The Cities of Change steering group is a collaboration between the Transnational Institute, European Alternatives, Habitat International Coalition (Right to the City), RIPESS (European Solidarity Economy network), Barcelona en Comú, Dr Bertie Russell (Research Associate at Sheffield University Urban Institute), Dr Erick Palomares (Assistant Professor Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University), and Ana Mendez (Ahora Madrid/Observatorio Metropolitano).
"Cities of Change” is an attempt to identify, map, understand and promote examples of transformative urban social change. Whilst our initial focus is on municipalities within Europe, we are actively considered the possibilties of expanding or supporting the development of partner projects in different regions.
The organizations involved in Cities of Change share the analysis that cities are emerging as fundamental places for transformative change. From citizen-controlled energy companies through to citizen-led platforms, and from policies that promote the solidarity economy through to innovative procurement strategies, it is in our cities that people are demonstrating that other ways of living in solidarity - rather than competition - are possible.
Our initiative looks to map these moments of transformative change. This is neither a simple list of ‘radical’ councils nor a database of autonomous initiatives, but rather an attempt to map those moments and processes that move our cities away from a logic of competition and towards one of solidarity. We are interested in those moments when the right balance of unrest, opposition, pragmatism, institutional openness and innovation leads to progressive change in how we run our cities.
The initiative will be ready to launch its ‘beta’ version at the end of May, having collected around 40 indicative cases of transformative change. With the infrastructure in place, our next goal is to substantially broaden participation in the process to organisations across Europe, and to begin discussion with non-European partners about the development of ‘partner’ projects.