How can we improve the quality of life of citizens living in a deprived neighbourhood? How can we improve the relation between citizens and the public spaces – in particular green areas – of their neighbourhood? How can we improve, at the same time, the relation of citizens with each other?
In Seraing they are trying to answer these questions through a mix of integrated actions that have one broader common goal: building urban commons to fight against social and spatial exclusion. Actions include nature-based trainings devoted to residents and local officials and aimed at improving local expertise on green spaces management and care as well as providing new job opportunities to residents experiencing precariousness; collective activities conceived to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of public spaces and promote a positive attitude towards urban commons; a participatory approach designed to build a network of spaces where citizens can meet, exchange and together create new projects.
The project’s methodological approach puts a particular emphasis on inquiry and knowledge production as key to the implementation process, thus welcoming the possibility for adaptation and adjustment as a part of the process itself. And it does so through an effort to integrate knowledge across disciplines and stakeholders, thus trying to put academics, practitioners and citizens into dialogue.