THE GUERRILLA NEIGHBOURS
Between January and October 2015 we were commissioned by the Malmö Innovation Arena (formerly Malmö Innovation Platform), a conglomeration of municipal departments, private companies and NGOs to develop a co-creation methodology for shared spaces. The location for developing this methodology was Persborg, a neighbourhood in Malmö in need of revitalisation.
“Malmö’s crowd-sourced living room aims to break down walls between communities and power, harking back hundreds of years to a time when squares, piazzas and market places fostered community and nurtured civic debate” The Guardian
The methodology was based on a human-centered-design process in Persborg honing in on four focus areas:
- The Meeting Point: analysing the main meeting point of the neighbourhood (in this case, the neighbourhood square)
- The Pop Up Space: creating a temporary work space which was a central reference point for all the actors and target groups
- The Storytelling: communicating the project using different channels to the target groups, partners, media outlets and other partners
- Tools: testing and developing tools for others to use (installations, workshops, data collection methods and more
Four questions guiding the project:
- Interdisciplinary Work: How can urbanisation processes adopt an interdisciplinary approach to developing solutions?
- The Third Actor: What kind of actor is needed to complement municipalities and private companies when they co-creation processes and participatory design?
- The Trend: Why is the answer to urbanisation (50% of the world population living in cities by 2050) co-creation and participatory citizenship?
- The Digital Divide: Can urban environments represent the space in which virtual and physical spaces collide?
RESULTS AND LEARNINGS
At the peak of the process, 30% of the local residents were engaged in the project in different capacities (from actively taking part in surveys and questionnaires to hands-on workshops and participation in the design process.)
The project became a focal case study for the city of Malmô (namely the Streets Department) to adapt and alter protocols and decision-making processes and the upcoming city strategy for citizen participation.
Flexible urban environments
The results showed an increasing need for flexible planning to re-design cities that can be responsive to the needs of the users and can easily re-adapt to newer needs and upcoming generations of citizens.
The right kind of data
Throughout this project, we tried and tested numerous data collection techniques. Based on this iterative approach, we identified top ways to both communicate with and gather data on different target groups. Numerous new tools and adaptations of methods were developed.