Urban Education Live (UEL) aims to contribute to the making of inclusive, vibrant and accessible urban communities. It is a three-year project that brings together university partners from Finland, Romania, Slovenia, and the UK to develop and test new models of collaboration between universities, urban communities, NGOs and public bodies. It proposes that universities act as independent brokers, curators and catalysts of positive urban change and aims to build urban capacity between multiple stakeholders by employing innovative socio-spatial mapping and activation tools.
This trans-educational approach – which engages universities, NGOs, vocational colleges, primary schools, businesses and municipalities in the design of urban spaces – is supported by mapping techniques and technologies which allow a high degree of sensitivity to emerging patterns of use, desire and need. Local hubs – akin to corner shops – are being set up to provide a locus for discussion and debate on these forms of producing and thinking space while also serving as centres for learning and doing for citizens, students, academics, city authorities and others. Through this “Super Site Specific” approach the project aims to establish agendas, methods and transformative actions that can address current socio-spatial complexities and challenges.
Our ideas are inspired by the concept of “Collective Impact” and how to develop a local / citywide agenda with common goals that allows new types of collaboration and synergies to emerge from the third sector, involving public and private stakeholders. We believe that to bridge the urban divide and fight fragmentation in our cities, we need to combine very local and highly networked approaches. By aiming to understand urban issues from the bottom-up, we want to open a path for finding new modus operandi that combine local knowledge and presence to develop urban capacity, create new networks and foster innovation.