Liveability - Designing public services for resilient neighbourhoods

One year “Liveability” - Annual review

30 January 2024
How can cities manage transformation processes together with their citizens? What can city administrations do to increase their capabilities to act creatively, flexibly and transparently with the goal of making cities more liveable? The Liveability project reached an important milestone: the first year of the of the three-year funding period is over.
Technical details

Engaging in a dialogue with leaders on how public interest design can be anchored in city-wide strategies, and in parallel, providing guidance for civil servants working on concrete solutions for challenges in the cities‘ neighbourhoods are at the forefront. Both these aspects will be addressed by the capacity building programme for public interest design that is developed, piloted and transferred by the Liveability partnership. It brings together diverse and experienced organizations from the Baltic Sea Region with the common goal of making cities more liveable. The project is led by Heinrich Böll Foundation Schleswig-Holstein and consists of project partners from six BSR countries – Germany, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Poland and Estonia. Further, 15 associated organizations, including among others neighbourhood associations, the Creative Bureaucracy Festival, Union of the Baltic Cities and VASAB – Vision and Strategies Around the Baltic Sea, complement the partnership. An overview of the project goals and first impressions can be found in the first issue of the project brochure.

Since 2023, the partners explored different design concepts in the context of building a liveable city and developed a common understanding on public interest design (PID) throughout desk research, questionnaires, a series of online workshops and exchange sessions as well as in-person meetings. The partnership first met on in February in Kiel (Germany) laying the foundation for creating the team spirit. In June 2023, the lead partner, Heinrich-Böll Foundation, had the chance to present the project at the VASAB ConferenceVibrant, Resilient, Well-connected – The Baltic Sea Region in 2040”. Partners gathered practical on-site experiences and deepened the exchange in June in Kolding (Denmark) and in September in Pori (Finland). A major milestone was the finalisation of drafting the charter for designing the liveable city with which cities can demonstrate their commitment to becoming a liveable city. Further, the partnership worked on developing a training programme that will help city employees understand and apply design approaches in their daily work. Finally, city employees start to work with public interest design in practice. This process will be accompanied by a use case guide developed by the project.

The To-Do list for the second year of the Liveability project is well-filled as the project will be in its piloting phase with pilots in Gdynia, Guldborgsund, Kiel, Kolding, Pori and Riga. Topics such as integration of refugees, the coexistence of different generations, inner city development, public services or offers and urban planning and urban planning processes are being looked at.

We are looking forward to a fruitful second project year!