Community development

Youth Lab for Equal Cities

Promoting youth participation, right to the city, revitalization of urban spaces and improvement of educational and communication strategies towards young people, with a gender equality approach.


Who is behind this?

Nadia Vedova

Associazione Kallipolis


Who is joining forces?

PiNA - Association for Culture and Education


PAG / Progetto Area Giovani del Comune di Trieste


Center Mladih Koper / CMK


ATER Trieste ( - It manages the Valmaura public housing units Edilmaster Trieste


Idea pitch

A cross-border project to strengthen youth involvement in European democratic life by promoting the right to the city and to public spaces, with a social inclusion and "generation equality" approach: workshops in problematic areas of Trieste (IT) and Koper (SLO), with young inhabitants and educators, based on the Placemaking methodology and analysis, co-design and activation of collective spaces; areas improvement interventions; development of an open source toolkit for an awareness campaign.

Where will your project idea take place?

Valmaura neighborhood, Trieste, Italy
Markovec (Mark’s Hill) district, Koper, Slovenia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Valmaura is a district of public housing units in Trieste. It’s poorly connected to the city and its inhabitants experience severe economic and social difficulties, and in some cases dramatic exclusion and poverty, especially in the female population. Mark's Hill is a district with mainly blocks of flats, changed inversely from the past, when he was the garden of Koper, producing the most vegetables and fruit to supply the people of Koper and the Trieste customers. It has a good infrastructure connection with the city itself, but shares with Valmaura the same difficulty: a very poor involvement of the inhabitants, a retreat to private. This problem particularly affects young people, for whom recreational activities are now very little developed and participated.

Who are you doing it for?

-Youngsters of the neighborhoods involved, between 13 and 20 years old, with particular attention to the gender mix, giving space to the female point of view. We will especially work to involve the ones that are not actively involved in any process of participation. Moreover, females or males that have experienced any kind of gender inequality. A total of 300 participants in the two workshops cycles scheduled.
-The educators who will learn new methodologies, will be able to use them in the future and pass them down to other colleagues.
-The communities touched by the project activities, that will be involved in dialogues and interviews during the analysis of public spaces and their use, and will benefit from the improvements of the public spaces made at the conclusion of the process.

How do you plan to get there?

-TRAINING for educators with expert on Placemaking and Living Lab methodologies
-WORKSHOPS with local youth: analysis of spaces and their use by the community - accessibility, comfort, safety feeling, sociability and uses that spaces stimulate or inhibit. OUTPUT "Common Space Evaluation" + Video Feedback from young people and educators
-TRAINING for educators with expert on Gender Equal Cities
-WORKSHOPS with local youth: analysis of gender equal access to the city - perception of spaces of females and males, identification of any dominance patterns, proposal of solutions. OUTPUT "Equal Space Vision" +Video Feedback
-Equal Cities Youth TOOLKIT based on workshops outputs, to develop an awareness campaign
-IMPROVEMENTS of involved spaces
-Management/activation PLAN of involved spaces

What are the expected results?

Promoted youth involvement in European democratic life on the “right to the city” topic with a “generation equality” approach.
Improved dialogue between young people and the wider community, stimulated by activities on common areas.
Physically improved 2 public spaces through Placemaking interventions inspired by the Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper principle, bringing life and amenities to previously lifeless spaces and fostering a community's sense of ownership.
Equal Cities Youth Toolkit to develop an awareness campaign on young people involvement in Placemaking: provided as a concrete open source tool to promote the right to the city, a culture of co-management of common goods, a sense of ownership to the territory and to local and European culture and for sending messages to policy makers

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

Local youth feels institutions very distant and active citizenship useless. We want to offer activities with practical feedback that can rise their confiance in local institutions and organizations, all while fostering a sense of community.
The project will bring girls and boys to think of a public space as a common good, reflecting on the different social needs that it expresses. This will allow them to see themselves as a more active part of the society, and to be "trained" on empathy and identification in the other, a fundamental step in the civil growth of young citizens. This matters particularly to build a more egalitarian society, in which the needs of each one are accepted and thought of, without taking for granted the centrality of needs traditionally seen as dominant.

Why is this idea important to you?

Kallipolis association was created with the aim of improving the liveability of human settlements, focusing on vulnerable groups and relying on urban environments' capacity of becoming spaces of freedom and equity. It works with citizens and stakeholders to foster the creation of collaborative communities that take care of their territory, fighting inequalities and promoting social inclusion.
PiNA, since its establishment in 1998, has served as a point for meeting, providing information, exchange, connection and collaboration in the field of societal challenges, to enable individual and collective growth towards “a sustainable, fulfilling and curious coexistence”. By 2016 it has operated as a multimedia and youth centre, partner in the Eurodesk Regional Information Point network.

€ 55000,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Staff 25.000
Placemaking/Gender Equal Cities Workshops 8.000
Awareness campaign Toolkit 2.000
Offices Expenses 2.000
Communications (communication plan, social media, videostorytelling) 5.000
Travels and Accommodations (young people and educators travels Trieste-Koper, workshop experts travel expenses) 3.000
Equipments (Placemaking interventions in Valmaura and Markovec) 10.000
*cofinancing of 5.000 € by the ongoing projects Chromopolis and LaRU on urban environment upgrading in Valmaura

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Does the proposed theme seem interesting to you? Do you know the methodologies that will be applied in the project? Would you be curious to know them? Do you have other places in mind where it would be useful and possible to implement a similar project?
Any other comments or suggestions are welcome


Associazione Kallipolis

Alice Poli




Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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