Robert Bosch Stiftung > Actors of Urban Change

The program Actors of Urban Change aims to achieve sustainable and participatory urban development through cultural activities. Actors from the cultural scene, the administration, and the private sector are given an opportunity to strengthen their competencies in cross-sector collaboration. Through local projects, process-related consulting, and Europe-wide exchange, the program participants put their skills into practice. The program is implemented in cooperation with MitOst e.V..
The pilot stage of the program ran from autumn of 2013 until summer of 2015. The second round starts in December 2015 and runs until May 2017.

Program Offers and Activities
An actor from the cultural scene/civil society, the administration, and the private sector form a cross-sector team to implement an innovative local project. Over the course of 18 months, ten teams from various European cities receive support for the implementation of their joint local projects and obtain professional qualification, as well as networking opportunities.

The support for the local Laboratories consists of Project Grants of up to 5,000 € as well as tailored support by local or international experts through Process-Related Consulting Grants of up to 5,000 €.
Qualification of the program participants is fostered through five international Academy meetings in different European cities, which offer lectures, facilitated workshops, peer learning sessions and field trips. Besides, every participant is given the chance to spend a Shadowing Internship of up to 10 days in other program participants’ cities and thereby to share experiences, learn from one another, and to extend perspectives from a local to an international level.
Moreover, participants profit from becoming part of a European network: They can exchange among them during through in-person meetings during the international Academy sessions and the Shadowing Internships and through virtual exchange through an online-platform and community.

Potential Topics and Scope of Projects
From the program’s perspective, urban change is not focused on formal processes of urban planning or development, but rather on strengthening community-driven engagement for local urban development. In this context, potential topics to be addressed include citizens’ participation, affordable housing/gentrification, inclusion/integration, cultural diversity, accessibility of (formerly) public urban resources and spaces, sustainable mobility, health and physical activity, green city/climate change, etc.

Culture and Urban Change
Social changes are intensified in urban contexts where the associated opportunities and risks appear in particularly pronounced ways. From a citizen’s perspective, the boundaries between sectors become more permeable and at the same time allow for cross-sector collaboration in urban development. We consider culture to be a fundamental dimension within the realm of sustainable development. Cultural activities have the potential to create meaning and identity, promote participation and social inclusion, and play an important role in the positive development of cities in terms of a common good.

Deadline: 13 September

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