The purpose with “CommonPlaces” is to map, engage and strengthen urban citizenship among residents living in social housing estates in Denmark. The Danish Government has a declared objective to create ‘mixed cities’, where residents with different economic, social and cultural backgrounds live next to each other. In order to reach this ambitious objective, it is necessary to engage residents in a democratic dialogue about the requirements for a robust citizenship and participatory democracy . In this regard, a major challenge is to ensure civic engagement among the many residents who withdraw from participating in conventional forms of assocational life (“foreningsliv”). CommonPlaces introduces a novel methodology for creating civic engagement based on the experiences of residents living in social housing estates.
CommonPlaces launches a novel digital platform for active civic engagement that is developed in collaboration with the Social Apps Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. The platform is designed to create optimal conditions for genuine democratic engagement and collective decision-making for residents living in social housing estates, which are rarely heard in the ongoing debate about socially sustainable urban development. The project focuses on six social housing estates in Copenhagen and Aarhus. In all six areas, the project team in collaboration with local residents will introduce new forms of civic engagement in order to strengthen the urban citizenship.
James Holston and Morten Nielsen