutropian is committed to the topic and together with local partners, we’ve initiated the development of an Energy Community (EC) in the social housing neighborhood of Quarticciolo in Rome.  More importantly, Eutropian has been assigned the task of identifying and appointing experts to serve in the Scientific Committee of this EC. More information on this topic can be accessed  on our page on the HOUSE-IN project. 

Report on Integrated Territorial Development in UIA Projects

In October we published our report in integrated territorial development in European Urban Initiative / UIA projects! For almost a year, Eutropian worked together with AEIDL (European association for innovation in local development) to explore the integrated (place-based, multi-stakeholder, participatory and cross-sectoral) development aspects of EUI / UIA projects. The report, based on the analysis of 12 UIA projects, is composed of an introduction presenting the methodology, key recommendations for professionals, 6 chapters that detail either the principles or key project phases and the 12 case studies