Name: Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale

Lead: Cité du design, Saint-Etienne* [FR] 

Partners: 12

Value: € 3.7 m


Dates: 10/2014 – 09/2018


The Human Cities project aims at exploring the following questions:

  • How do inhabitants reinvent the contemporary city?
  • How can we generate a vibrant city that is adapted to these new ways of life?

The focus of Human Cities Network (2014-2018) is to analyse, test and implement the process of engaging people in co-creating and challenging the City scale in Europe today. To go beyond planning practices on the urban territories, the partner cities are enhancing unplanned activities within a frame of 13 shared values: empathy, wellbeing, sustainability, intimacy and conviviality, mobility and accessibility, imagination and leisure, aesthetics, sensoriality, solidarity and respect.


We feel that the Human Cities project based on co creation and experimentation processes   will change the perception of the policy makers about the roles of citizens and creators in urban strategies that reinvent their cities.

We  will analyze creative urban citizen movements, which launch spontaneous initiatives in the hope of solving complex urban problems.

We will analyze alternative solutions  to make cities and towns more sustainable, welcoming and supportive, to re-conquer city centers by other means than just housing.


Our targets groups are:

1. The general public in the countries where the activities will take place, and, more generally, the European and international public, including youth, school children and the elderly [>300,000 people, with estimate of 50.000 in Saint-Etienne];

2. The specialists and researchers in urban design, architecture, urban planning, history, history of art, curators, professionals and all public interested in designing new creative activities within the network society and at their city scale [>50.000 people];

3. The partners of the consortium: they will benefit of the visibility offered by this project. This target group would include the staff associated with the partners and include [>1000 people];

4. The people / designers / architects & studios whose works will be shown in the framework of 9 exhibitions: they will benefit of the European and international dissemination of their work [>500 people];

5. The policy makers.

We will share our results during a high level conference in Tallinn 2018,


A rich programme of activities workshops, conferences, masterclasses and exhibition-lab during 4 years and the outcomes are addressed to policy makers, urban planners and researchers, to enhance the integration of creativity and experimental processes into the urban development strategies.


  • A state of the art with 85 case studies
  • Experimentations in 10 cities
  • Prototypes tested by the public and inhabitants
  • 9 exhibitions in European design events
  • 2 publications
  • 10 workshops
  • 9 co-creations sessions
  • 5 master classes
  • 3 international conferences
  • A Human Cities website
  • A digital catalogue
  • Creation of a HumanCitizens network
  • Connections with UCC