A CO-CREATIVE CITYLAB

Local community design in Asnæs

Location: Asnæs in Odsherred Municipality, Denmark
Client: Ministry of Transport, Housing and Building, Odsherred Municipality
Type: Design and Community Involvement
Status: Ongoing

Over the next 1,5 years we’ll be transforming an empty property into a co-creative Citylab, where the local community will be a part of designing the city – with a special focus on designing with the youth. The citylab will be activated through educational workshops, exhibitions, events and city tours etc., and the process will create a common language about the physical environment. Throughout the process we’ll collect a database of local knowledge, ideas, dreams and needs, which eventually will be translated into permanent designs in the city center Asnæs. The project is in close collaboration with Odsherred municipality and is funded by the Danish Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing Authority.

Youth as catalyst for change
The educational institutions play a crucial role in the project – especially at the beginning of the process. We’ll be working with the local high school and public school students, who’ll practice the role of planners and study the needs and potentials of the city, coming up with new design solutions. The students will develop the city through a collaborative process and will be able to develop new concepts in their surrounding environment. The project responds to the city center development plans, that aim to strengthen Asnæs’ position as a youth-driven and education-oriented city.

Open lab, events and exhibitions
The citylab will be a physical platform, where we’re able to test out ideas and get an understanding of citizens’ needs. Throughout the whole process we’ll be in close dialogue with local citizens, local industry, volunteer groups and more. It’s essential that we support and nourish the local community throughout the project, enhancing a stronger sense of community. The local citizens will be invited to exhibitions in the citylab, where they’ll have the opportunity to see other’s visions and discuss ideas with different people in the community. People will be invited to share their opinions and actively join the open labs. These public labs are a way to keep an open dialogue throughout the whole process. We’ll be interviewing local people in Asnæs to ensure that the everyone in the community benefits from ideas generated by the youth. In the end it will consist of ideas designed by youth, but with an emphasis on benefiting the entire community.

Temporary design as a strategic tool
Throughout the process the young people will be responsible of developing, designing, and to some extent building and setting up temporary installation around Asnæs city center. The temporary installations will be used as tools to test different solutions and to develop permanent solutions with strong local support. The installations will ensure that the permanent design aligns with the community’s expectations and needs. Our role will be to translate the citizen’s shared concerns into architectural and aesthetic design.

This project pushes the boundaries of bottom-up urban design, involving the citizens through the entire process – from concept to the final design. It serves as a great example to show the importance of user-involvement throughout the process and not only to test the final product.

 

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