In June ECOLISE’s community engagment officer, Duncan Crowley, presented 2 works at the Ecocity World Summit 2023 in the Barbican Centre in London. Crowley is doing a PhD in “Community-Led Ecocities” in ISCTE’s School of Architecture in Lisbon, and working with ECOLISE member FCUL, in the ecology research lab CE3C and also Dinamia’CET in ISCTE.
Speaking in the Panel “A global catalogue of community action”, Crowley shared work from the ECOLISE led project UrbanA (stage 1, stage 2) and the ongoing experiments in developing a Community of Practice.
He also shared an E-Poster about using walking tours in the greater Lisbon area, to connect a series of groups including ECOLISE’s “European Day for Sustainable Communities”, UrbanA, Degrowth and more local groups.
1 – “UrbanA’s experiments in connecting communities to create a sustainable just cities community of practice”.
How can cities be more sustainable and just? This question guided the 3-year EU-funded UrbanA project on “Urban Arenas for Sustainable and Just Cities” (2019-2021), which took up the challenge of synthesizing and brokering knowledge generated in previously funded research and innovation projects that deal with approaches tackling urban sustainability and justice. As part of this process, a Community of Practice was created to facilitate a growing body of “City Makers” to engage on this topic together. When the academic term ended the Robert Bosch Foundation offered a small funding grant for the Community of Practice’s continuation and further experimentation into 2023, coordinated by ICLEI, the network for Local governments for sustainability. The author was involved throughout both stages described and played a lead role developing the Community of Practice. Based on Participatory Action Research and Self Ethnography methodologies, the author shares insights in this paper from experiments to expand and diversify the Community of Practice, using Network Weaving to stitch together various projects to connect communities.
2 – Urban walking tours as a tool to Connect Communities and green our cities
Seeking to connect communities to enable community-led regenerative transformation of local territories by the people that live there, this Lisbon based action research in recent years developed a particular methodology based around local walking tours. Working with a number of both formal and informal communities and projects (Ecocity Lisbon, UrbanA, Degrowth Portugal, Umundu, We Are Nature, European Day for Sustainable Communities, Rede Rotas Vivas, World Rivers Day), the walks were open public free events that focused on different local areas in the wider metropolitan area of Lisbon.