A network of initiatives and projects aiming to prototype sustainable practices on self-organized spaces

Spaces of Adaptation

Type European Collaboration
Methods Fundraising, Case studies, Policy change
Location Berlin, Porto, Vinschau, Aarhus, Bratislava
Year 2021
Partners MitOst e.V.

As climate breakdown becomes impossible to ignore, actors of urban change face difficult questions: what is our role in the deep adaptation needed? How can we contribute to a socio-ecological transition that is just? We know that a greener, fairer society for all is possible exactly by empowering civil society, leveraging self-organisation and citizen initiatives. But how to demonstrate it? How can we get it to scale?

Spaces of Adaptation is a network of initiatives and projects that are at their core self-organised, community-driven places with a high level of resilience aiming to move towards a sustainable future.

Spaces of Adaptation is created by Space of Urgency in a partnership with Actors of Urban Change, a program by MitOst e.V., supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Project goals

Next to increasing the recognition for sustainable practices by self-organised spaces, Spaces of Adaptation aims to experiment with these practices, trying to increase their scale and make them implementable in other places in society. The project aims to function as a fundraising platform, raising resources for the spaces to further prototype their sustainable practices.

Key definitions

  • Spaces of Adaptation are self-organised, community driven-places with a high level of resilience that aim to move towards a sustainable future.
  • Self-organisation: a non-governmental, citizen-led, localised form of organisation.
  • Participation is within this context a form of self-organisation that includes co-design.

Problemfields

Self-organised spaces have long been undervalued and under attack by mainstream institutions – yet, they hold many elements needed to face the climate crisis: resilience & justice at their core.

Proposed solutions

It is relevant then to understand their importance in the needed transition and investigate what can be learned from these spaces, what are the good models and practices, and in which way some of their foundational values are key placeholders to face the climate crisis today.

Approach

The strategy of the Spaces of Adaptation project is built up as follows:

  1. Recognize the value of existing spaces in demonstrating social and ecological resilience;
  2. Help spaces to develop fundable case studies to scale and replicate; 
  3. Connect these case studies to social investors, institutions and other funders; 
  4. Advocate for self-organisation as a policy tool
Spaces of Adaptation trailer

Role Space of Urgency

As a co-initiator of the project, Space of Urgency is involved in developing the Spaces of Adaptation concept. Responsible for bringing together most of the project partners, SOU plays an active part in the communication and coordination.

Impact

In May 2022 the Spaces of Adaptation project, in cooperation with the ZK/U in Berlin, handed in a Creative Europe application. A positive result will provide the opportunity to experiment with sustainable practices on participating spaces from 2023-2027.

Partners

Some of the project partners / members aligning on this initiative are: TU Delft (Delft, The Netherlands) for the academic backbone; Space of Urgency and MitOst for the participatory leads; as spaces: ZK/U (Berlin, Germany), BASIS (Silandro, Italy), Critical Concrete (Porto, Portugal), Institut for (X) (Aarhus, Denmark), Nadacia Cvernovka (Bratislava, Slovakia), ADM – ‘Het Groene Veld’ (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Promprylad (Ivano- Frankivsk Oblast, Ukraine) and InCommon (Thessaloniki, Greece); and the Urban and Policy departments of Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna & Helsinki.

BASIS (Silandro, Italy)
ADM - ‘Het Groene Veld’ (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
ZK/U (Berlin, Germany)
Critical Concrete (Porto, Portugal)
Institut for (X) (Aarhus, Denmark) Foto: Asbjørn Sand