The visioning stage was aimed at defining local resilience contexts and needs for tools together with potential users, in each of the three cities used as case studies.

The workshops participants typically included the local partner practices, and formal or informal groups with whom they collaborate. The workshops typically involved short presentations by the participants of their activities through the perspective of their engagement with the concept of ‘resilience’, followed by brainstorming sessions and collective discussion about potential tools.

Bucharest workshop

Buc_visioning

Participants: studioBasar (the main local partner), NGOs (the Resource Centre for Public Participation (CeRe); Komunitas, and interdisciplinary laboratory of non-formal education, socio-anthropological research, urban and community activation; and Greenitiative, an environmental NGO promoting eco-education, green building and living, and sustainable development), a contemporary arts centre focused on interactive exhibitions addressing social and environmental issues (Tranzit) and representatives from the local School of Architecture (UAUIM).

Location: The workshop was held at the arts centre, Tranzit, which also includes an urban garden and permaculture experiments.

Observations: the notion of resilience was primarily associated with the challenges faced by the participating groups in terms of accessing and securing funding for their projects, and finding time and human resources to ensure continuity for their work. Collaboration, in this context, becomes a rather challenging (even if desired) task.

Needs for tools: archiving and transfer of knowledge; database of shared resources; dialogue and partnerships (with similar groups and institutions in Romania and abroad); but also a strong offline presence for the platform (e.g., physical spaces or knowledge exchange trips where people can get in direct contact with the network and projects).

London workshop

Lon_visioning_2

Participants: Public Works (the main local partner) and some of their collaborators (typically, social entrepreneurs) involved in the R-Urban Wick project, which experiments with circular loop economies and temporary uses of space.

Location: The workshop was held at the Mobile Garden City, a temporary R-Urban Wick site comprising a number of mobile units made up of converted shipping containers and hosting diverse experimental projects run by community groups and individuals (e.g., a bicycle repair workshop and tool sharing unit, an experimental cafe using produce from the garden and surplus produce from a large wholesale market located nearby, a bio-digester unit and a classroom unit for experimental teaching and learning).

Observations: the notion of resilience in the context of R-Urban Wick and the Mobile Garden City site was mainly associated with notions of independence, stewardship, flexibility and adaptability, spaces of opportunity and connection with surrounding communities and similar projects, knowledge and skill sharing, shared goals and resources.

Needs for tools: multiple dimensions of tools serving different project scales:

  • local / situated (e.g., a local wifi network and ‘intranet’ for organising the collective management of the MGC site)
  • mobile / permeable (e.g., a public ‘face’ to the local wifi network to allow an interface between the physical site, the surrounding community and people passing by; and also to ensure the ‘permeability’ of the knowledge produced)
  • trans-local (e.g., a website to enable connections across locations and provide a virtual ‘space’ for sharing, learning and communicating, as a way of networking practices).

Paris workshop

Par_visioning

Participants: AAA (the main local partner) and the core group of residents who manage Agrocité hub.

Location: Agrocité (Colombes, Paris), which is one of the more established R-Urban Paris hubs. The hub is designed as an agricultural commons comprising an experimental micro-farm, community gardens, educational and cultural spaces.

Observations: the main aspect of resilience raised by the participants involved possibilities for citizen-led initiatives to self-manage, seen as a way of addressing the need for independence and as a pre-condition to scaling commons.

Needs for tools: self-management tools for local  hubs, including: timetables and calendars (e.g., internal scheduling of activities, external events, plating and harvest); database (recipes, information sheets, forms and templates); classes / training (e.g., links to existing webpages and YouTube videos, step-by-step guides); data visualisation (e.g., usage of produce from the garden in the cafe, expenditure and income, water and energy usage); and communication (storytelling, volunteers and skill exchange database, interaction with local organisations and public institutions).