In 2014, Bologna’s City Council officially adopted the regulation on the collaboration between citizens and the public administration on activities aiming at the care and regeneration of urban commons. The regulation acts as a general framework within which citizens, both individuals or groups, can submit proposals for projects to be developed on a spontaneous basis with voluntary effort for the involved parties, putting competences, resources and energy available to the collective good. Such projects are disciplined by the regulation through a series of specific agreements, called collaborations pacts, in which both the citizens and the public administration agree to the terms of their cooperation for the safeguarding of the commons. The commons targeted by this regulation are material spaces as public squares, green areas or schools, immaterial commons, such as education and social inclusion, and digital commons, such as applications and digital alphabetisation.

The living lab in Eindhoven is an approach, a way of thinking and working that emerged in the city of Eindhoven and is materialized in various places in the city. The municipality of Eindhoven took the initiative to develop various living lab initiatives, in collaboration with actors from other sectors (private sector institutions, public organizations, academic and knowledge institutions in a triple helix framework). This resulted in a type of living lab that differs from other labs: it is not a laboratory within a building and it does not have clear hierarchical structure and projects organized and presented in a clear policy document. The living lab is however an entire part of the city’s strategy that is developed, supported and implemented at political and administrative level. It fits in a line of thinking and working in Eindhoven that started decades ago, and in which technological innovation are linked to and combined with collaborative forms of working, citizen engagement and citizen centred developments.

The circular economy is a regenerative model designed to keep products and materials at their highest value and functionality for as long as possible through continuous cycles of reclamation and remanufacture. It is an alternative to the current “linear” economic model based on extraction, manufacture and disposal of resources (i.e. take, make, use and dispose), creating waste and toxic flows at each stage of the process. The webinar will introduce the principles of the circular economy and showcase what local governments are doing to encourage more circular systems and projects within their cities. Participants will also recieve recommendations on what they can do within their workplaces to adopt more circular economy practices.

With increasing urbanisation, we are becoming more disconnected from nature just at the moment where nature needs us to notice it most: The Living Planet Index is down 60% since 1970!
Humans are reliant on the goods and services that nature provides, from bee-assisted crop pollination to water filtration courtesy of mollusks - and not forgetting over three trillion trees which clean carbon dioxide out of the air and produce the oxygen we need to breathe. Over exploitation, climate change, and pollution have significantly reduced our once-rich habitats – and due to intricate food webs, the fate of a single population can have far-reaching and unexpected consequences. How do historic city centres support biodiversity and habitat protection, reinforce natural processes and connect with their local natural environments? This webinar will take a look at case studies and recommendations from different cultural heritage sites on how biodiversity has been incorporated to add both natural and cultural value.


Why is cultural heritage relevant for the future of cities ? This first podcast will introduce the topic of cultural-heritage led regeneration and explain the relevance of the topic, the approach chosen by the ROCK project and give some concrete examples of actions done in cities. Brought to you by ICLEI -Local Governments for Sustainability.

Green Heritage Futures is a podcast exploring cultural heritage and climate change.

As part of ROCK, Project Manager Lucy Latham sits down each month with a figure working at the intersection of cultural heritage and climate change to explore their projects and perspectives. The series looks at the importance of protecting cultural heritage in the face of climate change, as well as the unique opportunities of cultural heritage in engaging citizens and driving environmental solutions


  1. David Harkin, Climate Change Scientist at Historic Environment Scotland: What historic sites can tell us about climate change

  2. Miranda Massie, Founder and Director of the Climate Museum: The unique power of museums in the fight against climate change

  3. Henry McGhie, founder of Curating Tomorrow: Curating a Sustainable Future

The podcast '90 Seconds of Science' is one of the most important Science Communication channels in Portugal, featuring over 500 episodes. Recently, they interviewed Chiara Pussetti from ICSUL team about the ROCK project and the processes of urban regeneration in Marvila. The podcast is available here (in Portuguese).


ROCK focuses on historic city centres as extraordinary laboratories to demonstrate how Cultural Heritage [CH] can be a unique and powerful engine of regeneration, sustainable development and economic growth for the whole city. ROCK will regenerate historical city centers through creative and sustainable districts. ROCK will combine technical, organisational and social innovation to create a successful heritage-led urban regeneration model.
ROCK will make cultural heritage an engine for sustainable cities. ROCK will create a balance between top-down and bottom-up approaches.

ROCK stands for Regeneration and Optimisation of Cultural heritage in creative and Knowledge cities. This European funded project focuses on historic city centres as extraordinary laboratories to demonstrate how Cultural Heritage can be a powerful engine of regeneration, sustainable development and economic growth for the whole city. ROCK believes that cultural heritage should not be static, a vestige of the past only to be preserved, but can be a driving force to bring a new creative energy to cities. Using the past can help build urban futures. The project relies on a "circular model" as an integrated vision of urban regeneration. This circular model is based on 6 connected pillars: creative, cultural, regeneration, knowledge, security and green circles that interconnect to draw the future of cities.

The International Conference “Urban Centers: Acting Upon or with Cities”, organised by the ROCK team at the ICS-ULisboa, aimed to explore the current roles and functions of a sample of the most important Urban Centers in Europe. For this, the Urban Centers of Lisbon, Bologna, Turin, Barcelona, Paris and Rome were invited to share knowledge about their experience in promoting participatory approaches with citizens in urban policymaking. You can now watch the conference video and read the final memorandum.