Call for experiences! – from Grenoble-Alpes Métropole

Grenoble-Alpes Métropole’s LSG is currently getting in touch with researchers on urban policies. We would like to organise discussions between them and local professionals about shared topics, shared issues. These meetings will give professionals the opportunity to take a step back from their daily practices, and will feed in the research of universities with concrete experiences.

The researchers we work with were extremely interested in knowing about USER cities experiences in their thematic research field. That’s why we launch a call towards all our USER partners. Should you have any experience to share (from your city or even from elsewhere), please post it on this plateform or send an e-mail to Claire!

The 2 topics are:

Methods and tools to observe and analyse uses on the field. In our uran area we use the “walking diagnosis” a lot, as well as questionnaires, convivial events… but we sometimes feel we lack innovative ideas.

Practices and methods to help municipalities stay active once a project of public space rehabilitation has been realized. In France a lot of research and experiences have been led on how to structure the partnership, the decision-making process etc…, before doing the construction works. But once the works are done the project is considered as “done” and we do not stay organized to monitor the uses and implement corrective actions if necessary. 

Thanks for your collaboration and please ask Claire for any precision you might need!

Update of the USER platform

The list of files on our USER platform has been updated!

You can find now:

– In the category “local action plans”: LAP-related documents and all Phase 1 drafts of USER partners (in English when avalaible)

– Documents linked with Lisbon seminar

– Mid-term review documents in “Administrative and finance” / “project management”

– Newsletter 4

– …

And we are looking forward to creating a forum as discussed during Lisbon seminar!

USER workshops highligthed on the URBACT website

An extract of our 4th newsletter has been published on URBACT website, under the title “the peer-review process from a USER perspective”. It’s about our workshop process… 

It’s an important recognition of your collective efforts about these workshops. It is as well a good new for our visibility within the URBACT network – and a good incentive to do even better in our 2nd workshops session!

Dresden’s XMas perception report

Dear USER friends,

don’t mistake this for a Christmas gift:

We are posting the report on the survey that has been conducted by geographers from Dresden Technical University, addressing the perception and use of public spaces within our USER area. The English abstract is on pages 43-46.

We are looking back at nearly a year of fruitful and enriching exchanges with the USER community. Considering the work still ahead of us and a LAP draft to be submmitted by September, next year will probably come up with even more hard work, enhancement, sound results and hopefully excellent and enriching seminars and workshops (and, why not, additional optional visits to partner cities …).

Owing to the current festive season, we have postponed our forthcoming ‚large‘ LSG meeting until January.

The Dresden USER team addresses their season’s greetings to all of you, wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year

Bruno and Martin on behalf of Dresden’s USER LSG and its working groups



Malaga LSG: youth involvement, Christmas in Corralones

2 short and very interesting articles about Malaga LSG activities :

Looking for a better youth involvement: how to get young people in the users consultation and involvement process led by the LSG? An interesting youth-dedicated workshop was organized in September.

Making the most of Christmas traditions to attract people in semi-private spaces and improve the social interactions. In the Corralones, people decorate their courtyards for Christmas. Students will work with USER LSG to support this event as an opportunity for these spaces and their inhabitants to get open to the rest of the city.

You can download these articles here:

– Youth meeting in Malaga LSG

Students and Corralones

Azory in the children’s eyes

The important users of Azory public spaces are children and the youth. To get their opinion on the housing estate the children’s art competition “At my Azory…” was organized. In response to the competition the pupils of kindergartens and schools submitted 160 works, which have been evaluated in four age categories. The audience award was also awarded as a result of voting by participants of the workshop which took place on 14th of November. The winning works below.

Julia Baran Konstancja Koleszynska Natalia Mars Oksana Sawicka Roksana Zięcina

Dresden informs Eurocities working group and Saxon government officials about USER

Dear friends,

this information from Dresden is about communication regarding USER toward Eurocities and the regional administration. We are sure that you are also taking part in comparable meetings.

We are looking forward to next week’s workshop in Pescara.

Greetings from sunny Dresden (actally sun and rain are alternating on a daily basis)Dresden_USER_inform_Eurocities_and_Saxony.



News from Riga LSG

Updated activities of Riga LSG.

You can download as well a detailed presentation of the LSG structure and methodology here (prepared by Riga for Lublin workshop).
After our meeting with Sandra Biseniece (who on behalf of the “URBACT Secretariat” provides consultations for URBACT projects, and in particular, on the ULSG issues in Latvia and other Baltic states), we decided to change slightly our planned activities schedule:

 First of all, we are going to organize a meeting with stakeholders (users) of Spīķeri Street in coming two weeks. In June we have had a meeting with users of Latviešu Strēlnieku Square to understand better their specific interests, opinions about the place and desirable development of it.  Now it is a turn to organize same kind of meeting with users of Spīķeri Street to find out their opinion about the place and its development.

In parallel we are planning to organize a meeting for our USER team members, possibly with participation of our key Core LSG experts, with aim to draw first scenarios of development visions for our both pilot sites – to be further discussed at wider audiences (i.e., at our next scheduled LSG meeting and meetings with users, students, schoolchildren etc.) in the end of 2013 or in early 2014.

 However, as we feel that we don’t have enough data – facts & figures about current situation, just assumptions, we have initiated discussions with the University of Latvia, Spatial Development Planning Studies Program concerning the involvement of two different groups of students in the USER project:

(1)   Group 1: students of Social & Political Geography – to provide field observations of both pilot sites, identify and analyze urban character of sites, their users, main types of uses and changes of uses in time (day/week/season), interview users, etc.

Period: Dec 2013 – Feb 2014
Expected result: (in-depth analysis of) Current Situation

(2)   Group 2: students of Spatial Development Planning – based on results of field work and analysis undertaken by the Group 1, the tasks for this group would be to identify development visions of pilot sites, analyze and agree on desirable development. Also, work out ideas for experimentation and carry out experiments in both public spaces.

Period: Feb 2014 – May 2014
Expected result: Future Visions & Experimentation

Also we have one research about pedestrian flows in Riga going on at the moment which is planned to be completed in December 2013.

Further, after drawing by ourselves the initial development scenarios (Visions), we are planning to organize a Wider LSG meeting. The aim of this meeting would be to find out LSG members and users views, ideas and opinions concerning the development visions of both pilot sites. As well, to understand what inputs they could give to the USER project and what they would receive from it.