Three Inspiring Urban Sharing Concepts

Fruit Fence

Whether it be the emergence of GPS-enabled smart phone applications that promote a sense of tactile-ownership over the city, or the necessity caused by global economic crisis, a major trend toward do-it-yourself, bottom-up urbanism has emerged. All over the world, citizens are taking responsibility for the form and functionality of urban space. Together, we are building our own infrastructure, creating our own services and truly taking the city into our own hands. To get us inspired for the upcoming Stadsklas, let’s take a closer look at some of the ‘best of’ these bottom-up strategies for new-style urban development.

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Three Inspiring Examples Of Greek Crisis Urbanism


Much has been written about how the economic crisis and recession affect the practice of city-making. It seems that economic crisis, especially in the countries of the Mediterranean, is also translated into a severe urban crisis. Greek cities have been suffering from poor public-led urban planning strategies, even before the economic downfall. However, there seems to be a vivid call for bottom-up initiatives that are able to directly improve urban conditions. NGOs, citizens, private agencies and also institutions start to engage themselves in new-style urbanism initiatives — step by step, place by place. Conquering the negative mood and stimulating public dialogue, all kinds of interesting projects pop up, both in Greek cities and the periphery. In this article we present a selection three inspiring examples of bottom-up urbanism that fight the negative atmosphere imposed by the Greek economic (let alone) crisis.

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Empty Shop Re-Used As Central City Wardrobe

StadsGarderobe, Groningen

The StadsGarderobe (‘City Wardrobe’) is an empty shop in the center of Groningen, Netherlands, that has been transformed into a central wardrobe for the city. People that visit the city for shopping during the day and people that go out at night can use the City Wardrobe to leave their jacket, bag, or all other items they don’t want to carry.

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  • Metrominuto: The Subway-Inspired Map For Pedestrians

    Metrominuto Pontevedra

    Walkability is a subject many cities are increasingly getting involved with. Our legs are often overlooked when thinking about transport in the city, with municipalities passionately constructing bicycle lanes and roads as far as the eye can see whilst competely forgetting about the pedestrian’s needs. Instead of focusing on these forms of transport, Pontevedra in northwest Spain has been trying for the last 15 years to make their city more walker-friendly. To further improve walkability, they have created a subway-inspired map for pedestrians.

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    Crowd-Funding Meets Peer-To-Peer At Hamburg’s Neighborhood’s University

    Neighborhood’s University, Hamburg

    “A DIY low-budget high-quality community-run luxury-hotel and ‘university as a marketplace’ in the neighborhood”? Many trending keywords in a raw, one great crowd-funded peer-to-peer project! Four years ago the Urban Design department of the HCU-Hamburg took the initiative to turn an old, abandoned building in Hamburg’s Wilhelmsburg district into a Neighbourhood’s University.

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  • Crowdsourced Urbanism In Helsinki: The Rise Of Facebook Democracy?

    Facebook democracy in Helsinki

    Many companies and organizations have taken advantage of a crowdsourcing model to gauge public opinion on a wide range of questions. Now, the government is doing it. Last April, residents of Helsinki were given the opportunity to use a pop-up touch screen to “Like” a proposal for a government funded Guggenheim museum in their city (unlike Facebook, the screens also featured a ‘Dislike’ button, giving the opposition an opportunity to be heard as well.)

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