How might we engage citizens to listen to each other and be proactive in the development of their city? We’ll create a Listening Lab on a degraded suburban train that will act as a stage for reflection on urban change. The aim is to foster a sense of place among its users and develop their listening skills through immersive audio experiences with local soundscapes. Then we´ll engage them with other actors in an urban co-design process to identify areas for intervention and steps for action.
Towns of Espinho and Santa Maria de Feira, Aveiro Region, Portugal
Democracy is collectiveness. And a healthy democracy needs active citizens with strong listening, dialogue and collaboration skills. Our methodology will bring people together through art and historical urban infrastructure to cultivate their ability to listen, and support urban co-design processes.
To have started a collaborative co-design process between local authorities, citizens and actors facilitated by our team where they will be stimulated, capacitated and feel connected to talk, reflect and work together on local urban issues according to their needs and expectations.
Using a “gamicipation” approach* we will implement the following steps:
Urban and Community diagnosis (Urban & Cultural Emotional Mapping); Sound installations on train (based on local past and present stories and soundscapes); Street actions (community activation & project promotion); Participatory work sessions (supported by artistic sets); Strategic document design (needs and expectations of communities for urban and social development) *Gamicipation means participation made better with play
We believe that active participation of citizens is essential for building better cities. We want to explore new tools combining urban planning and arts to make such processes fun, meaningful and memorable based on symbols of collectiveness such as the train, memories and daily life stories.
The citizens, artists and local authorities of both towns (users and residents along the railway, in particular). We will also pay special attention to include underrepresented groups in participatory processes, such as elderly, physically impaired and youngsters.
We would like to receive the following feedback to improve the proposal: What didn't you understand? What did you like? What did not resonate with you? What do you want to see more of? Do you have further ideas to strengthen the proposal? Do you see this as a replicable idea for the rest of Europe?