All across Europe a growing number of engaged entrepreneurs and active citizens now shape the future of our European capitals. With this New Europe update we present stories of City Makers, their initiatives in and for the city, and the collaborations with institutional parties they engage in. Together we will look into the state of the European Capitals and the principles underlying these new transitional processes.
Involved City Makers
The ways in which European cities are shaped have changed significantly as bottom-up initiatives have gained influence in cities in the 21st century. In spite of contextual differences that need to be addressed, there are many similarities in the challenges European capitals face. Moreover, City Makers appear to be united in the transitional approach they take in finding innovative solutions to societal questions, such as sustainability, health care, quality of public space and labour market participation. Traditional leading parties involved in city-making will have to adapt to these transitions. The municipality, corporations and institutional parties are in search of a new role in which they connect with the City Makers movement.
The New Europe network will present itself this evening and will share their inspiring stories and experiences with social entrepreneurship, area development, project finance, neighbourhood participation, redevelopment and many other topics. Initiatives from different European capitals will be discussed and we will explore the similarities and differences across different cities. Which challenges and best practices can be distinguished? What can be improved? What is necessary for small-scale (citizen-driven) initiatives to flourish and for successful collaborations to succeed in the future?
Egbert Fransen and Charlot Schans of Pakhuis de Zwijger will start the evening with an introduction on New Europe and the City Makers Agenda to the audience, following a recap of the first and second Joint Venture days by moderator Natasja van den Berg.
Levente Polyák of our Budapest City Embassy KÉK will give his view of urban transition and different levels of engagement of private and public real estate owners, illustrated by the Lakatlan project which regenerates empty shops. He will be followed by Athenian Vice Mayor for Civil Society, founder of SynAthina, and winner of the Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge Amalia Zepou. She will talk about the importance of grassroots networks in Athens and the coalition between policy makers and bottom-up initiatives.
Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations of The Netherlands Ronald Plasterk will welcome the City Makers and underline the importance of working with a great variety of stakeholders on a European Urban Agenda, that addresses the challenges our cities face today.
Lucas de Man and Tomas Vanheste will be reporting live from Athens on their of European-wide In Search of Europe project, looking for knowledge and inspiration for better understanding of urban society and the individuals that shape it. Their letter to colleague Matthijs Rümke promises to be both a beautiful and insightful addition to our programme. Amsterdam-based City Maker Eva de Klerk will talk about the NDSM shipyard development, the importance of a sustainable growth-model in urban transformation, and teach us about the importance of ‘kissing back’ the creatives that regenerate derelict places, through presenting a shorter version of her Boekman lecture.
During two panel discussion of the evening several of our partners will introduce themselves. Jan Rydén of Färgfabriken and Meta van Drunen of Zeppelin will discuss redevelopment of (industrial) heritage in Stockholm and Bucharest. Kristel Jeuring of Locality, Levente Polyák of KÉK, and Massimo Allulli of Cittalia will continue with a discussion on governance, social innovation and entrepreneurship in London, Budapest and Rome.
Throughout the evening crowd-participation is welcomed and encouraged. Following the programme Pakhuis de Zwijger will host a viewing of the IDFA documentary ‘Those who feel the fire burning’.
New Europe – Cities in Transition is an open platform that focuses on exchanging and sharing knowledge and experiences between City Makers who are united in their innovative approach to urban transition.