Graz buildingHuman Cities is a concept created in 2006 by the Belgian association Pro Materia and co-funded during the period 2014-2018 by the “Creative Europe” Programme of The European Union. It is shaped as a multidisciplinary European network composed of various profiles: universities, design centers and design weeks, ICT platforms, service design and creative design consultancies. Led by Cité du Design de Saint-Etienne [FR], the partners share their know-how in innovating with people in the urban space using design as a creative and sustainable tool.

The focus of the Human Cities Network is to analyse, test and implement the process of engaging people in co-creating and challenging the City scale and “flow space” in Europe today. People are the key to design change in a network society and to respond to the growth of ‘flow space’, which is both physical and digital. To go beyond planning practices on the urban territories, the partner cities are enhancing unplanned activities within a frame of 13 shared values: empathy, wellbeing, sustainability, intimacy and conviviality, mobility and accessibility, imagination and leisure, aesthetics, sensoriality, solidarity and respect. Those values applied to everyone follow an intergenerational equity. We are here on a subjective territory where ‘an alternative environment’ is sought. By rejecting ‘specialities’ and compartmentalized disciplines, this interdisciplinary and multicultural European partnership brings together designers, architects, urban planners, researchers, sociologists, philosophers, psychoanalysts, translators, artists, historians and art historians, bloggers…

A State of the Art, which is enriched by Experimentation Labs, Users experiences and testing, Interaction and Exchange workshops in order to assess and implement sustainable results within the European urban territories, is coupled to Masterclasses and a ‘work in progress’ exhibition displayed across Europe in the main design events. Through applied research and co-creation, Human Cities Network appears as a continuous human-driven cultural programme questioning the position and status of people in relationship to their city and ever-changing flow space(s).

Culture Lab, a partner in the project, provides support to Cité du Design in Saint-Etienne and the partnership in the overall project management, administrative and financial monitoring and follow-up and Communication/dissemination strategies.

See the Human Cities website


October 2014 ► September 2018


Cité du Design de Saint-Etienne [FR], Politecnico di Milano [IT], UPIRS [SI], Clear Village [UK], Zamek Cieszyn [PL], Association Design Week Belgrade [RS], Pro Materia asbl [BE], Aalto University [FI], FH Joanneum Gesellschaft [AT], Estonian Association of Designers [EE], BEAZ [ES], Culture Lab [BE]


3 760 000 € [Creative Europe programme]


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