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Transcript

Exploring the potential of 'in-between spaces/places'

For Promoting processes of Collaborative city making

Brussel Research OpenLAB
Summer school

13-17.09.2021

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"Spaces that are capable of materializing freedom because they allow to escape the established order ."

Bey, 1991

in-between spaces are...

Index

01

Introduction

1.2 Key Concepts

03

Methods Used

04

05

08

06

07

Organisations & Projects

Process, Tools & Tips

Reference List

Redaction Team

Useful Resources

This resource results from a co-creative process. It was developed in preparation of, during and while looking back on the outcomes of a one-week summer school. People who have actively contributed to the realisation are Hana Taherazar, Sara Galao, Gabrielle Huynh, Myrthe Ann Meylaerts, Rafke Julia Pijls, Vera Sales, Diletta Muccilli, Simon Mazet, Etienne Toffin, Julie Bertone, Gregoire Wallenborn, Linde Moriau, Brecht Van der Schueren and Lien Mostmans. Of course, this publication would not have existed without the inspiring dialogues and moments of perspective sharing that took place during the summer school in itself. All session holders, facilitators and participants, in that sense, should be acknowledged as co-authors of this report.

How to cite: Brussels Research Open Lab summer school report (2021). Exploring the potential of in-between spaces/places, Brussels

All materials exhibited in this report are shared as creative commons (CC).

Brussels, 2021.

1.1 About the Project

2.2 A City in Transformation

2.1 The Post-Colonial City

2.3 The Participatory City

2.4 Futuring LAB

02

Topics Explored

5.1 Project Phases

5.2 Useful instruments

5.3 Tips for your event

5.4 Facts & Figures

Shared Cognizance

Preparing a summer school, immersed in the mental continent of pandemics, has been quite a challenge. Our minds felt occupied, putting our critical thinking to the test and forcing us to be more creative than ever. In the midst of this devastating territories we found motivation in the conviction that safeguarding free, safe and open spaces is crucial in order to avoid further paralysis. It is our conviction, that in order to shape a more desirable future, we will need to actively organize solidarity and - foremost - dialogue; cross generations, cultures, languages, scientific disciplines, diverging experiences, convictions, feelings and needs. The recuperation of physical and mental spaces, therefore, appears to be a timely stake and a shared cognizance to renurture the confidence that is highly needed for responding to the challenges we are facing today.

The topic of IN-BETWEEN SPACES has been broadly explored during our summer school. Through this investigation, a fertile soil was found for preparing shared projects and imagining different - more preferable - urban futures. We would like to thank all people who were involved in the realisation of this event. First, the students, partners, session holders, facilitators and participants; but also the project team members and academic supports. We believe it has been an empowering experience for many. We are grateful for the sweet memories and inspiring encounters. Whishing everyone a good read and looking very much forward to our continued collaborations.


Introduction

01

The activities presented in this report were organised as part of a summer school exploring the potential of in-between spaces as transformative places. Boundary zones, spaces in transition, places that are not (yet) defined, are in a state of becoming, yet to be built... spaces where different dimensions, people, functions, activities co-exist and relate to one another, interact with one another. Pavements that are turned into festive flower carpets by guerrilla gardeners, pocket parks, pop-up bars, parking spaces turned into informal meeting places, temporary occupation sites, play streets, co-working houses... while some will argue that these kinds of spaces can be considered places of resistance, spaces of potentialities, allowing people to transgress existing rules, experiment with the new and pave a way for systemic change; others will stress that - because of their scale, spontaneous, rebellious and chaotic nature - no radically new or genuinely transformative outcomes can be expected to emerge in such places.

The ‘in-between spaces/places summer school' was held on 13-17 September 2021 at the See-U site (Brussels, Belgium). The event was an initiative of the Brussels Research Open Lab (VUB/ULB), communa vzw, centre d’écologie urbaine asbl, Ebxl, Urban Foxes and BrusselAVenir. It was supported by the Brussels Centre for Urban studies (BCUS). The proposed activities allowed the participants to broadly explore the concept of in-betweenness and learn from a variety of boundary practices shaping the urban cityscape. The event was made a transformative experience, thanks to the contribution of a broad range of Brussels-based organisations and project communities. With this report we wish to make the experience and insights gained available to the wider community of city-makers. Hope you will enjoy!

1.1 About the Project

1.2 Glossary of key-concepts

A city that embraces processes that seek to expose its ongoing legacy of the colonial era. Post-colonial perspectives emphasise both the material and symbolical effects of colonialism and the ways in which notions of inferiority and Otherness are mapped in cities.

Post-colonial city

Transdisciplinarity

Collaborative city-making

The transformative city

Third spaces

A set of practices of collaboration between citizens, and between citizens and social actors, such as public administration, companies, non-profit actors, education. It can refer to different forms of collaborations and different (social, political, cultural) motivations. Collaborative city-making can be a strategy to build capacity and power for systemic change.

A city characterised by bottom-up transformative practices that are actively (re-) claiming power, advancing important social demands, such as for dignified work, sustainable food systems or green energy.

The inclusion of non-academic stakeholders in the process of knowledge production and decision-making.

A type of spatiality characterised by communal and hybridised spaces of social life and cultural practices, different from the home (first space) or work (second space). Third spaces, such as bars, community centres, post offices, parks, have been defined as spaces where people can experience a transformative sense of self, identity and relationships.

Urban mobilisation

Processes in which members (individuals, families, groups and organisations) of an urban community act together to achieve desired community goals. Urban mobilisation is a form of participation that involves the community identifying their own needs and priorities, developing solutions and taking action to create change.

Topics Explored

02

The activities proposed in the 'in-between spaces/places summer school' allowed participants to critically analyse key characteristics, intended and achieved impacts of a diverse range of boundary zones and practices. The potential of such spaces for coping with pressing urban challenges in a collaborative manner was explored through critical readings, site-visits, encounters, dialogues and design ateliers. Participants discussed whether, when, and how processes of collaborative city-making can thrive the transition towards a more just and sustainable city. To this aim, four thematic groups were formed: city in transformation, the participatory city, the post-colonial city, and a Futuring LAB. In this section the content, activities and main outcomes are presented for each of these four groups.

Booklet of the program

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The Post-Colonial City

The summer school took place on the grounds of the former Fritz Toussaint military base, currently known as the USquare-site. This site has an ambiguous history (impressive architecture with the coat of arms of controversial Belgian king Leopold II), multi-faceted present (housing dozens of grassroots collectives and initiatives) and a divergent future (envisioning both research infrastructure, student, social and private housing and a public park). Our track aimed to use the USquare site as an exploratory case for surfacing forms of representation and inclusion, friction and silencing. Who’s history has been told? Who is present and active in the current day temporary occupation – and who isn’t? Who’s needs will be taken into account in the future, and who’s will be neglected?

DAY 1: Aim for a shared understanding of de/postcolonisation

DAY 2: In search for untold stories and (in)visible barriers

DAY 3: Colonial university, decolonized methodologies?

DAY 4: Present and future challenges of the USquare site

DAY 5: Looking back & forward


Aim for a shared understanding of de/postcolonisation

13 September 2021

In contemporary public debates, it seems like “decolonisation” is put forward as a solution for a wide range of societal questions, going from socio-economical challenges to geopolitics and ecology. In this co-creative session we have aimed to overcome this confusion by dissecting concepts such as post-/decolonisation, coloniality, whiteness/blackness, equality, justice, racism, … Starting from thought-provoking citations from a wide range of post-colonial (?) thinkers, a group discussion was launched in search of a shared understanding. Consequently, this conceptual framework has served as a point of reference throughout the rest of the Summerschool.

Workshop

Co-constructing a framework to understand de/post-colonisation

(Sibo Kanobana (UGhent))

Big city life: we try forget bye.

Stephanie Collingwoode Williams is an anthropologist, social worker, trainer and activist. She is an expert in anti-racism, intersectionality, climate justice, feminism, queerness and bi-raciality. Stephanie was raised in Ghana, has studied in the Netherlands and Belgium, where she has been involved in various climate justice movements and anti-racist movements, such as Code Rood and Kick-Out Zwarte Piet. She has also participated in various actions against the glorification of Belgium's colonial history. Recently, she has been active as spokesperson for the Belgian Network for Black Lives, who organized Black Lives Matter marches in Belgium. Among other things she is also a speaker, enjoys sharing thoughts on a magnitude of issues, writer and curator for decolonial art projects. In her keynote, Stephanie Collingwoode Williams forced us to remember that our cities are only serving the needs of the white hetero ablebodied cis male, neglecting the needs of those people with other intersecting identities. Members of this dominant group are called upon to acknowledge that the world is catered to them in so many ways. How can they take part in the urgent process of dismantling these oppressive structures? By listening, remembering and rebuilding.

Stephanie Collingwoode Williams

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

https://youtu.be/IrFo8tC2zvE?list=PLtReB14LfWdP-kcOYCWuoUSa6hH6xSTjz

Aim for a shared understanding of de/postcolonisation

13 September 2021

Cassio Lopes is a social psychologist and urban planner. His interest in the impact of the design of public space on the human behaviour and social interaction has led him to this atypical association between these two disciplines. After several positions in Brussels public administrations, for which he dealt with the problem of vacant housing and the resilience of Brussels' commerce, he joined the Usquare Team as project manager. In 2017, the Brussels Regional Government granted a subsidy of 11.8 million EUR from the Brussels European Regional Development Fund program (ERDF) to finance several operations related to the Usquare project. The conversion of the former barracks site to Usquare.brussels includes extensive redevelopment of the open spaces within its enclosure, which were inaccessible to the public when they were used first by the gendarmes. So to improve the openness of the site to the public transports and to the city, new different gates will be created.

FieldTrip
Guided tour of USquare-site

(Cassio Lopes (ULB))

In search for untold stories and (in)visible barriers

14 September 2021

Every place tells a story. And the history of minorities in the public space has often been invisible, 'forgotten' in the public debate. This 2-hour walk in the centre of Brussels, with several famous or unusual stops, has revealed us how the oppression of minorities - in the sense of groups undergoing relations of domination (racialised, colonised, women, LGBTQIA+) - is organised in the public space. Considered as a "work-in-progress", this walk aimed to foment debate and reflection through direct experimentation, on the ground, of what are the relations of domination experienced by minorities in the public space, under the prism of the current capitalist system. This project was created in partnership with the Museum of Capitalism, within the framework of the course "Principles and Practices of Tourist and Cultural Mediation" of Mrs. Laurence Gillot, by Cécile Jacquin-Guyomard, Carla Caucotto and Omar Fassi Fehri, students in the master's degree of Cultural Management at ULB. Entitled "Capitalism: the other side of the coin". The walk will be included in the museum's activities in the upcoming months.

Field trip
Minority Walk

(Omar Fassi Fehri (ULB))

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

Fien Criel is a political scientist (Ghent University) with a Masters’ in Conflict and Development. Confronted with institutional ableism, she broke a pact to never write or work from her own disabled experience and analysed the university’s inclusion policy. She recently moved from Ghent to Brussels, and confronted with inaccessible urban architecture, she explores her love/hate relationship with both cities. She is currently collaborating with the arts centre Voo?uit to transform it into a more inclusive house for everyone. In her keynote speech, Fien Criel linked disability to colonial modernity, highlighting how ideas of normality and the “ideal body type” originated in 19th century thinking. This idea of L’homme moyen excluded the needs of everyone who was not male, white, abled-bodied and at least middle class. This historical legacy is still very much present today, resulting in widespread ableism – understood as the discrimination and social prejudice against people who are disabled. Fien Criel introduced us to the concept of cripping: an act of resistance and survival of people who identify as disabled within an ableist society. She also called upon the non-disabled dominant group to take responsibility in making the public space more accessible for everyone.

In search for untold stories and (in)visible barriers

14 September 2021

How does it feel to enter a building as a visually impaired person? As someone in a wheelchair or as someone with an autism spectrum disorder? Every day, people with disabilities run up against barriers. Both physical barriers (inaccessible buildings and vehicles, unclear signs...) and mentality problems in society (being ignored or patronised, ample possibilities to participate...). During this immersive session we have stepped into the shoes of someone with a physical or mental disability. This experience, and the rich group discussions that followed afterwards, have allowed us to start to look at an inclusive city with different eyes. We came to conclude that there are several quick wins to be made that can make institutions more accessible. In the end however, a structural and holistic approach remains crucial.

Immersive Tour

Exploring and mapping (in)visible barriers at the USquare-site

(Konekt vzw)

Crippling accessibility into the city

Fien Criel

https://youtu.be/XH9HJ9R8cOo?list=PLtReB14LfWdP-kcOYCWuoUSa6hH6xSTjz

Colonial university, decolonized methodologies?

15 September 2021

The debate about the decolonisation of public space cannot be ignored when talking about an inclusive city. Indeed, despite the controversies linked to it, traces of the colonial era are still very much present in many urban neighbourhoods. In collaboration with the Collectif Mémoire Coloniale et Lutte contre les Discriminations and Kimia Studio, ULB-Coopération has produced a fully immersive decolonial audio tour of the Solbosh campus. During 1h30, we have explored different emblematic places of this ULB campus and their links with Belgian colonial history. All of this in an extraordinary musical atmosphere thanks to the artistic participation of StraZ, Gloria Mukolo and Joëlle Sambi.

Walkshop
Decolonial walk at the ULB Solbosch Campus

(ULB-Coopération)

Soundscaping Workshop
Exploring (im)material heritage at the USquare site

(Bruxelles Nous Appartient / Brussel Behoort Ons Toe)

BNA-BBOT has developed a range of methodologies for the activation and audibilisation of the history of Brussels today and tomorrow. The collection of audio material (testimonies, soundscapes, conversations, ...) makes it possible to create a collective and participatory history that underpins more institutional research on social issues and common challenges. At the edge of citizen sciences, the collection, recording and exploitation of sound data offer possibilities of apprehending the common space but also of activating social and cultural perspectives. During the first session on day 3, the participants were introduced to the methods and issues of sound data collection. How can storytelling become a practice of empowerment, allowing other possible futures to be imagined?

Bridging or Breaching? Citizen participation and private urban development

What are meaningful ways for diverse actors to share, develop and exchange resources in order to create and sustain caring, resilient neighborhoods? How can atypical neighborhood users, such as commuters, organisations large and small, and businesses contribute to the development of ‘caring’ neighborhoods? Willeke Bert and Kate Meier are co-researchers at Odisee Hogeschool and are involved in the Brussels-based MaN’Aige project (funded by Innoviris) about the development of caring neighborhoods in Brussels.

Kate Meier & Wileke Bert

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

The forum theatre came about as a co-creation between the women of the Vaartkapoen, Citizenne and director Har Tortike. The group of volunteers of the Vaartkapoen was looking for an original way to discuss the topic of domestic violence. Poverty and family violence are problems that often take place between four walls and that are heavily taboo. In 2015, the first performance took place in the UK as part of International Day Against Violence. Afterwards, the Forum Theatre went on tour in different self-organisations and community centres. After the Paris and Brussels attacks (2016), the group asked for new scenes to be worked out on sensitive and complex themes such as racism, radicalisation and the fear of losing a child. For this, the group worked with Saliha Ben Ali and told her personal story. Forumtheater Radicalisation toured in various prisons, self-organisations and high schools in Brussels, Flanders and abroad. Forumtheater Radicalisering won the Ultima 2016, the Flemish culture prize, in the Amateur Arts category. The women of the Vaartkapoen have not stopped with Forumtheater and continue to tour with Citizenne. New themes, such as upbringing and gender, are being developed and performed. During the summerschool, the women of Vaartkapoen explored sensitive topics that are everyday fare in a lot of secondary schools in Brussels, such as retention, racial prejudice or bullying.

Forum Theatre

(Vaartkapoen)

Colonial university, decolonized methodologies?

15 September 2021

https://youtu.be/hYH1kYROSfI?list=PLtReB14LfWdP-kcOYCWuoUSa6hH6xSTjz

Exploring present and future challenges of the USquare site

16 September 2021

During a whole day we have aimed to explore and harvest different voices of people who are in some way or another closely connected to the USquare site. We had the chance to interview Albert, who has been living his entire life in the neighborhood surrounding the site and who witnessed bombardments on the barracks during WOII. This rich piece of oral history allowed us to imagine how drastically the neighborhood has changed in the past decades, from a relatively rural outskirt in the 30ies to the dense urban area that it is today. Also, we have interviewed several migrant families who live in one of the buildings on the USquare site. They use the site on a daily basis, but are often more invisible and therefore forgotten. Throughout the interview, we came to understand that these people are forced to live through very difficult and insecure situations. Non the less, they want their voices to be heard when they ask for safe and decent living conditions and legal ways to make their own contributions to society as proper citizens.

Across the Juliette Wytsmans road, just next to the USquare site, the “Fritz Toussaint dwellings” are narrowly linked to the Usquare history. Formerly inhabited by gendarme couples or retirees, this site is now hosting some temporary inhabitants. We had the chance to interview Alberto, who’s living in Fritz Toussaint since 2 years. This dwelling allows him to stay inside of the Ixelles Commune, where the rents keep growing and become then unaffordable for certain people of the neighborhood. Yet if rents are ship in Fritz Toussaint, Alberto is spotlighting the fact that they are “users” of the building, and not “residents”: the temporary aspect of this housing’s bringing some uncertainty and difficulty to be invested in the neighborhood life. We also met Toha, who’s also living in Fritz Toussaint. As a young artist, low rent is a way to develop her artistic career easily. Her knowledge about the different kind of Temporary occupation informs us about what “Squat” and “Anti-squat” are embodying, and how temporary occupation could be a political and economic strategy.

Soundscaping Workshop
Exploring (im)material heritage at the USquare site

(Bruxelles Nous Appartient / Brussel Behoort Ons Toe)

Looking back & forward

17 September 2021

On the last day, we have looked back at the past week and exchanged in our group about what we’ve experienced and learned together. We’ve created an audio quiz for the participants of the other groups, asking them to guess which typical summerschool sounds they recognized in some of our recordings. The shrieks of two dogs playing in the Usquare yard, the bubbling of the coffee machine, footsteps on the cobble-stones and the grind in the inner court. Consequently, we’ve invited participants to listen to excerpts of our interviews with Albert, Toha, Alberto and the migrant families. We all felt that this material was to valuable to be left unused in the future. Therefore we’ve started planning together towards new possibilities to share some of these stories. This has led to a broadcast on both ULB Radio Campus and Radio Panik!


Workshop
Formulating lessons learned and further ambitions

(Brecht Van der Schueren (VUB))

Aditional Readings:

  • Janssens, Severine et Noûs, Camille (2020). Le son donné. Une fabrique archivistique, Tracés. Revue de Sciences humaines [En ligne], #19 | 2019, mis en ligne le 22 juillet 2020, consulté le 01 décembre 2021.
  • Ahmed, Sara (2012). On Being Included : Racism and Diversity In Institutional Life. Durham: Duke university press.
  • Swyngedouw, Erik (2009). The Antinomies of the Postpolitical City: In Search of a Democratic Politics of Environmental Production. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33 (3): 601–20.
  • Rutazibwa, Olivia (2016). Hidden in Plain Sight: Coloniality, Capitalism and Race/ism as Far as the Eye Can See. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • BNA/BBOT soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bnabbot
  • Dossier “Dekolonisering” in Recto:Verso https://www.rektoverso.be/dossier/C2Xp2dLPh5y3jqw39
  • Konekt vzw: https://konekt.be
  • Forum Theatre: www.vaartkapoen.be/terugblik/forumtheater


Listen

Listen

A City In Transformation

In this group the concept of in-between spaces was explored through participatory walking, workshopping and creative data visualizing methods. Participants discussed topics such as urban ecologies and community-based sustainability transitions. A number of urban-farming, upcycling and recycling projects were explored, making participants more aware about the resources-flow shaping the urban metabolism. They reflected upon the importance of collaborative city-making processes for working towards sustainable and just urban livelihoods and environments.

DAY 1: exploring the urban metabolism

DAY 2: navigating urban resources flows

DAY 3: dilemmas in sustainability transition processes

DAY 4: leveraging tensions into transformation opportunities

DAY 5: rethinking (hidden) resources flows

Exploring the Urban Metabolism

13 September 2021

What key-ingredients, dynamics, actors, processes… shape and influence the urban metabolism? When would we consider this ‘system’ to be healthy, just and sustainable? What tensions, dilemma’s, trade-offs and challenges do we need to tackle in order to achieve such situation? In what way can processes of collaborative city-making serve as a leverage within this regard? These are some of the guiding questions that emerged during the first session of this group. The session started with an exploration of the concept of ‘urban metabolism’, facilitated by Francisco Davila, ULB and CEU researcher interested in urban agriculture and its socio-ecological transformative power. Building upon this introduction group members were invited to formulate their expectations and learning goals for the summer school.

Workshop

Introducing key-concepts and formulating learning goals

(Francisco Davila (ULB))

Graine d'Ortie is interested in exploring the potential of fly larvae at the level of collective waste management. How? Through the design of local "hubs" pooling several specialties that work in symbiosis: the production and management of detritus of black soldier flies, earthworms, a mushroom farm, a mini brewery, as well as several other activities. These "hubs" would be designed to become multi-scaled devices, duplicable in all urban areas, generating jobs as well as local production and management of resources for greater urban resilience.

KeyNote
ValueBugs: Closing ecological cycles through circular urban hubs

(Mia Schmallenbach)

Play Video

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

Navigating Urban Resources Flows

14 September 2021

Eating clean, healthy, and fair food is everyone’s right and Atelier Groot Eiland knows that. In an interesting tour in the Abbatoir of Anderlecht, the participants have been confronted with a peculiar juxtaposition of spaces and ideas. Abbatoir, the biggest slaughterhouse in Brussel, has become a place of innovation and sustainability. This tour in particular has shown how transitions are possible even in challenging urban neighborhoods, where a multitude of cultures converge. On this matter, Atelier Groot Eiland aims to keep the intercultural character of Abbatoir, by involving an inclusive approach to the social economy. Atelier Groot Eiland is a Brussels-based organization holding social economy and sustainability at its’ core. The organization’s mission is to help fight urban poverty by offering tailor-made work experiences and job coaching for NEET groups (No Education Employment and Training). The activities span a diverse range of urban sectors: from joinery to health care to urban agriculture. In parallel, Atelier Groot Eiland develops projects targeted at transitioning towards circular urban economies. This vision includes a deep conscience on the urban space and its finiteness. During this guided walk, participants were introduced to the vision and mission of Atelier Groot Eiland and visited a variety of urban farming, recycling, and upcycling sites situated along the Brussels’ canal.


Field trip
Who Feeds the city? Urban farming and upcycling tour.

(Maarten Dierickx (Atelier Groot Eiland))

The pandemic has further accentuated some important trends: city dwellers dreaming of green and calm spaces, places to resource, recharge, in front of inspiring landscapes... Would the city allow for these kinds of escapes? What if the key was to change our gaze, to open up to another perception, to come to terms with what we avoid? Is it possible to marvel at the life that finds its place in the city, even in highly mineralized, waterproofed, polluted spaces, ...? Can we appreciate what we tend to reject, to characterize as dirty, ugly, stinky, noisy... and not inclined to resourcing? At the risk that we will move even further in this post-pandemic towards a perception where the "sacrificed" remain in the city and the "privileged" offer themselves the luxury of leaving, it is urgent to dare to rub shoulders with our prejudices and our beliefs ... and attempting a paradigm shift. In this sensory walk, Virginie Lambert, offered an experience off our beaten track, to welcome our resistances and our negative feelings, to open us to a change of gaze, and to initiate another relationship to living in the city.

Walkshop

Changing your experience of nature in the city

(Virginie Lambert (Naviguer en Terre agitée))

Navigating Urban Resources Flows

14 September 2021

With circular cities as a goal for the future, it is important to make circular building accessible to all. Yet circular building, when applied efficiently, already brings the opportunity to make housing more affordable. For example, through service life extension, simplifying future renovations, or providing reused materials more efficiently and affordably. How can we collaboratively use a space to live together, participate in each other’s lives and use space in a smart way? This is the question that Margaux Lespengard asked when discussing the feasibility of circular and affordable housing. The whole idea of co-living spaces of course implicates diverse issues when it comes to make everyone’ expectations accomplished. For some of the participants, a house should meet their needs of security while for others, comfort is the most important feature. In this workshop, the participants were asked to embody a ‘persona’ and collectively endorse the shoes of ideal developers. They experienced the challenges to converge subjective to collective needs. Namely, the need to change the paradigms of traditional housing projects, embracing the concepts of circular and green economy; preferring recycled and re-invented materials over new production. Before linking the benefits of circular building to affordable housing, we must first determine what affordable housing really means? To make this concept tangible, this workshop uses a framework to start a dialogue about affordable housing and learn from each other’s views. Margaux Lespagnard is a PhD researcher at VUB architectural engineering. In her research, she aims to develop circular design guidance when designing circular affordable housing.


Workshop
How can we apply circular building to make housing more affordable?

(Margaux Lespagnard (VUB))

Dilemmas in Sustainability Transition Processes

15 September 2021

What is a smart city about? How are the characteristics of a smart city fixed and who is entitled to define them? These were the questions that Ine Van Zeeland and Jonas Breuer put forward at the start of their walkshop. Though a smart city walk, the participants have been encouraged to experience the feeling of walking through a not-so-metaphorical cloud of data. Subjected to the presence of CCTV, car sensors and other methods of surveillance, Rue Neuve, Brussels, is really an in-between space. A space in which production and consumptions co-live in a subtle manner; as raised by one of the participants ‘data are also products, and so we are when our habits are used for analysis purposes’. The question that emerged during this activity was whether it is possible to create smart, democratic, ethical cities? This walkshop aimed to make the process of data capturing and processing more tangible. Participants interacted with the data collection in their environment by means of creative exercises. A group discussion in a pleasant atmosphere rounded up the walk by discussing central questions, not least regarding our rights to privacy and personal data protection.

Walkshop
Explorations in-between 'Smart' Places and Spaces

(Jonas Breuer & Ine Van Zeeland (VUB, imec-SMIT))

KeyNote
Walking in between the physical and the digital city.

(Jonas Breuer & Ine Van Zeeland (VUB, imec-SMIT))

Most public spaces are monitored and our smartphones ensure we are under observation wherever we are. Today’s smart technologies offer many benefits, but a ‘culture of surveillance’ feeds anxieties of never being left alone. Jonas Breuer and Ine Van Zeeland, researchers at imec-SMIT (VUB), investigate innovative ways to include various stakeholders in making urban space ‘smart’, and the central role of data. Inspired by Lefebvre’s ‘Right to the City’, they look at how data protection rights can play a role in making urban space not only technologically enhanced but also citizen-centric.

play video

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

https://youtu.be/S5L7HmvSWwo?list=PLtReB14LfWdP-kcOYCWuoUSa6hH6xSTjz

Dilemmas in Sustainability Transition Processes

15 September 2021

In a perspective of resizing socio-political action at neighborhood level, it is important to equip urban inhabitants with adequate tools. Participatory calculations of a neighborhood’s carbon footprint might serve as an interesting starting point. What would be the simplest and most accessible means to enable citizens the ability to monitor both public as well as private activities influencing the carbon footprint of their immediate surrounding, taking into account the diverse - sometimes conflicting – perspectives and dynamics at play. Deliveroo certainly has a much lower environmental cost than individual citizens using their personal car for weekly shopping purposes, but what about the social impact of this company? What toolbox could be imagined in order to reveal possible conflicts and constraints? How can a residents-collective or local action committee access to data relating to consumption in food, housing, individual transport, goods and services, etc.. of its lived environment? These are the questions that were explored throughout this workshop facilitated by Paul Hermant and Gregoire Wallenborn. Paul is an active walker and urban activist, a socio-political columnist, working in social and popular education. Grégoire is Professor and Senior Researcher at the Institute for Environment Management and Land Planning (IGEAT), at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Workshop
Contradictions between social and environmental agenda’s at neighborhood-level.

(Paul Hermant (Actrices et Acteurs des Temps Présents) & Gregoire Wallenborn (ULB))

KeyNote
Energy communities: making neighbors collaborate around tough issues

(Gregoire Wallenborn (IGEAT - ULB) )

Gregoire Wallenborn - Professor and Senior Researcher at the Institute for Environment Management and Land Planning (IGEAT), at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is interested in issues that encompass energy, environment, technology and daily life, and has coordinated numerous interdisciplinary studies on household energy consumption through various aspects. He currently works on the development of energy communities.

play video

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

https://youtu.be/7yTfUrJU2Ws?list=PLtReB14LfWdP-kcOYCWuoUSa6hH6xSTjz

Leveraging Tensions into Transformation Opportunities

16 September 2021

In collective explorations for desired sustainable futures we often face tensions of various origins: personal-inner (fear of unknown, immunity to change, lack of courage to go out of own comfort zone), institutional, structural or cultural. In this session the experience emerging from ‘Jardins Santé’ were shared and participants reflected on how to embrace and transform tensions into collective learning opportunities for change. Jardins Santé à Bruxelles was born in 2019 as a co-creation research project to experiment social-cultural practices of self-care and nature medicine. The community explores collectively how we can reinforce urban resilience by re-introducing traditional (or folk, or common) nature-based health knowledge in Brussels.  Promoting resilience and health education, Vitalija Povilaityte-Petri, responsible for Jardins Santé Brussels, presented its ambitious project of citizen’s engagement in collaborative research. By seeing the city as a metabolism, Vitalija insisted on the urgency to adopt collaborative and informed methods to maintain the health of the city’ organism. To do so, it is important to engage the whole community, though education; this is not an easy task, as Vitalija and the participants remarks. Different conflicts and interests are likely to emerge in the city macrocosm. However – she continued – even the tension that can arise from projects that require citizens’ engagement, can be a call and an opportunity for action. In this sense, Jardins Santé is a melting pot of ideas and practices of self, and community care; promoting the connection of urban dweller with the simplicity of the ancient natural medicine.

Workshop
Can we leverage emerging tensions into transformation opportunities?

(Vitalija Povilaityte-Petri (Jardins Santé))

Leveraging Tensions into Transformation Opportunities

16 September 2021

Faced with the fast and wide transformations associated with the rise of e-commerce, some are concerned about negative impacts on the environment, the local economy and the quality of life. In particular, are we facing 'the death of small shops'? Is this inevitable? This co-creation workshop raised the question of the transformations that would be needed to make retail more sustainable in Brussels. Participants were invited to initiate a participatory diagnosis on this issue. In particular, the potential of third places to exnovate unsustainable models and practices in the field of retail and consumption were investigated. The organisers Ela Callorda Fossati, Solène Sureau and Aurore Fransolet are members of SONYA (SOcio-eNvironmental dYnAmics Research Group), IGEAT, ULB. They conduct research on the challenges of exnovation in the transitioning towards a sustainable economy in Brussels. Their research aims to facilitate the societal debate on exnovation ('governance of the future'). The workshop evolved around the possibility of changing the paradigms of e-commerce activities, promoting small, independent business over big companies. Moreover, the debate held by the representants of SONYA highlighted the concern of the participants for a less consumption-oriented commerce; the shared idea was that there is an urgency to re-think on the way of production and consumption from the low. Ideas as promoting re-cycling and up-cycling are not only conceived to flex the production and the eventual waste of goods, but also as important tool to merge individual in a cooperative approach of urban living. The proposition of increasing the availabilities of libraries – for instance- presupposes a precise idea of spaces of cultural and material exchange, without the implication of money in a -more- human transition.

Workshop
E-commerce giants and small shops: what transformations are taking place in the city and what avenues for a more sustainable retail scene in Brussels?

(Ela Callorda Fossati, Aurore Fransolet & Solène Sureau (ULB))

KeyNote
Youngsters as transformative agents?

(Hari Verlaet (Inforscience))

Hari Verlaet Hari studied ecology and environmental management at the ULB. Then, he was involved in several missions in Madagascar and Mauritius as field biologist. Back in Brussels, he created and still manages an educational program named "Plateforme DD" that focuses on science through sustainable development in Brussels for the science sustainable development in Brussels for the science awareness department of the ULB (Département Inforsciences).

play video

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

https://youtu.be/duw5A4k8fqs?list=PLtReB14LfWdP-kcOYCWuoUSa6hH6xSTjz

Rethinking (hidden) Resources Flows

17 September 2021

The cycle of debates and workshop around this topic of a City in Transformation ended with the creation of a free room to discuss future aspirations and ambitions. Building on the urban metabolism approach, the participants were asked to point out lessons learned and reflected on the question how the creation of an Open Lab could contribute to making the urban surroundings more just, inclusive, democratic and healthy. Diverse proposals arose from this final discussion, demonstrating the enthusiasm regarding the space offered by the summer school.


Workshop
Formulating lessons learned and further ambitions

(Francisco Davila (ULB))

Aditional Readings:

  • Various ways to look at Brussels: https://www.subjectiveeditions.org/atlases/p/subjectiveatlasofbrussels
  • Brussels urban metabolism: https://ecocitybuilders.org/the-urban-metabolism-of-brussels-belgium-transitioning-towards-a-more-circular-economy/
  • Centre d’écologie urbaine: https://urban-ecology.be/
  • ValueBugs project: https://www.cocreate.brussels/projet/valuebugs/resultats/
  • Atelier Groot Eliand: https://www.ateliergrooteiland.be/
  • Imec-SMIT-VUB on transparency: https://smit.vub.ac.be/policy-brief-52-clarifying-transparency-in-innovation-projects
  • Voisins d’Energie: https://www.cocreate.brussels/projet/vde/
  • Les acteurs et actrices des temps présents sur le « pays dans le pays »: https://www.aadtp.be/pays-dans-le-pays/
  • Exnovation: https://exnovation.brussels/exnovation/concept-lexnovation/
  • InforSciences-ULB, Mission DD: https://sciences.brussels/missiondd/


Listen

The Participatory City

In this group the concept of in-between spaces was explored through collaborative design and decision-making methodologies. Participants got a change to cross-pollinate experiences with diverse local and international initiatives and collaboratively formulate some guiding principles for working towards an Urban Lab in an inclusive, ethically and ecologically sound manner. The question that ran through the activities of this group was 'How to design and govern in-between spaces so that they foster true engagement and can function as transition spaces, enabling pioneering urban practices in which diverse urban actors have an active voice, choice and agency?'. Through the organization of field trips, forums and workshop, a shared path of democratic participation was established.

DAY 1: Creating an inclusive campus

DAY 2: Temporary use is has-been. What’s next?

DAY 3: Citizen-driven solutions for local issues

DAY 4: Who is seen and listened to in participatory projects ?

DAY 5: Third spaces in Europe

Creating an inclusive campus

13 September 2021

Integrated in the Contrat de Renovation, Urbain Brabant/N@rd/St-Lazar, the project of Campus 1030 presented during overture of the summer school has stimulated a vivid discussion between speakers and participants. Imagined being settled in the surrounding of Place de la Reine, Schaerbeek, Campus 1030 is conceived to adress the urge to strength the relations of students and the place in which they orbitate during the day. As a matter of facts, the area lacks of students who actively consume and live in there, because of multiple factors. One among the others is because of Place de la Reine being a difficult place, as Alex Durart and Annelies Kums remarked. But also because of a lack in decent structurs that can eventually attract a young and well educated population to become dwellers themselves. Moreover, the project aims to gather both flamish (Faculteit Architectuur Campus St Lucas, LUCA) and franch universities (ISFSC, ISPG) to boost the partnership between the two communities. However, the conference arose some concerns among the participants: the latent link of social rennvation within the city and the boostening of gentrification processes was indeed the main topic of critique. For this reason, and in line with the aim of the project itself, the main path that followed the conversation has been based on the question: how governamentability and inclusivness can work together?

Round Table

Preparing a bilingual campus in the heart of the North Brabant district in Schaerbeek

(CAMPUS 1030)

Transformation, friction and disruption

Ronald Crouze

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

What is the city's politicizing potential? What is the role of democratic education and how important are undefined spaces? In this talk, education is considered not as a socializing practice, but as a subjectivizing, disruptive and transformative force in an urban context. Ronald Crouzé is preparing a doctoral thesis at the Department of Educational Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research focuses on informal and non-formal civic learning in an urban context.

https://youtu.be/kZ_izNQGPSo?list=PLtReB14LfWdP-kcOYCWuoUSa6hH6xSTjz

Temporary use is has-been. What’s next?

14 September 2021

At the turn of the 21st century, public libraries have become involved in the life of the city, offering diversified activities and new services, and even joining their readers' concern for the environment. Come and discover the different tools that have enabled this transformation: the concept of the third place, the idea of connection, the definition of "green" libraries - as well as some examples of their concrete implementation - and participate in generating ideas and desires to strengthen the power of resilience and connection of these renewed entities. Anita Van Belle works in ethical and sustainable communication. Daniel de Loneux has been a public library librarian for thirty years and is currently coordinating the events and programming of the quarterly thematic seasons of the Bibliothèque Hergé (Etterbeek).


Field trip
Temporary Occupation sites visit

(communa)

Antoine Dutrieu

Antoine Dutrieu works as a project developer for Communa, a non-profit organisation specialising in temporary use of vacant buildings. For almost two decades, he has been actively involved in a wide range of community projects. His core interest lies in space-making and co-creating proofs-of-concepts of more solidary, use-based and creative ways of inhabiting a city. His vision revolves around joie-de-vivre, mindfulness, the Commons, DIY, recycling and ‘artivism’.

Workshop
(Re)imagening Public Libraries as urban transitions spaces

(Anita Van Belle & Daniel de Loneux )

How to facilitate transitory urbanism is the question that Communa ASBL tries to answer through its projects. Focused on spaces labelled as conflictual, Communa settled its roots in Rue du Montenegro, Forest, in 2020 With Maxima, a 3000 squere meters complex in which different activities take place, with the goal of ensuring integration, partecipation and cooperation in an area in which public spaces are pretty much nonexistent. Antoine Dutrieu, who welcomed the participants in the site, explained the various processes behind the creation of Maxima, as well as showing the building and its finalities. Maxima is indeed a temporary utopia. The medium between the past and the future of a neighbourhood in which the ongoing process of social change might enforce situations of conflicts between new and old dwellers.

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

https://youtu.be/c8jkUBIWgB8?list=PLtReB14LfWdP-kcOYCWuoUSa6hH6xSTjz

Citizen-driven solutions for local issues

15 September 2021

'How to tackle Brussels change and how to best deal with it?', asked Matthias Cox, geographer and project manager for the Cité de la Jeunesse (Schaerbeek) during the bike fieldtrip to the participants. The answer is of course difficult to find. However, there are things that must be done. One of them, is to mitigate the consequences of uneven urban change though participatory processes that start from the below. Cité de la Jeunesse indeed, creates a room for youngster to produce and consume their own space, engaging them on the making of a conscient and multi-layered citizenship. Not only activities related to educational purposes, but also sport and creativity is welcomed in the ASBL settled in Schaerbeek. The project, promoted by Promo Jeunesse ASBL, also fill the lack of public space lived in Schaerbeek, where the youth struggle to find its belonging in a city in transformation.


Field Trip
Inclusive City-making Bike Tour

(Matthias Cox (Cité de la Jeunesse))

To shed a light on the challenges in Brussels youth work, and engaging participatory projects in the context of shaping the in-between spaces, Cité de la jeunesse presented a “fishbowl conference”. An interactive debate with the people behind Cité de la Jeunesse/JongerenStad, academic experts who guided the project, youngsters, co-workers from the collaborative platform of partners, and the participants in the summer school. The aim was to have a discussion on how we can overcome participation thresholds and discover deductive grass-root strategies in respect to theoretical knowledge. Practicalities and difficulties of working in an in-between space were explored, culminating in the inconvenient question: do we actually need this?

Jef Van Laer & Annelies Duerinckx

Citizen science as a solution for local issues

Annelies Duerinckx is the founder and coordinator of Scivil, the Flemish center for citizen science. Scivil promotes citizen science, brings stakeholders together and supports initiators of citizen science projects. Annelies advises the Flemish department of Economy, Science and Work on citizen science, gives advice to current and future citizen science projects and organizes thematic working groups, lectures, info moments and workshops on citizen science. Jef Van Laer worked is a highly experienced science communicator. For years, he has advised, guided and coordinated science communication and citizen science in the Expertise Centre for Science Communication of Vrije Universiteit Brussel. In September 2019 he joined Scivil, where he mapped the citizen science field in Flanders. At Scivil, Jef advises citizen science projects and stakeholders and informs parties in the social quadrangle in presentations, information sessions and workshops about the different aspects of citizen science.

Citizen-driven solutions for local issues

15 September 2021

Workshop
Temporary occupation with or by youngsters, participation paradoxes and thresholds

(Matthias Cox (Cité de la Jeunesse))

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

https://youtu.be/gX-lgoyIX8w?list=PLtReB14LfWdP-kcOYCWuoUSa6hH6xSTjz

Who is seen and listened to in participatory projects ?

16 September 2021

This workshop treated the question of who is “seen”’, listened to or included in (research) projects, based on two Brussels-based case studies: the MaN’Aige project and Community health workers. The first part of the workshop focused on the process (MaN’Aige case): who is involved in the (research) project? For example, how can mobile/transportable units in public space create an ‘open’ space for connections in neighbourhoods and what challenges for research practices occur? The second part focused on the evaluation of the process (Community health workers case). The Most Significant Change technique captures unexpected changes from the perspective of participants that are valued by them, and thus maps out different outcomes then traditional evaluation techniques. Through this workshop, participants gained a hands-on view on the use of different tools and techniques for inclusion and have the opportunity to share their own experiences. MaN’Aige is a co-creative research project funded by the Innoviris Co-Create program. The aim is to look into how we can create a caring community together with neighbourhood users (associations, companies, institutions, passersby, commuters..) in two central neighbourhoods in Brussels (Martyrs and Notre-Dame aux Neiges).

Workshop
Who is seen, listened to or included in participatory projects

(Sylvia Hoens, Mia Laermans & Octavia Kint (VUB))

An Sofie Smetcoren & Sarah Dury

Challenges for co-constructing comunities in research practices?

Sarah Dury is a tenure track assistant professor in Adult Educational Sciences (VUB) and has been part of the Belgian Ageing Studies research team since 2008. Her research focuses on participation, social inclusion, and compassionate communities. She is the coordinator of the Compassionate Communities centre of expertise (COCO) which performs pioneering work in developing, implementing and evaluating the Compassionate Communities model around the world. An-Sofie Smetcoren is assistant professor at the Department of Adult Educational Science (VUB). Her research focuses on how urban environments influence daily life (e.g. access to services and care, access to housing) of its inhabitants and thus how processes of social inclusion and exclusion take place in different types of communities (e.g. cohousing community, Age Friendly Communities, Caring Communities,...). More specifically, she looks at how the physical (housing, urban planning) and social (relationships, networks) environment can contribute to quality of life and subjective well-being. Her particular interest lies in engaging with the experiences of and to give voice to those in vulnerable and disadvantaged situations.

Video transcrips in 3 languages (EN/NL/FR)

https://youtu.be/2YfrS_f5uLQ?list=PLtReB14LfWdP-kcOYCWuoUSa6hH6xSTjz

The ULB FabLab is a multidisciplinary team of academics, researchers, technicians, students from various ULB faculties (Sciences, Architecture, Law, Brussels Polytechnic) and also artists, designers, makers and citizens, part of a digital network initiated by the MIT - Center for Bits and Atoms, gathered around a physical location on the Usquare campus and managed by two fabmanagers. Fablabs allow creation and invention by giving access to digital fabrication tools. The ULB FabLab is distinguished by its academic and interdisciplinary teaching and research offer, locally and internationally. Over the past 12 months, the ULB FabLab steering team has begun a process of defining a tailor-made, participatory, dynamic and horizontal governance, accompanied by the Collectiv-a collective. Starting from the existing situation, we have thought about, clarified and streamlined our way of working while favouring human aspects, collective intelligence, cooperation, and the pleasure of being and doing together. The activity proposed a guided tour of the ULB FabLab on the new ULB-VUB campus in Usquare and a presentation of the transformation of their governance model.

Workshop
Setting-up a shared governance model

(Fablab (ULB))

Who is seen and listened to in participatory projects?

16 September 2021

Third spaces in Europe

17 September 2021

Third spaces "host the regular, informal, and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work" [R. Oldenburg 1989]. The circle of Open Lab Summer School’s debates ended with the contribution of Gabriel Spinner, who pursued a Master thesis in Environmental Sciences and Development at ULB on the topic of Third Spaces. Gabriel started with an overview of the typologies of third places drawing on relevant literature. The themes dealt with, the actors involved, the viability models as well as the implementation methods and the obstacles encountered by the third places studied were presented. Next, the participants were invited to discuss these observations and to put them into perspective with their own experience of such third places. The theme, which has also been the focus of the Summer School in a wider basis, stressed the urge for the creation of spaces in which incentives to participations, flexibility and sustainability must be the common core on the making of participatory projects, highlighting the urge to build dynamic relationship between the public sector, private stakeholders and citizens.


Workshop
Third spaces in Europe: typologies and environmental issues

(Gabriel Spinnler (ULB))

Aditional Readings:

  • CAMPUS1030: https://www.renovas.be/nl/herwaardering-van-de-wijken/brabant-noord-sint-lazarus-2018-2022-home/maatschappelijke-cohesie/article/campus-1030
  • Bibliothèque Hergé (Etterbeek): https://www.biblioherge.be/
  • vzw communa asbl: https://communa.be/
  • Calvo,M. and Sclater, M. (2021). Creating Spaces for Collaboration in Community Co-design. International Journal of Art & Design Education. 40(1)
  • Talbert, R., & Mor-Avi, A. (2019). A space for learning: An analysis of research on activelearningspaces.Heliyon, 5(12)
  • Spinnler, Gabriel. 2021. Les questions environnementales dans les interfaces sciences-société. Mémoire de Fin d’Etudes Master en Sciences et Gestion de l’Environnement M-ENVIG
  • Cité de la Jeunesse: http://www.promojeunes-asbl.be/-Cite-de-la-jeunesse-
  • Citizens Science Flanders: https://www.scivil.be/
  • MAN'AiGE: https://www.cocreate.brussels/projet/manaige/
  • Fablab ULB: https://fablab.ulb.be/


Listen

Futuring LAB

Despite Brussels' hyperdiverse nature, its social texture is quite fragmented into an agglomeration of unconnected bubbles. Exploring the question ‘How will we share the city amongst each other in Bruxsels in 2030?’ gives us an opportunity to challenge the current paradigms and collectively weave new stories for our city. During a 4-day experiential futuring lab, participants dove into futures design, created storyworlds and artefacts. All this with an aim to trigger conversations about our urban future and start acting towards a more desirable city. The lab was facilitated by BrusselAVenir, an interactive citizen lab depicting new narratives for Brussels.

DAY 1: Tram design

DAY 2: Experience design

DAY 3: Stories, conversations and ambience

DAY 4: Artefacts crafting & exhibiting the prototype

How will we share the city amongst us in 2030?

The Futuring Lab proposed by BrusselAVenir took trace of the urban policies of green transition to propose a critical-creative debate translating preferred futures visions into multimedia stories. Building on the question how the participants would imagine the tram of the future, a constructive but playful discussion emerged exploring the fragilities of the urban mobility sector in Brussels.

By using colorful pens, highlighters and paper to imagine the tram of 2030, several questions arose. First, the acknowledgment that mobility has been designed drawing on patriarchal, productivity oriented and ableist paradigms. The tram of the future – according to the participants – should be physically and economically accessible to everyone by implementing material facilities and by creating a more welcoming space with the introduction of ‘tram mentors’ in charge of tackling the needs of each users.

And indeed, what is a sustainable urban mobility if it doesn’t take into account the heterogeneity of the city and its actors? And how can we design new modes of transportation in coherence with the new disposals for the green transition policies in Brussels?

14-17 September 2021

Futuring LAB

(Khushboo Balwani & Ellen Anthoni (BrusselAVenir))

How will we share the city amongst us in 2030?

14-15 September 2021

Tram Design

Experience Design

The second day started with a drawing exercise where participants were asked to visualize their preferred tram journey in 2030. In what way will and should a future tram experience be different from today. How will it foster a more diversity-rich experience and allow users to more actively interact with different neighborhoods and their inhabitants? Insights that emerged from this session were that if there would be fewer cars, spaces for encounter and more inclusive interactions would become available; an inclusive city is a city where diverse social groups can mingle, rather than be separated; the future of public transportation should be more responsive to local needs (e.g. if there is a school, there should be space for kids to play while waiting for the bus); citizens should more actively reclaim tram stops since they are (valuable) public spaces. The participants dreamed of a tram where travelers would be able to listen to different stories when passing through different neighborhoods, and long tram journeys would become more entertaining thanks to arts performances along the way.

Day one started with a brief introduction of the work of BrusselAVenir and the research question guiding this group: how will we share the city amongst each other in 2030? Participants explored this question through a mood board. They were asked to group up in pairs and imagine a future tram expressing the idea of sharing the city in a diversity-rich and sensitive manner. What would the interactions with the tram staff be like? How will people approach the space in the tram? What will the future of mobility look like? A group discussion was organized to share ideas. Participants highlighted the importance of accessible and inclusive public transportation: free of charge, safe thanks to the presence of a team of tram hosts rather than security cameras, special needs, and disabilities are taken into account by design. They imagined that in 2030 trams would no longer have a driver,  would get a more important part of pubic space, would have a welcoming and modular interior for example through staff helping elderly people find their ways, a voice greeting you at the end of the journey, etc. 

How will we share the city amongst us in 2030?

14-17 September 2021

On day four, participants in the Futuring LAB engaged in artefact crafting. Trying to make the ideas that had emerged during the previous sessions tangible. How will public transport communication look like in 2030, what will future tram-stops be named after, will there still be advertisements in public space, would people still need to pass by the ticketing service... and if so, what will they look like? An exotic palm tree growing at the tram stop, colourful clothes for the tram hosts, a stage for travellers wanting to dance while taking the tram, a tool allowing instant translation of travel information, a rollable entrance… All of these objects were sculpted out of cardboard. By the end of the day, the tram was exhibited. Audio materials recorded during the lab (conversations, background sounds, stories…) could be listened to. Participants were invited to take a seat in the tram for exchange of conversations on futures of sharing the city.

Stories, Conversation & Ambience

Artefact Crafting & Exhibiting the Prototype

The third day of the Futuring LAB aimed to engage participants in storytelling. The session started with a collaborative story writing exercise. Participants were asked to imagine themselves taking the tram as a different person: why are you taking the tram, from which stop are you boarding, how would you interacts with the objects in the tram, with other travellers, what would be your most striking experiences or impressions from the inside of the tram? In the second part of the session, the stories were read and recorded.

  • Anthoni, E., BrusselAVenir, Balwani, K., Schoffelen, J., & Hannes, K. (2021). 20:30 Bruxsels Talks: a script for a future fiction radio show. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 151–186. https://doi.org/10.18432/ari29607
  • Anthoni, E., Balwani, K., Schoffelen, J., & Hannes, K. (2021). 20:30 Bruxsels Talks: fiction as method, fiction as a format, fiction as a space for participation. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 6(1), 56–83. https://doi.org/10.18432/ari29553
  • Candya, S. & Dunaganb, J. (2017). Designing an experiential scenario: The People Who Vanished. Futures, 86, 136-153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2016.05.006
  • https://brusselavenir.be/research/sharing-the-city-amongst-each-other-in-bruxsels-in-2030/

Aditional Readings:

MANUEL

HISHAM

MO

ELISABETH

Methods Used

03

The following pages present a selection of methods used during the summer school. Key-characteristics are indicated, building on Theory U and the SUSPLACE Arts-Based Methods Toolkit (2018). Theory U provides an outline for change-oriented approaches that is easily adaptable to different contexts and scales. The model balances linearity with spaces for serendipity, doubt and intuition. It also strikes a balance between interpersonal processes of collaboration and individual or introspective processes of transformation. The methods we bring forward, were grouped based on their participatory nature; distinguishing experiential, sensory, somatic, narrative, and intuitive methods. Most methods can be used for multiple purposes and in different stages of a collaboration process. They can be employed alone or in concert. One can use them as described or adapt them to suit a specific purpose. Feel free to improvise and draw from your own creativity or expertise.

Overview

fish bowl conference
critical incidents
embodying transformation
experiential futuring
forum theatre
letter writing
most significant change
participatory murals
podcast walk
rich pictures
silent conversations
soundscaping
walkalongs
working with persona
world café


World Café

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • a creative process for leading collaborative dialogue and sharing knowledge in small groups
  • organised around a number of discussion rounds
  • each round starts with a question linked to the overarching topic / context of the activity
  • after each round and/or at the end of the session insights are shared
  • results can be presented in multiple ways, usually including graphic elements

Aim?
  • identify common patterns, get a more broad understanding of a given topic
  • identify possibilities for action

When & how to use it?
  • brainstorming around unstructured and complex problems
  • activate collective wisdom
  • groups of varied sizes (large groups too)
  • can be organized in online format as well as face-to-face

More information:

  • The World Café website: www.theworldcafe.com
  • The World Café Toolkit: www.theworldcafe.com/pdfs/cafetogo.pdf

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Critical Incident Narratives

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • a story structured chronologically: sequence of events and the context in which they took place (Riessmann, 2008)
  • does more than simply describe a series of events: it also depicts the emotions of, and the interpretation provided by the narrator – gives meaning (Chase, 2008)

Aim?
  • shaping and constructing the participants’ identity
  • interpreting the experiences (sensemaking)
  • maintaining or questioning the status quo (Rhodes and Brown, 2005)

When & how to use it?
  • can be used as data gathering or data analysis method
  • can be prepared individually

More information:

Riessman, C. J. (2008). Narrative methods for the human sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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Rich Pictures

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • visual exploration of a complex issue
  • consists of symbols, icons, cartoons, diagrams, keywords, sometimes pictures and text
  • illustrates the richness and complexity of a given concept, problem, situation, or experience

Aim?
  • foster shared understanding of a given problem or context
  • explore divergent perceptions and assumptions
  • reveal hidden dimensions and connections
  • come to a holistic understanding and analysis of ‘wicked’ problems

When & how to use it?
  • can be used in all collaboration phases
  • can be produced individually or collaboratively, on paper or digital support
  • it’s important that participants explain while drawing
  • moderation is needed in order to make sure all participants get a chance to participate in the drawing and dialogue

More information:

  • The Open University released a series of 8 videos that explore the concept of rich pictures: The Art of Rich Pictures
  • If a picture paints a thousand words: The use of rich pictures in evaluation: In this e-book, Judy Oakden discusses the use of Rich Pictures in evaluation.

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Working with Persona

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • personas are fictional but evidence-based characters, representing different social groups / user typologies
  • working with personas helps explore different needs, experiences, and expectations
  • four different perspectives can be distinguished: the goal-directed perspective; the role-based perspective; the engaging perspective; and the fiction-based perspective

Aim?
  • helps to recognize different needs and expectations
  • allows to identify possibilities for action building on a diversity of perspectives
  • guide ideation and design processes, aligned with the needs and goals of various target groups

When & how to use it?
the ideal process of working with persona's has four steps: (i) data collection and analysis, (ii) developing persona descriptions, (iii) preparing scenarios for problem analysis and idea development, (iv) valorisation of ideas and propositions

More information:

Nielsen, Lene, Personas. In: Soegaard, Mads and Dam, Rikke Friis (eds.). The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. Aarhus, Denmark: The Interaction Design Foundation, 2013

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Walkalongs

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • a type of interview in which the interviewer and subject walk together while talking
  • combines interview and observation
  • allows touching upon reflexive aspects of lived experiences
  • exposes the complex and subtle meanings of place

Aim?
  • walkalongs allow to 'map' the spatial location and concrete materialization of what is shared
  • the technique makes the environment itself a prompt for discussion

When & how to use it?
  • walkalongs ask for extensive preparation
  • goals and practicalities need to be talked through with the interviewee in advance of the walk
  • technological devices used for data collection (sound, image, geolocation) need to be tested and mastered in advance

More information:

  • Jones, H. and Jackson, E. (Ed.). (2014). Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and Location. Routledge, London
  • Carpiano, R.M. (2009). Come take a walk with me: the 'go-along' interview as a novel method for studying the implication of place for health and well-being. Health & Place, 15(1), 263-72

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Forum Theatre

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • theatre play aiming at enhancing individual and collective agency
  • a form of theatre that encourages audience interaction and explores different options for change
  • often used by socially excluded, disempowered or underrepresented groups

Aim?
  • help audience identify their 'internal oppressions' and formulate means to overcome them
  • generating both solidarity and a sense of empowerment
  • pin-point concrete opportunities for collective action

When & how to use it?
Forum Theatre has two phases. First, the audience is shown a short play in which a central character (protagonist) encounters a form of oppression or obstacle that s/he is unable to overcome. Secondly, the audience can take the stage and suggest alternative options for how the protagonist could have acted. The discussion allows people to better understand mechanisms of oppression and collaboratively define means to overcome them.

More information:

  • Augusto., Boal (1995). The rainbow of desire : the Boal method of theatre and therapy. London: Routledge
  • Cardboard Citizens about Forum Theatre.: https://cardboardcitizens.org.uk/

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Soundscaping

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • a sound or combination of sounds that forms or arises from an immersive environment
  • in educational settings, soundscapes can be used for illustrating a complex issue through lived experiences or physical spacings of a problem
  • soundscapes can be used for data collection, illustration or dissemination purposes

Aim?
  • soundscapes allow to document an immersive environment
  • soundscapes can also be used for creating an immersive experience

When & how to use it?
  • can be produced and used both indoors as well as outdoors
  • soundscaping allows for in-depth interviews as well as exploratory site studies
  • both production of as well as experiencing soundscapes work best in small groups
  • technological material needs to be checked and mastered in advance

More information:

  • Southworth, Michael (1969). "The Sonic Environment of Cities". Environment and Behavior. 1 (1): 49–70
  • A unique collection of Brussel-based soundscapes and soundmaps: http://www.bna-bbot.be/Public/

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Silent Conversations

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • participants silently brainstorm ideas and keywords focusing on a specific issue or question
  • in a second phase, contributions are clustered based on similarity (in silence) by enacting collaborative negotiation
  • silent conversations allow to surface and draw attention to points of alignment and differences of opinion within a group

Aim?
  • silence enables a deeper state of reflection and prevents louder voices from dominating the conversation
  • a silent conversation enables a clearer understanding of points of convergence and divergence in a group
  • fosters a sense of connection and allows for multiperspectivistic exploration of a given topic or issue

When & how to use it?
  • in a first step, introduce the issue or question at hand, then invite participants to work in silence
  • make sure that there is enough time for discussion after the silent part of the exercise
  • larger groups can be split in smaller discussion groups in order to allow for more in-depth conversations

More information:

Concept Mapping: Trochim (1989). An introduction to concept mapping for planning and evaluation.

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Experiential Futuring

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • engages people in articulating, analyzing and experiencing possible futures
  • experiential futuring activities are a means to inform decisions and actions in the present
  • allows people to let go of the status-quo and imagine how situations could develop otherwise

Aim?
  • assists people in generating change in the present
  • helpful for navigating the complexities, uncertainties, and ethical implications of change events

When & how to use it?
  • Stuart Candy and Jake Dunagan created a scaffolding model for working with experiential futures, building on a nested concept of three spaces of encounter: (i) a setting (the theme or kind of the future to be explored), (ii) a scenario (the specific proposition and sequence of events that emerge from the setting), and (iii) a situation (the circumstances of encounter where particular events are given physical form).
  • Participants can be invited to take part in just one, a combination of two or all three described encounters

More information:

Candy, S. and Dunagan, J. (2016). Designing an experiential scenario: The People Who Vanished. DOI:10.1016/J.FUTURES.2016.05.006Corpus ID: 148389956

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Intuitive Lettre Writing

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • participants write a lettre in response to a series of reflective questions
  • writing takes place continuously for a limited time (5-10 minutes)
  • the lettre can be addressed to someone or something
  • through writing, participants become more aware of the way they have lived an experience and/or the way they think or feel about a certain position or topic

Aim?
  • intuitive lettre writing helps raising self-awareness
  • a means to foster intuitive reflection and perspective sharing

When & how to use it?
  • prepare a series of reflective questions beforehand
  • can be organized onsite or online
  • works in small as well as larger groups
  • ask participants to read their lettres and collaboratively reflect on the experiences and emotions that they evoke

More information:

  • Ayres, D. (2013) Writing to Learn. Available at: http://danieljayres.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/writing-to-learn.html
  • Ayres, D. (2015) Reflective Writing Exercises. Available at: http://danieljayres.blogspot.co.uk/

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Participatory Murals

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • collaborative drawing or painting activity
  • supports can be permanent or temporary
  • both digital as well as physical murals can be developed
  • the participatory character allows to harvest diverse points of view
  • can serve as a conversation starter
  • participatory murals are often used to engage social groups that are hard to reach or underrepresented

Aim?
  • participatory murals can be used for strengthening social ties
  • the method allows for perspective sharing through creative expression
  • murals can be used to connect diverse experiences, ideas, needs, and aspirations

When & how to use it?
  • developing participatory murals is time and resources demanding
  • choices about support, location, number of participants need to be aligned with the available budget and time
  • it is important to think about how the mural will be exhibited / used after production beforehand

More information:

Participatory Mural Guide: https://www.crucescreatives.org/resources/Documents/CC_ParticipatoryMuralsBooklet.pdf

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Embodying Transformation

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • participants are asked to physically embody or demonstrate an idea or feeling
  • opens new dimensions for dialogue and helps to root new concepts via embodied experiences
  • can be used to explore and anchor participants’ understanding of an issue

Aim?
  • serves as an opportunity to reflect and learn from different physical feelings and emotional responses
  • allows to explore the idea of somatic knowing
  • suitable for embodying a sense of collaborative or collective care and responsibility with others

When & how to use it?
  • ask people to share a word or short sentence about their experience after each somatic exercise
  • clarifying the purpose of the exercise can put people more at ease before taking part

More information:

Embodied Learning: Evans, Davies & Rich (2009). The Body Made Flesh: Embodied Learning and the Corporeal Device.

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Fish Bowl Conference

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • a form of dialogue that can be used when discussing topics within large groups
  • 5-10 chairs are arranged in an inner circle, the remaining chairs are arranged in concentric circles
  • a few participants are selected to fill the inner circle, the rest of the group sits outside the fishbowl
  • the moderator introduces the topic and the inner circle starts discussing
  • the audience outside the inner circle listens to the discussion

Aim?
  • allows a large number of participants to contribute to a conversation
  • helps leveling out existing hierarchies, flattens the distinctions between experts and laypeople

When & how to use it?
  • helpful for activating collective wisdom
  • is meant for large groups - a large venue is needed
  • sometimes sub-groups are formed, for example to activate more silent/shy group participants

More information:

https://gamestorming.com/fishbowl/

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Podcast Walking

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • podcasts are a great way to introduce concepts, illustrate complex issues with lived experiences
  • onsite walks while listening to a podcasts allow to connect to the storries of concerned actors in a personalised manner
  • using podcasts as an introduction to a topic, frees classroom time for active discussion
  • vice versa, can podcasts be produced during a collaborative project

Aim?
  • allows for flexibility and customized engagement with (research) content
  • helpful for accomodating to diverse learning styles

When & how to use it?
  • both individual walks as well as group walks can be organised
  • podcasts can include soundscapes, storrytelling, interviews
  • one can use readymade or produce new podcast materials

More information:

  • Onderwijscentrum Brussel started a podcast series on ‘Urban Education’: https://www.onderwijscentrumbrussel.be/
  • WalkingLab’s podcast series on walking research-creation: https://walkinglab.org/

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Walkshops

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • a short engaging activity allowing participants to observe and document their surroundings
  • participants can be asked to make photos, videos, notes and sketches
  • the route can be pre-described or self-determined
  • the walk is followed by a workshop where observations are pooled and discussed

Aim ?
  • allows to document urban challenges in specific localities
  • helpful for bringing together diverse perspectives, explore key-characteristics of the cityscape through active observation and perspective sharing
  • useful for identifying possibilities for action in group

When & how to use it ?
  • walk in small groups, discussion can be organised in larger groups
  • participants can use both hard as well as soft tools for data-collection during the walk

More information:

  • Zeeland van, I.; Breuer, J.; Pierson, J. (2021). Walkshops for Citizen Involvement: Walk the Talk with Smart City Citizens. 2021 IEEE International Smart Cities Conference (ISC2)
  • Walk.Brussels examined the needs, wishes and observations of local pedestrians through Walkshops.

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Most Significant Change

When to use it: Convene Observe Reflect Act Harvest
Type of method: Experiential Sensory Somatic Narrative Intuitive

What?
  • sometimes called the ‘story approach’ or ‘Monitoring-without-indicators’ (ODI, 2009)
  • participatory method which involves formulating and analysing personal accounts of change and deciding which of these accounts is most significant
  • helpful in explaining how change comes about (processes and causal mechanisms) and when (in what situations and contexts)

Aim?
  • MSC is suitable for capturing unforeseen changes
  • MSC helps shaping a more complete picture of overall change

When & how to use it?
Three steps are important in MSC-approaches: (i) decide on the types of stories that should be collected, (ii) collect the stories and determine which stories are most significant, (iii) share the stories and discuss what caused the changes and how they have impacted a given situation or person

More information:

Davies, R. and J. Dart (2005): The ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) Technique – A Guide to Its Use – Guidelines from the Rick Davies and Jessica Dart who developed the concept of Most Significant Change Other useful guides have been prepared by the ODI and by Insightshare.

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Organisations & Projects

04

The in-between spaces/places summer school would not have been possible without the active contribution of a broad range of organisations and project communities. The activities proposed during the one-week event included field trips, discussions, key-note lectures and co-creation ateliers. They main ambition was to allow participants to explore the potential of in-between spaces in a broad, experiential as well as research-based manner. The aim was to build on the experiences and insights gained in a variety of participatory projects allowing urban actors to reimagine/remake their urban environment. On the following pages, the organisations and projects involved in the summer school are briefly described. By scrolling over the names, readers can click to more extensive information available online.

communa

asbl écologie urbaine

EBxl

imec-SMIT-VUB

ULB-coorperation

Inforsciences ULB

BCUS

Atelier Groot Eiland

BNA/BBOT

Cité de la Jeunesse

SeeU & Fablab ULB

Vaartkapoen

Réseau des études bruxelloises de l’ULB

ULB's Brussels studies network, EBxl, coordinates, pools and promotes the work of research teams who decode the complexity of Brussels and have made this small global city their laboratory.


https://ebxl.be/en/home/

Avansa

PromoJeunes

BrusselAVenir

Website: https://brusselavenir.be/


Mission: Depicting new narratives for Brussels images of the future inspire and can shape societies. Starting from your questions about the city, we explore what might come next. Every six months we select one question to work around, together with citizens, entrepreneurs, experts, and creatives. With them, we choose the futures we prefer and turn them into stories.



Urban Foxes

Website: https://www.urbanfoxes.org/


Mission: Urban Foxes is a multi-disciplinary placemaking collective based in Brussels, with team members all over the world, creating and facilitating innovative & inclusive projects, workshops, and giving lectures in different countries. We aim to improve urban health and wellbeing, focussing on the inclusion of neglected stakeholders, with an emphasis on free access, use, and the creation of high-quality public spaces and social interaction. Throughout our quest, we have created a team of expert Placemakers with a wide range of skills such as Urban Pedagogy, Civic Design, Tactile Urbanism, Co-Creation & Participation, and the development of non-formal educational methods. We can facilitate projects or conduct lectures in Dutch, French, English, Farsi, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

weKONEKT

Website: https://www.wekonektweek.brussels/en/


Mission: With weKONEKT.brussels, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) contribute to the development of a free, connected, resilient, and committed urban community. As urban engaged universities, they are connected to their region and they take up their role as an active “placemaker”, both at a local and international level.


campus1030

Website: https://www.renovas.be/nl/herwaardering-van-de-wijken/brabant-noord-sint-lazarus-2018-2022-home/maatschappelijke-cohesie/article/campus-1030


Mission: A project by RenovaS

With this project, RenovaS wants to respond to the strong student function in the Koninginnewijk. After all, with 4 higher education institutions, there are 5000 students and about 1000

ValueBugs

Website: https://www.cocreate.brussels/projet/valuebugs/


Mission: How to develop and promote in a sustainable way a product of protein source based on insects fed on

peelings, which is at the same time sustainable, safe, and decentralized?


Jardins Santés

Website: https://www.jardins-sante.org/


Mission: Therapeutic gardens humanize and transform the environment of the hospital and medico-social environments. Join Jardins & Santé to contribute to their development.

MaN’Aige

Website: https://www.cocreate.brussels/projet/manaige/


Mission: MaN'Aige is interested in the question of how to create a neighborhood of mutual aid, solidarity, and conviviality, built by residents, traders, workers, businesses, etc. neighborhood.

Musee du Capitalisme

Website: https://museeducapitalisme.org/en/homepage-3/


Mission: The Museum of Capitalism is a traveling and innovative exhibition about our economic and cultural system with content accessible to a broad audience, through an interactive exhibit with a pleasant atmosphere during the visit.

Actrices et Acteurs des Temps Présents

Website: https://www.aadtp.be/les-acteurs/


Mission: We are the Actors of the Present Times

Because there are other solutions than austerity

Because there is wealth for everyone.

Because common happiness is a right.

CIVISANO

Website: https://www.sciensano.be/en/projects/co-creative-and-geographical-approaches-tackle-socioeconomic-disparities-health-enhancing-lifestyle


Mission: As the name suggests, the CIVISANO project examines health (SANO) in citizens (CIVI). Sciensano does this by examining the perceived (e.g. attractiveness of public spaces, perception of social support, or perception of food availability) and objective (e.g. walkability assessment or food store audits) environmental determinants that impact physical activity and eating behaviors of residents living in two Flemish municipalities. The project uses a mixed-method approach, with both quantitative and qualitative data. The focus is on health promotion among socioeconomically disadvantaged adults, as these groups tend to have more unhealthy behaviors like insufficient physical activity and unhealthy eating habits. This way, we can decrease the health inequity gap.

Voisins d'énergie

Website: https://www.cocreate.brussels/projet/vde/


Mission: The “Neighbors of Energy” (VdE) project is collaborative research on the theme of energy which is part of the “co-create” call for projects on urban resilience of Innoviris (Brussels Ministry of research). This action supports projects which propose societal innovations in the perspective of autonomy vis-à-vis the interdependent services on which our urban society is based (in particular the limitation of mineral and energy resources).


Naviguer en Terre agitée

Webpage:


Mission: Experiential workshops to reconnect with oneself, with others, and with the Living. “Navigating in the Restless Land” offers times of reconnection with oneself, with other people who, they too, face the state of the world, and with the Alive.


Konekt vzw

Website: https://konekt.be/nl

Location: Lijnmolenstraat 153, 9040, Gent


Mission: Konekt is radically committed to a world in which people with and without disabilities live, learn and work together. Together with partners throughout Flanders, we make people stronger and set society in motion.

CLICK FOR MORE

Scivil

Website: https://www.scivil.be/


Mission: Scivil is the Flemish Knowledge Centre for Citizen Science. Scivil wants to unite, support and inform scientists, citizens, policy institutions and companies for more citizen science in Flanders.

TheCityIsOurPlayground

Website: www.thecityisourplayground.com


Mission: The City is our Playground is a project born out of our love for Brussels. Main aim is to explore the potential of diversity, promote integration and a sense of belonging for all members of society in order to help people identify more with their cities.

Website: https://communa.be/

Location: Rue Gray 171, 1050 Ixelles


Mission: Communa is an ASBL that is committed to a more affordable, more democratic, more resilient, and more creative city. If the temporary occupation is our main tool, we also develop other proposals concretes to address the commodification of urban spaces.

Website: https://urban-ecology.be/

Location: Rue Van Eyck 11, 1050 Bruxelles


Mission: The Urban Ecology Center is a non-profit organization that aims to increase the resilience of Brussels by boosting the social innovations that take place there. It functions as a bridge organization by setting up and facilitating complex partnerships with a diversity of actors to activate numerous transformative projects in Brussels. The Urban Ecology Center is also active in popular education. Our expertise is to be found in questions relating to the transition of complex systems, the valuation of organic matter, urban trees, and soils.



Website: https://ebxl.be/en/home/

Location: 50 Avenue Roosevelt, 1050, Bruxelles


Mission: Réseau des études bruxelloises de l’ULB

ULB's Brussels studies network, EBxl, coordinates, pools, and promotes the work of research teams who decode the complexity of Brussels and have made this small global city their laboratory.


Website: https://sciences.brussels/

Location: Boulevard du Triomphe CP262, 1050 Ixelles


Mission: INFORSCIENCES is the Science Dissemination Department of the ULB Faculty of Sciences which aims to bring together all of the Faculty's science dissemination and promotion tools and thus allow everyone to have a taste of science. , to discover the multiple facets of it, from the experimental approach to the understanding of the social and democratic stakes which concern it, while passing by the simple pleasure of the discovery. Our activities are aimed at all audiences: families and enthusiasts such as students from fundamental to rhetoric.

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Website: https://www.ulb-cooperation.org/fr/

Location: 50 Avenue Roosevelt, 1050, Bruxelles


Mission: ULB-Coopération is the NGO of Université libre de Bruxelles . Its development actions are located in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Belgium. It is active in four themes: health & health systems, territories & resources, entrepreneurship & management, and education & critical citizenship. Through each of these axes, the objective is to improve the living conditions of the populations, at the social, environmental, and financial levels.


Website: https://smit.vub.ac.be/about-us

Location: 50 Avenue Roosevelt, 1050, Bruxelles


Mission: The imec-SMIT-VUB research group was founded in 1990 and conducts fundamental, applied, and contractual research on IT, media, and policy. Our focus is on research related to innovation, policy, and socio-economical challenges. To this aim, imec-SMIT-VUB conducts user research, policy research, and business analysis, making use of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The research group consists of 2 research programs (‘Media & Society’ and ‘Data & Society’), which both are subdivided into three specific units.



Website: https://urbanstudies.brussels/

Location: Vrije Universiteit Brussels


Mission: The Brussels Centre for Urban Studies is one of the largest centers of its kind in Europe. It comprises more than twenty research groups and two hundred researchers with the aim to support inter-and transdisciplinary research projects in the domain of urban studies.



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Website: https://www.ateliergrooteiland.be/

Location: Quai du Hainaut 29, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean


Mission: Atelier Groot Eiland fights poverty by supporting as many Brussels residents as possible who find work difficult in their search for a job. We achieve this by organizing work experience, (free) training, employment care, and job coaching. And all of this in very diverse sectors: from carpentry and catering to urban agriculture. Sustainability, social entrepreneurship, and an economically realistic business model go hand in hand in everything we do.





Website: http://bna-bbot.be/dut/bbot/wie-zijn-we-/

Location: asbl BNA-BBOT vzw, 119 Laekenstraat, B-1000 Brussel


Mission: BruxellesNousAppartient/BrusselBehoortOnsToe

Brussel Behoort Ons Toe (BBOT) is an organization that has been developing social artistic sound projects since 2000 with city dwellers and sound artists in Brussels and beyond. In collaboration with residents (participation), we collect voices, stories and sounds from the city and make them accessible in the form of artistic sound productions. The sounds that are professionally recorded and permanently stored (digitized) in an online database accessible to everyone, form the basis for new sound creations





Website: http://www.promojeunes-asbl.be/cit%C3%A9-de-la-jeunesse

Location: Rue François-Joseph Navez 110, 1000 Bruxelles


Mission: Worn by Promo Jeunes ASBL. The “Cité de la Jeunesse” project intends to promote living together and the emancipation of young people through the conception of a city created by and for them. This place represents a device that allows both the exercise of active citizenship and the meeting of young Brussels residents who do not meet either in school time or in leisure time. More than 400 young people aged 14 to 20 took part in the reflection on the city of youth.





SeeU

Website: https://www.see-u.brussels/

Location: See U, Rue Fritz Toussaint, Brussels


Mission: Located in the heart of Ixelles, See U is today the largest temporary occupation in Belgium, synonymous with social and sustainable innovation, learning, and experimentation. In the heart of Ixelles, See U takes place on a 45,000 m2 site, formerly the former Fritz Toussaint gendarmerie barracks in Ixelles. Today, it is an ecosystem that brings together more than 100 project leaders who animate the site daily, from the associative, economic, cultural, university, or educational world. See U is, until March 2022, the transitional management phase of the Usquare. Brussels project aims to open the doors of this historic place to the general public.


FabLab ULB

Website: http://fablab-ulb.be/

Location: FabLab ULB, Rue Fritz Toussaint, Ixelles


Mission:

The ULB fablab is open to everyone and its objective is to promote new uses within the university. Four faculties of the Université Libre de Bruxelles are joining forces to bring this project to the new Usquare site and become an interdisciplinary fablab: the faculty of science, architecture, polytechnic, and law.FabLabs provide global access to modern means of the invention. They started as an outreach project from the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) and have grown into a global, collaborative network with a common charter.

The fablab operates through training giving access to the use of machines. Without training, it is not possible to use the machines.

Website: https://www.vaartkapoen.be/

Location: Gemeenschapscentrum De Vaartkapoen, Rue de Manchester, Sint-Jans-Molenbeek


Mission: Atelier Groot Eiland fights poverty by supporting as many Brussels residents as possible who find work difficult in their search for a job. We achieve this by organizing work experience, (free) training, employment care, and job coaching. And all of this in very diverse sectors: from carpentry and catering to urban agriculture. Sustainability, social entrepreneurship, and an economically realistic business model go hand in hand in everything we do.





Website: https://www.avansa-citizenne.be/

Location: Baksteenkaai 74, 1000 Brussel


Mission: for Brussels residents who want to learn more about the world, the city, and themselves





Website: http://www.promojeunes-asbl.be/

Location: Pass. du Travail 4, 1000 Bruxelles


Mission: From project support to the organization of sports or artistic activities, we offer a wide range of free services accessible to under 31s. Promo Jeunes ASBL shakes up your projects!





"Cannot exist unless the dialoguers engage in critical thinking - thinking which discerns an indivisible solidarity between the world and the people and admits no dichotomy between them - thinking which perceives reality as process, as transformation, rather than as static entity - thinking which does not seperate itself from action, but constantly immerses itself in temporality without fear of the risks involved."

Freire, 1972

True dialogue ...

Process, Tools & Tips

05

The summer school aimed to involve participants in a variety of activities allowing them to explore the potential of in-between spaces as just, sustainable, and participatory places. Spaces where engaged citizens can cope with pressing urban challenges in a collaborative manner. Who needs to be involved in such processes? What kind of methods should they build upon? What topics or challenges should they address? What frictions and obstacles should one expect to encounter? What ethical considerations need to be taken into account? What kind of equipment, competencies, and financial resources do such processes require? We aimed to encourage dialogue over boundaries of disciplines, sectors, age, life experiences, and backgrounds, building on critical, participatory, and engaged methods. The overall goals was to work towards a shared narrative, research agenda, and instrumentatarium. In this section, we will outline the main steps of the project and share some tools and tips that might be useful for setting up a similar event.

01

03

After

planning template

call for contribution

Before

During

05

daily planning

06

daily journal

07

08

guidelines for participants

reporting template

09

feedback form

10

04

02

budget template

call for participation

debriefing report

February

March-April

May

June

July-August

September

October

October-November

Project team & Proposal

Scoping Goals & Format

Call for Contribution

Call for Participation

Practicalities & Pedagogies

summer school

Follow-up & Results Analysis

Post-Report

Dissemination

CLICK FOR MORE

5.1 Process & Tools

5.3 Tips for your event

During the summer school, we explored concepts that are both complex and value-loaded: sustainability, transformation, participation, decolonization, … It was important to get to know each other’s understanding of these concepts and to check everyones' expectations for this week. This was not only crucial for ourselves but also the audience: how could we make sure they wouldn’t get lost in vague buzzwords and floaty intentions? We have learned that it is beneficial to constantly (re)discuss expectations and goals to reach a common understanding within our team. In the preparatory phase, this is crucial of course, but also during and after summer school. This can be done by making it a recurrent item during the team meetings or an informal topic during coffee breaks. Creative methods such as rich picture exercise or mind mapping work great to kickstart and visualize this conversation!


Reaching a shared understanding of the goals of the summer school is a process – not a given.


A philosophy of shared decision making ensured that everybody in our team could suggest names of contributors, themes to be discussed or methods to be used. This horizontalism allowed everybody in the team to claim ownership over the summer school. As a consequence, however, the program was quickly filled and even risked becoming overcrowded. In hindsight, it would have been better to kill some of our darlings and determine the fill rouge of the summer school in a clearer way. The following questions are worth asking to reach this goal: is the intended program digestible for our participants? Is there enough time for people to take a break and process what has been said and done? Does the program allow for unscripted but valuable initiatives and encounters, for example from participants themselves? How can participants claim ownership and contribute? Asking these questions in the preparatory phase can be helpful in getting the program on point.

Scoping and downsizing is though, but essential.

During this week, we have deliberately sought to go beyond the conventional script of an academic summer school. We aimed to blend the rational and the emotional, the formal and informal. Classic ex-cathedra keynotes were combined with co-creative world café methods. An aim for academic rigor, critical thinking, and asking fundamental questions existed alongside a desire to create a trustful and caring environment where individual emotions and identifies could be discussed. At the end of each day, arts-based, sensitive methods were successfully used to reflect in the group on what had been said and done. Based on the grateful reactions we’ve got from a lot of our participants, this mixing of different approaches worked well. As such, the summer school about in-between places/spaces became an in-between space in and of itself!


Blend the conventional and the unconventional.


During the summer school, we have invested quite some time in generating a daily newsletter for people who couldn’t make it to (certain parts of) the week. This allowed us both to stay in touch with our network and also generated valuable content that could easily be used in the post-reporting process. In the future, this could be taken one step further by integrating a co-created digital platform where participants can also share impressions, give feedback, stay in touch with each other and suggest further readings. Concerning practical communication within our organizational team, we’ve noticed that it is challenging to make sure everybody will stay up-to-date on the different to-do and possible last-minute changes. We’ve tried to start and end each day with a collective briefing. Besides discussing everybody’s tasks, we also found it very valuable to leave enough time for check-in rounds. One by one, we answered some of these questions: how am I feeling today? What am I looking forward to? What will give me energy? What is causing stress? These check-in rounds also allowed us to keep searching for a common understanding of the summer school's goals, as pointed out above.

Communication is key – both within the team as with the outside world.

5.3 Tips for your event

We wanted our summer school to be as open and accessible as possible, addressing not only university students and staff but also community partners, citizens, policymakers, youth, … Despite this genuine aim to include people with diverse backgrounds, it became clear that we’ve mostly reached people with certain profiles (higher educated x white x middle class?) Some people with minority backgrounds indicated that they felt underrepresented. Despite our explicit commitment to creating a safe space, they stressed that it was sometimes hard for them to feel safe enough to speak out and contribute. Good intentions don’t necessarily lead to intended outcomes. Also, the use of abstract concepts such as in-between spaces/places and the way we’ve presented the aims of this summer school in our communication was considered too academic and intellectualistic for some. This was an important reason for one of our initial partners, an organization working with secondary school children in Brussels, to drop out along the way.


Aim for a heterogenous audience – but also be aware of missing voices.

How could we make sure that a maximum amount of people could substantially participate during the summer school? This was a pertinent question because we had a strict quota on the number of participants due to covid-regulations. As a result, the inscriptions couldn’t be left open endlessly. To lower any financial threshold, access to the summer school was free of charge. People had to simply indicate in an online form which sessions they wished to participate in a couple of weeks in advance. We chose to work with a two-fold system of inscriptions: either being present for most of the program during the whole week, either participating in a more tailor-made way, choosing a couple of activities but not all. This approach has led to significant drop-outs of people who inscribed but never showed up. Could this have been prevented? Could it be an idea to ask people to pay a certain fee in advance when they sign up, and to reimburse them once they’ve effectively participated?

Anticipate drop outs (certainly in pandemic times).

5.3 Tips for your event

37 activities

80 euro pp/day

50 hrs of learning

109 participants

3FTE/5months

17 certificates

84 youtube views

37 organisations

5.4 Facts & Figures

Listen

Redaction Team

06

soundclouds produced by Simon Mazet

design genial.ly board by Hana Taherazar

  • BNA/BBOT soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bnabbot
  • Dossier “Dekolonisering” in Recto:Verso https://www.rektoverso.be/dossier/C2Xp2dLPh5y3jqw39
  • Konekt vzw: https://konekt.be
  • Vaartkapoen: www.vaartkapoen.be/terugblik/forumtheater
  • Partnership Planning Cards (NCCPE)
  • Reflection Toolkit (University of Edinburgh) (Koppelingen naar een externe site.)
  • UCITYLAB-toolkit (Erasmus +)
  • EdX-course 'Community Engagement: Collaboration for Change'
  • Brussels Open Online Course (BrOOC)
  • www.vub.ac.be/wetenschapswinkel
  • CAMPUS1030: https://www.renovas.be/
  • Bibliothèque Hergé (Etterbeek): https://www.biblioherge.be/
  • vzw communa asbl: https://communa.be/
  • Cité de la Jeunesse: http://www.promojeunes-asbl.be
  • Citizens Science Flanders: https://www.scivil.be/
  • MAN'AiGE: https://www.cocreate.brussels/projet/manaige/
  • Fablab ULB: https://fablab.ulb.be/
  • Cardboard Citizens about Forum Theatre.: https://cardboardcitizens.org.uk/
  • Walk.Brussels examined the needs, wishes and observations of local pedestrians through Walkshops.
  • Onderwijscentrum Brussel started a podcast series on ‘Urban Education’: https://podcasts.apple.com/mv/podcast/urban-education-trailer
  • WalkingLab’s podcast series on walking research-creation: https://walkinglab.org/
  • Concept Mapping: Trochim (1989). An introduction to concept mapping for planning and evaluation.
  • Embodied Learning: Evans, Davies & Rich (2009). The Body Made Flesh: Embodied Learning and the Corporeal Device.
  • Participatory Murals Guide: https://www.crucescreatives.org/resources/Documents/CC_ParticipatoryMuralsBooklet.pdf

  • Various ways to look at Brussels: https://www.subjectiveeditions.org/atlases/p/subjectiveatlasofbrussels
  • Brussels urban metabolism: https://ecocitybuilders.org/the-urban-metabolism-of-brussels-belgium-transitioning-towards-a-more-circular-economy/
  • Centre d’écologie urbaine: https://urban-ecology.be/
  • ValueBugs project: https://www.cocreate.brussels/projet/valuebugs/resultats/
  • Atelier Groot Eliand: https://www.ateliergrooteiland.be/
  • Imec-SMIT-VUB on transparency: https://smit.vub.ac.be/policy-brief-52-clarifying-transparency-in-innovation-projects
  • Voisins d’Energie: https://www.cocreate.brussels/projet/vde/
  • Les acteurs et actrices des temps présents sur le « pays dans le pays »: https://www.aadtp.be/pays-dans-le-pays/
  • Exnovation: https://exnovation.brussels/exnovation/concept-lexnovation/
  • InforSciences-ULB, Mission DD: https://sciences.brussels/missiondd/
  • BrusselAVenir: https://brusselavenir.be/research/sharing-the-city-amongst-each-other-in-bruxsels-in-2030/
  • The World Café website: www.theworldcafe.com
  • The World Café Toolkit: www.theworldcafe.com/pdfs/cafetogo.pdf
  • The Open University released a series of 8 videos that explore the concept of rich pictures: The Art of Rich Pictures
  • If a picture paints a thousand words: The use of rich pictures in evaluation: In this e-book, Judy Oakden discusses the use of Rich Pictures in evaluation.

Useful Resources

07

Reference List

08

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"There is something we all have in common here, is this what an in-between space is like?"

summer school participant