New governance models for creative, sustainable and circular cities

5 March 2019

Citizens’ needs are changing and cities must adapt and reassess priorities for the greater good. A new booklet of case studies, published as part of the ROCK EU project, shows how five cities have invented new governance models that are helping them become more creative and sustainable places to live.

City governance is changing as cities test new models for integrating as many voices as possible to deliver urban development in the most inclusive and creative way. Over the course of its three years, ROCK has been working on how to convert historical cities into intelligent cities – resilient, sustainable, creative and knowledge cities that use their cultural heritage as a tool for urban regeneration. Its new booklet showcases five ROCK cities’ experiences from which others can learn and gain inspiration.

City administrations can take on new roles as brokers or advisors, using their connections to help create new cultural partnerships. In Lyon, for example, the Urban Heritage Observatory is working with focus groups to assess changes in how people are living and working in the World Heritage city centre. In Skopje, the SkopjeLab is transforming the way public services work.

Cities can offer public spaces to be used by citizens, entrepreneurs, artists and other actors of urban change – as in Athens which has renovated the Kypseli Market and turned it into a new kind of agora. In the Marvila area of Lisbon residents are taking over abandoned spaces to make them theirs again and foster creativity in the neighbourhood.

None of this is possible without the direct involvement – and ownership – of citizens. This is why Bologna has developed a regulation relating to collaboration between citizens and the city for the care and regeneration of urban public spaces and assets.

Read more about the ROCK cities’ experiences in the booklet!