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Designscapes invites you to participate in our mid-term conference covering a range of topics focusing on the co-creation of urban environments for European, national and regional policymakers to engage in the topics of urban development, diffusion and “democratization” of innovations and design.

The “Towards a Green Paper on Design Enabled Innovation in Cities” conference will be held on Friday, 17 May 2019, all day in Brussels, at Committee of Regions.  Let us know you’ll be joining us by registering here!

What is Designscapes?

Designscapes is an EU funded, H2020 Coordination and Support Action whose primary
aim is to exploit the generative potential of urban environments to encourage the uptake, enhancement and upscaling of Design Enabled Innovation by enterprises, start-ups and SMEs, public authorities and agencies,NGOs and other stakeholders.

What is Design Enabled Innovation?

As documented in an Open Access Book published with Springer, Design Enabled Innovation indicates forms of (incremental or radical) innovation that are triggered by design thinking, or by a diffuse, creative problem-solving ability.

Why the Urban dimension?

The Designscapes Book posits that Design Enabled Innovation mobilizes values and meanings and leads to solutions that explore and possibly put economic models to test, to find workable answers to many unsolved problems in the current urban environments.

What has Designscapes done so far?

That assumption is being validated by co-creating a EU-wide collection of
case studies of Design Enabled Innovation, in two main ways: 1) through drafting 14 City Snapshots (including Athens, Copenhagen, Freiburg, Gabrovo, Guimaraes, Florence, Lisbon, London, Milan, Paris, Rotterdam, Sofia, Stuttgart and Valencia) and complementing them with 70 interviews to local stakeholders; 2) through an Open Call for Pilots, in 3 consecutive editions (next deadline being May 31, 2019) and an overall budget of 1.5 million Euros, to be distributed to 100+ Design Enabled Innovation initiatives across the EU Member and Associated States.

Designscapes City Snapshots Map

Why a Green Paper?

Half way through the project’s lifetime, the time is ripe to ignite a broader discussion on
the usefulness of tackling design as a vertical policy target instead of a mere cross-cutting priority. Other concurrent initiatives (such as Design for Europe) are coming to similar conclusions. However, the evidence brought about by Designscapes is not only aligned with best practice examples from within and outside the EU in terms of policy prioritization and impacts thereof. We are also demonstrating, through the experience of the Open Call for Pilots, that relevant results can be obtained also with very small financing budgets.

Why this conference?

We would like to involve a broad European audience, starting from the representatives of the European associations and networks that are sponsoring this event, into the co-creation of the main action items to be highlighted in the Green Paper for the attention of European, national and regional policymakers engaged in the topics of urban development, diffusion and “democratization” of innovations and design.

What’s next?

The text of the Green Paper resulting from the conference proceedings will be put on display in a dedicated website, open to the comments and suggestions of additional domain experts or interested people. Ultimately, it will be transformed into a White Paper, which will constitute one of the key outputs of our project and hopefully a major breakthrough in design and innovation promotion policies in Europe.