We asked Letting Space's Sophie Jerram what’s she doing in Europe currently for 6 weeks and this was her response:
Primarily I'm retrieving my 15 year old son who has been living here and found Denmark to be a very welcoming and easy place to be 15 in. But also I’ve been flown to Helsingør (thanks Danish Arts Foundation) - home to Kronborg Castle where Hamlet was set - to present our work and the Urban Dream Brokerage as a potentially radical model of working with artists and communities in incubating new ideas for the town.
Recently colleagues from Copenhagen University launched a co-design project that's been almost a year in design and execution - a park co-designed with children aged 10-12. I helped paint and stencil some of the kids' designs onto wood to help meet the deadline this week. I taught at the Urban Intervention Studio too with colleagues there - some may recognise Anne Wagner who visited New Zealand recently.
I've just attended an incredible international municipalism summit in Barcelona 'Fearless Cities' with people from 180 countries. In Barcelona in 2015 a group of self-organising activists were voted into key roles in Council, including Mayor, through the platform Barcelona En Comu. Lots of food for thought about how we might be more inclusive in our community planning. I heard about one small town in Spain - Celrá - who used participatory budgeting with residents, and now fund a drop in psychological service in the town, and a service that rings all the elderly residents to wish them a good morning.
I’ve just spoken about Urban Dream Brokerage at a Landscape Futures conference, and my final gig on 10th of July in Utrecht, Netherlands is with the International Association for the Study of the Commons. I will be visiting Urban Commons in Rotterdam and connecting with the great art and policy organisation, Casco.
Looking forward to sharing ideas about co-design, municipalism and landscape with New Zealand on return in August.