Project category 2

Co-build better city/community through in situ actions

Guided by a holistic definition of sustainability, this group of initiatives has more of a social or holistic outlook than those in category 1, which are primarily focused on the natural environment. The key element linking these projects is a macro goal to collectively co-design and co-build a “more sustainable” city or community, envisioning and developing the frameworks or scaffolding that will support local evolution and development into the future. This goal is underpinned by the principles of empowering people/communities to act and facilitating progressive changes, similar to the empowerment dimension in the first set of projects but with a wider and more comprehensive “community development” focus.



City as Living Laboratory – CaLL
CaLL’s tagline is “sustainability made tangible through the arts” and its aim is to advance public understanding of the natural systems and infrastructure that support life in the city. Its strategies are grounded in place-based experience that make sustainability personal, visceral, tangible, and encourages citizen and governmental action. Ultimately, CaLL’s goal is to establish a framework that can nurture such multidiscipline and multi-layered teams in processes that bring about greater environmental awareness and envision more livable cities of sustenance. For example, CaLL Walks promote collaboration between artists and scientists in conversation with other residents. MORE INFO
Espace pour la vie (Space for Life)
Space for Life is the collective umbrella for a museum district that brings together the city's four most prominent natural museums: the Biodome, Insectarium, Botanical Garden, and Planetarium. The collective place marks a major commitment to protect the planet's biodiversity in ways that honour nature, science, and creativity. It embraces a participatory movement in which community members are invited to co-create, and has adopted a charter of citizen participation. The ultimate goal of Space for Life is to invite and cultivate a new way of living. MORE INFO: profile | web
EcoArt Incubator: The Dig Your Neighbourhood Project
2013-2015 | KELOWNA, CANADA
The Dig Your Neighbourhood (DYN) Project asks “How does one foster place based awareness in cities and towns where people have limited access to the natural world that supports them?” For the past three years, UBC Creative Writing and Visual Arts students have created a series of projects that provide a locally generated, unique vision of specific neighbourhoods in Kelowna, British Columbia. The project is a community-based writing project for upper-level undergraduate students and a delivery service to provide new homeowners (a subset of the Okanagan’s large migrant population) with a package of locally produced and locally relevant literature. The ultimate goal of DYN in the community is to reconnect people to their place of residence, and to generate discussion around cultural, historical, and ecological issues. The goal of DYN for students is to engage emerging artists in a real-world endeavour, to give them a taste of socially relevant community-based art, and to give them marketable editing and design experience. MORE INFO
Instruments of Change
Instruments of Change is an artist collective that uses the arts as an educational tool to empower people to become instruments of transformative change in their own lives. Through a variety of arts-based community development projects, which serve schools, hospices, shelters, community centres, and prisons, they create synergetic experiences that give both facilitating artists and participants a means of expression to find their authentic voice using a variety of artistic modes. The group aims to foster self-knowledge and enable people to become agents of change in their own lives through the use of music, art, performances, stories and collective art making. MORE INFO
Through a series of events, residents of the Prospect Road area in HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality) collaborated with artists to create new forms of artistic and cultural expression that were a hybridity of video, visual art, media, performance and sound, music composition and interactive media art. By bringing together local artists with community members and local place-based organizations such as cooperative fisheries (Off the Hook Fishery) and eco-tourist adventurers (East Coast Outfitters) the project was committed to new experimental art forms, action research, and knowledge exchange. The re-discovery process brought about through the arts focused on the intrinsic, irreplaceable value of coastal communities and role of the arts in creating authentic connections between individuals and their communities, their culture and their surroundings. MORE INFO
Eco-Island Amager
The 96 sq. km island of Amager, a part of Copenhagen, is a polyvalent space imbued with ever-shifting meanings. The Eco-Island Amager initiative believes that by observing the actual life of the island/city with locally active agents of change, and by mapping and conceptualizing potentials for a new identity, participant-residents can visualize paths and trigger points inviting Amager to creating a new life for itself, as an Eco-Island in a green city. The grassroots, creative initiative has organized a series of mapping, envisioning, and exploratory events to iteratively get to know this place and to inspire imaginative possibilities as an “eco-island.” MORE INFO | VIDEO


Overview of categories  1. Restore ecosystems – re-nature cities  2. Co-build better city/community through in situ actions  3. Generate and demonstrate alternative ways of living