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The future of everyday living
EU2016 arts & design programme

Build The City Mag and Idea Camp 2017

Our proud partner ECF (European Cultural Foundation) is hosting the Idea Camp 2017 - Build The City.

The European Cultural Foundation is one of the partners of Europe By People. Together we have been working on a series of events on democratic and cultural renewal in Europe from a citizen’s perspective – New Democracy. Here is an update about their activities.

ECF 2Build the City Magazine

The European Cultural Foundation initiated Build the City to highlight innovative civil-public partnerships in broader Europe that have solved urban challenges. Evidence in this publication shows that including citizens and communities in decision-making has created wider support for implementation of legislation, providing out-of-the box solutions and strengthening democratic legitimacy. Culture contributes to this by engaging and inspiring people, challenging stereotypes and catalysing the social revitalisation of urban commons. This is essential when it comes to building a more equitable and sustainable future and helps us to live together in our increasingly diverse communities. Read the entire magazine.

Idea Camp 2017

ECF’s Idea Camp is a three-day collaborative working platform organised within the framework of Connected Action for the Commons, a network and action research programme led by ECF together with six cultural organisations from across Europe: Culture 2 Commons  – Alliance Operation CityClubture NetworkRight to the City – (Croatia), Les Tetes de l’Art (France), Krytyka Polityczna (Poland), Oberliht (Moldova), Platoniq – Goteo (Spain), and Subtopia (Sweden).

The Idea Camp is a miniature ‘pop-up city’ in itself, facilitating face-to-face interactions, and enabling the speedy sharing of ideas and contacts. All the ideas came out of the Idea Camp stronger than when they went in, and we were able to help each other. — 2014 Idea Camp participant and R&D grantee Matthew Fox


The Idea Camp is founded on the principles of free and open culture. It provides a safe and inspirational space for the cross-pollination of ideas, allowing projects and partnerships to emerge. The Idea Camp is both a meeting place and a working place, fuelled by workshops and people that will help the selected participants to:

  • investigate and further develop their ideas
  • exchange knowledge and find new collaborations
  • inspire and connect with other practitioners from different sectors
  • who are working with culture and communities
  • explore and challenge new democratic alternatives

The Idea Camp is an opportunity to highlight some of the most creative and adventurous ideas from across Europe and neighbouring countries and bring them to the attention of key policy makers and opinion formers.  And it supports ECF’s ambition to build a strong community of practice.  The Idea Camp is co-developed with the six hub partners of the Connected Action for the Commons programme and each year is hosted by one of them. Each year the thematic focus connects to our Connected Action for the Commons programme. The theme for the 2015 Idea Camp is Build the City.

Build the City is about people creating sustainable cities through social cooperation and active participation with culture at its heart. It is about applying the principles and ethics of the commons to the transformation of the city, its communities and its economy. More than urban environments, ‘The City’ can also refer to a neighbourhood or community where people are working together through cultural activities to shape their environments, improve their common life and develop new social and economic relationships.

Join the dedicated ‘Build the City’ Lab, where you can join in a wider discourse around culture, communities and democracy and the Commons.