New governance models for the co-design and co-construction of public spaces in neighbourhoods by communities (HORIZON-MISS-2024-NEB-01-02)

  • Action type: HORIZON-IA HORIZON Innovation Actions
  • Opening date: 7 May 2024
  • Closing time: 19 September 2024 17:00 (Europe/Brussels)
  • Budget per project: € 4 000 000 of total € 8 000 000
  • Estimated number of projects funded: 2
  • Official website


Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Improved understanding by public authorities of how innovative engagement approaches can foster openness, social cohesion, trust and acceptance within communities and promote the inclusion of marginalised communities and/or vulnerable groups.
  • Tested and validated engagement approach(es) are made available to public authorities to involve citizens in the co-design and co-development of public spaces in their neighbourhoods.
  • Better public acceptance of change thanks to the meaningful and continuous engagement of all relevant end-users and local communities in the design, construction and maintenance of public spaces.
  • Improved cooperation mechanisms between citizens and project developers.

Addressing societal challenges such as climate change, energy poverty, the pandemic, ageing population or the increased societal divide will require to rethink the way we develop and live in our neighbourhoods. Current ways of planning, designing and building often overlook the importance of continuously engaging end-users or local communities. Yet, incorporating community knowledge and efforts can lead to more liveable neighbourhoods that reflect local needs and contexts and empower current and future residents. Moreover, the way public spaces are designed can have an important impact on the way people interact with each other, the kind of activities that take place in such spaces, and the trust of people towards their local authority and thus democracy. Therefore, it is key to empower people to take an active role in co-designing those spaces. This can lead to greater acceptance, enhanced sense of belonging, social trust and an increased willingness to further engage with the community, and thus promote a global positive social impact on people’s well-being and the neighbourhood as a whole.

Building on work carried out in previous projects, proposals will study, refine and validate existing engagement approaches, that allow residents, businesses, cultural organisations and local governments to co-design and co-create public spaces in neighbourhoods. For instance, this should include how to involve citizens in the development and maintenance of public spaces and neighbourhoods; or flexible designs allowing communities to re-create or re-furbish spaces according to evolving needs. Special attention should be paid to involve diverse groups and citizens at risk of exclusion.

Proposals are expected to address all of the following:

  • Study and refine engagement model(s) and methodology(ies) that enables the meaningful participation of concerned stakeholders and citizens in the co-design, refurbishment and development of public spaces in their neighbourhoods. The model and methodology should:
    • Be inclusive and accessible, and ensure that citizens are empowered to contribute to the decision-making processes;
    • Use innovative digital tools, platforms and technologies such as augmented reality or virtual reality, to facilitate virtual and physical collaboration between citizens, designers, urban planners, policymakers and the construction ecosystem to enhance citizen engagement in the planning, design and construction process while ensuring that digital solutions remain inclusive and accessible, and assessing their added value compared to ‘traditional’ in-person methods.
  • Demonstrate that the chosen engagement approach(es) (e.g. model, methodology, digital tools) can effectively and measurably foster openness, social cohesion, trust and acceptance within communities as well as promote the inclusion of marginalised communities and/or vulnerable groups in public space redevelopment projects. Proposals should demonstrate this in at least three neighbourhoods with differing local environmental, social and economic conditions, and each one located in a different Member State or Associated Country.
  • Monitor and evaluate all stages of the chosen engagement approach(es), using an appropriate methodology, and measure the success of projects in fostering openness, social cohesion, acceptance within communities as well as the inclusion of marginalised communities and vulnerable groups.
  • Assess how the above may impact future project design and decision-making in the construction of neighbourhoods as well as in the construction ecosystem.

Cross-sectoral and cross-disciplinary collaboration between architects, engineers, designers, creative sectors, natural and social scientists, urban planners, environmentalists, and by extension the broader cultural and creative sector is encouraged. The involvement of relevant stakeholders such as local small organizations, communities’ representatives, end-users, and local authorities in the design and implementation of the project is also encouraged.

Actions are strongly recommended to collaborate with and build on the work of relevant research[1]. Actions are also encouraged to take into account and contribute with their results to future work on the impact of public spaces on social relations in neighbourhood communities.


New project idea for: New governance models for the co-design and co-construction of public spaces in neighbourhoods by communities (HORIZON-MISS-2024-NEB-01-02)

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