Our Learnings from the CCSC
The Cultural Creative Spaces and Cities (CCSC) is a project which gathered seven Urban Labs based in different European cities to address local urban challenges to codesign new public policies in cooperation with local stakeholders, citizens, and public authorities. The main goal of the Urban Labs was to find participatory and commoning solutions for their local challenges.
Coboi Lab is a relational space where synergies are created between multiple actors in the territory, it is also a learning space where co-creation occurs to co-design interventions and solutions to tackle our city’s challenges. The CCSC was an opportunity to explore and investigate how to create a network of engaged and empowered citizens to integrate them as co-developers and co-creators in our strategic public innovation projects. This was our main challenge within this project.
To explore this challenge we organized three workshops to co-create and understand citizen’s interests, their questions, and realities. With these three workshops, we would explore and understand how to involve citizens in our projects which often address complex challenges so to develop efficient solutions we need multi-actor collaborations. This will allow us to develop ideas that can only arise from the combination of several people thinking and working together.
The purpose of the first workshop was to get a diverse group of citizens together to map common interests, opportunities, and resources to generate social innovation in the territory. The objective was to find synergies, identify common interests, opportunities and resources to start creating a network of people interested in participating in co-creating Coboi’s multi-stakeholder strategic projects and generate social innovation in the territory.
The workshop was fun and participants proposed three initiatives: (1) to create a network of knowledge to visualize projects and resources that the community could share between itself (2) Share methodologies used to develop local complex projects (3) create open spaces facilitated by Coboi lab to explore different topics of interests for the local context and the community.
For the second workshop, the aim was to facilitate a shared and interactive space in which everyone integrated their ideas, proposals, and needs regarding public space. We wanted to discover how important it is for citizens to influence and participate in the development and planning of public, shared spaces, and how santboitans perceive public space and the importance of their implication on proposals to change it. For this, we collaborated with Domestic Data Streamers to organize an interactive physical survey with questions regarding public space with active listening and observation in La Purisima Local Fair. This was the first time Coboi lab was using public space to research what that space means for its citizens/users. Participants expressed their desire to be more involved in the processes of change and design of the commons public and shared spaces. Most said that citizens should have more voice and power to co-create and propose solutions. They expressed that it’s a citizen’s right to make decisions, influence, and co-create the future of public space, recognizing that these shared spaces are there to build community and social cohesion.
For our last workshop, we took the learnings from the first two and started the co-creation of an initiative to sustain the community in Coboi lab. We shared resources and prototyping tools, and at the same time we experimented and created physical low definition prototypes that would allow the continuity of this project. One as an Instagram account to share social projects that are being developed in the Baix de Llobregat area and the other one as a gatherings cycle in which different topics can be proposed and discussed by the community.
In parallel to the CCSC project, we were doing research about multi-stakeholder collaboration methodologies to understand what is the most coherent and inclusive way to work when we face complex challenges in which different interests need to be represented. With this research we generated our methodology to tackle social challenges, in which we were inspired by Design Thinking, Systems Design, Collective Impact, and Transition Arenas.
After the workshops, we incorporated all our learning into the methodology and we organized two traineeships to share the methodology with it, to teach how to conduct multi-stakeholder processes for collaboration and co-creation. The intention with these events was to share and get feedback to incorporate in the methodology, which is our main tool to carry out transformative projects in the city. Also, to continue growing an ecosystem of actors who are interested in generating positive change in Sant Boi de Llobregat, inside and outside the City Council, to increase the capacity for collaboration.
During both traineeships we invited speakers who talked about Public Innovation, Creative Bureaucracy, and the importance of building ecosystems of collaboration to create inclusive and sustainable solutions for our cities. After these interesting talks, we will continue with the practical workshop to learn and experiment with the tools from the methodology.
Here you can watch the two sessions.
During the CCSC project we learned and shared knowledge with our participants, local actors, our team, and European partners, and it has been a very insightful journey where we understood better our role in the city and in Europe. Working for our local ecosystem we worked towards creating a system where local realities can have an influence on European policy making.