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Voices' Booster | Civic Europe
Community development, Digital mapping's narratives

Voices' Booster

amplifying democracy by hearing the unheard


Who is behind this?

Laura Pomesano

EDA - Ensaios e Diálogos Associação


Who is joining forces?

ADAO - Associação Desenvolvimento Artes e Ofícios


Vitruvius FabLab


Achata da Curva


A Cidade Precisa de Você,, Brazil Sobreurbana,, Brazil


Idea pitch

An itinerant ‘community activator device’ (CAD) will 'listen' and register diverse voices of the community about the possible futures of the urban space of Barreiro. This data will be collected as audiovisual records through different civic engagement methodologies together with cultural activities. Following that, the records will be shared in different neighbourhoods of the city, promoting the discussion and mutual learning on how to engage in the production of a more democratic city.

Where will your project idea take place?

Barreiro, Metropolitan Area of Lisbon, Portugal.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Barreiro (Portugal), is located in the southern side of Tagus River and belongs to Lisbon’s metropolitan area. The participatory processes at Barreiro are scarce, as there are no mechanisms for the participation of residents and regular in local decisions processes. As a Lisbon outskirt, that is well connected with the city center, Barreiro is starting to suffer from Lisbon's gentrification process, due to the search for affordable housing in the area. This is a major concern for the inhabitants of Barreiro, as the prices are rising. Engaging the population and association in community strengthening methods could mobilize themselves to influence the decisions taken locally, creating an opportunity for participation and new decision making processes.

Who are you doing it for?

The target group are the ones that are usually excluded from decision-making processes, often neglected in urban planning and space design and decision making processes - the elderly, mothers, teenagers, children, migrants and citizens in disadvantaged socio-economic positions. The current pandemic made disparities and social fragilities even more evident. In this context, local actions have a fundamental role in solving immediate daily needs.
The proposal of a physical device (CAD) and the creation of a digital open platform aims to promote open discussions (with facilitation) to co-create advocacy strategies for the territory, bringing together different urban agents. in this CAD contributes for a more plural and inclusive city.

How do you plan to get there?

1. Articulation with local partners; understanding which groups should be listened first; mapping the places CAD should visit; organizing the methodologies and activities for different population groups
2. Starting the engagement with the community through communication channels (online/offline)
3. CAD fabrication
4. Web platform building
5. CAD itinerancy in public spaces; applying methods for hearing kids (games), old people (going to their places), mothers (care sessions with childcare), teenagers (games), migrants (music), and more
6. Data organization/processing
7. Meetings for validation of the collected with the communities, and discussion of next steps (advocacy roadmap)
8. Supporting the communities to reach collaboration pacts with authorities and other stakeholders

What are the expected results?

The community communication channels with the local authorities and other relevant institutions of the territory will be more open and active. Citizens of different age groups, cultural and socioeconomic profiles will better understand each other's challenges, which will strengthen the local associative fabric and the main local demands will be directed towards its realization. Also, Barreiro's communities will be connected with other communities that face similar questions with the support of the project and Civic Europe's network.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The profiles commonly silenced in civic participatory processes are normally the more affected and less heard when major societal changes occur. We propose a device that activates and amplifies those voices (CAD), by meeting the population and using diverse listening methodologies, to enable advocation for common and urgent causes. CAD is an opportunity for free expression of one’s ideas about the urban habitat. By collecting different inputs, we aim to give a voice to the inhabitants’ wishes and needs, opening up the scope of what that particular community. During the collecting sessions, we will be engaging different local actors in the activation of the public space, experimenting with new possibilities for community development and relations.

Why is this idea important to you?

As citizens, researchers and activists, and mainly architects and urbanists, we are willing to develop and apply tools to serve and contribute to more democratic, plural urban territories. It is our goal to participate in the emergence of new democratic models, by opening the processes that rule and design our cities. We strongly believe that the people who inhabit the places are the experts about their surroundings and in the importance of bringing together local and technical knowledge to prospect new and fairer urban scenarios and social relations. We are thus very motivated to build together, with citizens of Barreiro, a more inclusive future for the city.

€ 50000,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

personnel costs: 14000 EUR
CAD activation and mapping: 18000EUR
CAD buiding material: 4000 EUR
digital plataform: 3000 EUR
communication: 5000 EUR
office expenses 2000 EUR
travel and accommodation costs: 2000 EUR
project HQ in Barreiro: 2000 EUR
€ 50000

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to receive contributions about how to further engage the Municipality, in terms of how we could use the resources generated by the applied methodologies, and we also would like to connect with similar initiatives.


Laura Pomesano

Carol Farias



Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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