IN TRANSIT – Urban Development and Placemaking

IN TRANSIT connects 15 citizens’ initiatives from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Scotland, England, Ireland and the Netherlands that promote cooperative projects and user-led urban planning processes in their neighbourhoods, cities and villages. Through local long-term engagement, the selected initiatives are actively engaged in seeking qualitative and sustainable improvements to living conditions within their society. Their economic models do not prioritise financial return, but rather the realisation of their vision for more habitable towns and communities offering equal opportunity. Initiatives create infrastructure in shrinking villages, organise festivals, communal suppers and other events in public spaces. They encourage alternative ways of living in times of gentrification, design local food systems, facilitate access to unused spaces, and create places to meet, exchange and learn.

IN TRANSIT offers these initiatives and instigators a platform to network, share and learn at international level. The project facilitates peer-to-peer exchange of ideas and best practice, workshops and field trips. During 8 themed trips to each of the participating countries representatives of the selected citizens’ initiatives will present and discuss their organisational and financial models, their strategies and experiences and get the opportunity to visit and learn more about other local citizen-led organisations. Each trip explores a specific theme: social polarisation, access to space, social infrastructure, the learning city, alternative living and housing, civic ecosystems, centre/ periphery etc.

For each of these trips a civic initiative from Germany will join to broaden the scope of the project and create links to Germany where the final event happens from April 28th-29th in Erfurt. On the 28th and 29th of April 2016, representatives of all 15 IN TRANSIT initiatives will meet in Erfurt alongside German planners, activists, architects, academics and politicians. A participative Open Space format will be used to explore how far the operational models tested by the project initiatives and learning from these projects might be applied to social challenges in neighbourhoods, towns and villages, taking into account the current context of flight and migration to north-western Europe. This event will mark the conclusion of IN TRANSIT whilst also launching the continuing future dialogue.

IN TRANSIT is a collaboration between the Goethe-Instituts in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, England, Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands.