Building place-related and place-caring communities: city-making based on communities-in-place: communities whose existence is motivated by a specific space. These projects relate to a physical space and they are aimed at creating a community that relates to the space in different ways.

Therefore, these communities-in-place are social forms whose existence is motivated by that specific space. In this framework the project’s role is to connect a well-defined space with the process of building an equally well-defined community. By doing so, these projects enrich the scenario of the city as an urban commons.

Proposed projects

  1. Project Inova verde (Brazil – NAS DESIGN – UFSC) (community garden created and maintained by university students on the campus)
  2. Challenges for a cyclable city (Brazil – UNISINOS) (rethinking cyclo-mobility, with the contribution of art)
  3. Un espacio para todos (Colombia – Universidad Nacional de Colombia – Departamento de Diseño) (co-design and co-production of a playground in an underserved communities)
  4. Santa Monica (USA – DESIGNMATTERS, Pasadena Design Centre) (co-designed communication strategies for improving the quality of life index)
  5. Latham St. Commons (USA – Carnegie Mellon University) (a place where the community can create models for economic development, using the built environment and its relationship with the community)
  6. 5-STAR Street project (Ghana – KNUST – Desis Lab) (motivating residents in Moshie-Zongo to keep their surroundings clean in order to create much-needed value for the community)
  7. CampUs (Milan, Politecnico di Milano) (use of university campus spaces to foster social relations and develop actions that may result in social enterprises)
  8. City Services Hub (Milan, Politecnico di Milano) (spaces for citizen engagement offering an innovative mix of public and private services, focusing on specific areas of need

Type of project

Projects linking physical spaces to networks of people willing and able to take care of them. By doing so, they collaborate in generating, or regenerating, urban commons (meaning relational goods that improve quality of life, being produced and enjoyed in a shared way).

The projects included in this group are very frequently developed in the framework of co-design processes (also intended as community-building processes), integrated with tools and competences coming from different design disciplines, primarily interior and space design.

Open questions

  1.  How can design collaborate in creating unprecedented place-related social forms? In other words: how can it collaborate in building new forms of communities-of-place?
  2. How can existing spaces be used and reused to generate new urban commons? How can places be connected with highly individualised and mobile people?