Urban Education Live – August 25

Join us for a presentation and discussion of the UEL initiative in Venice.

August 25, 14:00, Turning Tables, Palazzo Mora, Strada Nuova 3659, Venezia, Italy 

After some time working under the radar it is a good feeling to invite people to an event that marks a more public part of an initiative that started out with a quick idea – and an EU application – that hatched in the February darkness of Finland and turned into a initiative involving partners from Tampere, Sheffield, Ljubljana and Bucharest.

The project is in short a more integrated – super site specific – collaboration between universities and urban communities. Our EU application is now through to the final round and the discussion in Venice is a way to sharpen our arguments in a final project proposal. But it is also to look further and develop the initiative not least by getting involved in new networks.



Mapping tool progress


Our collaboration with Mapcentia is showing results. Take a look on a live map of tweets from Manhatten NYC here. And a map (above) showing the results from the recent local elections in Denmark with twitter feed here.

We are currently having some problems with the maps – we are working on some new and even better maps. In the meantime you can have a look here. It is a map that students of Landscape and Urban design did as their first analysis of Hedehusene.

The links show how the very basic part of the mapping tool “harvest” geotagged tweets and show their #hashtags in different sizes according to how often the same #hashtag occurs.

The link that shows the live situation on Manhattan is “crowdsourced”. The CiTyBee mapping tool is more thought to be “curated” where it shows the stories that have been collected “on the ground” (the 1 : 1 mapping) Based on the “curated” map the crowdsoured map can take off and create an urban dialogue.

See more on our thoughts about mapping here.

CiTyBee Workshop

We have during the years – also back with Supertanker – developed workshop formats that would give students a hands on experience in a local community while at the same time that community would benefit from the ideas and actions of the students.

Our goal is to develop open ended, interactive skills for the individuation of urban issues. With focus on the active involvement of locals through spatial and visible interactions. The workshop has a flexible format and can be stretched from the intensive 2 weeks that is described in the presentation to a longer period of time.

Read the presentation here

See photos from our last workshop with danish students here

See the movie the students made to present the workshop here

Read the Zine that the students published here

Screen dump workshop

Screen dump workshop2

Visit from Sheffield

Friday february 22nd was spent in good company with 26 students from Sheffield School of Architecture. Instead of a presentation that showed our work in Hedehusene we involved them in a live presentation of CiTyBee.

In just 2 hours we went through all 3 phases: telling the stories about the spaces; engaging in a dialogue with the aim of identifying the most important of these stories; and acting on the outcomes of the dialogue to answer the brief of the day – How to make the station in Hedehusene more visible.

The result was impressive and played well into the activities in the afternoon when we held an open house for the local community to come and share their thoughts and ideas.

See photos on Flickr here and here


In late 2012 we started to publish “Zines” – publications that can be produced cheap and fast. Just like building on the spot, “Zines” can be used as effective tools to making the dialogue about space more concrete and visible. We want to start producing “Zines” much earlier in the process – rather than producing long reports, like we did in 2012, that often go unread.


In this case we produced two issues of a new local magazine – Hovedgaden (The Main Street), edited and produced by local people with the help of some students. Instead of stapling we got an old sewing machine and sewed them together.




We have used mapping as a tool in our work in many different ways, first with Supertanker and now with CiTyBee. Read more about the background for how we work with mapping here

In our prototype in Hedehusene in 2012 we used no high tech GPS or smartphones. Even though we would like to do that, we think that mapping starts  with just being in public space using the best sensor for the rich sensory and emotional diversity of the city: ourselves and our senses.

We do 1 : 1 Mapping, Street Map and Patterns of Possibilities

1 : 1 Mapping

Our Street tool Box is an important instrument in our 1:1 mapping. It allows us to get around and be in public space, talk to local people and start to map the space through narratives and dialogue.


The mapping became both a way of documenting stories “in about urban spaces” but it also allowed us to meet the people on their “home turf”, giving importance to a particular space. Many of the people that we met through this interaction would later go on to being involved in future dialogue and offshoots.


By instantly putting up new signs or “Street Whiteboards” we would create a 1:1 map that documented the dreams, needs and interests for that space.


With the new signs and the Street Kitchen we also want to create a situation that shows how a space can be taken or appropriated in order to inspire people to dream of other ways this space could be.


Street Map

We use a big transportable map that can be moved around and stickers that function in a similar way to the “Street Whiteboards”.


The Street Map became a feature on the monthly market in Hedehusene. It was a popular occasion for people to tell stories and point out the places related to the stories. Again the stickers are used to immediately document what has been said and encourage those who arrive later to react on what has been said earlier.


Patterns of Possibilities

By the time of the first public meeting the map has become quite full with keywords that document the many stories. (This is where technology might come in handy)


The map shows how many views and stories different places have and that these stories often see the same place in different ways. The map visualises the many different voices of the community and most importantly gives people a way of acknowledging these other voices. This gives a more nuanced and constructive discussion based on a better mutual understanding…hence a dialogue is created!!!


People are given little blue stickers to mark what they think is important. The result is that “Patterns of Possibilities” start to emerge on the map showing the important areas and themes. This is the starting point for the rest of the public meeting that will look at what to focus on and how to act on it. Finally the new ideas and suggestions are documented on the map.


Power Tools


In order to make some quick prototypes we have a selection of cordless power tools – mostly various Hammer Driver-Drills but also a wonderful cordless Recipro Saw. Our aim is to get the batteries recharged with solar panels in the near future.




Kia from Helsinki built 9 benches for a public meeting in one day!


Amel brought his own tools to speed things up.



Urban Mapping in Hedehusene

This report – in Danish – was done after the mapping we did in Hedehusene spring and early summer 2012. It is a rather thorough report and next time we will publish shorter Zines that are easier to produce and distribute. The report is good if you want to get to know the small town of Hedehusene.

Phase 2: Dialogue



The second phase starts with a public meeting where the map shows often conflicting interests or different views on the same place. This is our way of making the dialogue more constructive – to make people know about other peoples views and disagreeing in a civilised way.


We work out the important issues of the community and start seeing some patterns of possibilities. The dialogue and further stories are also taken to the streets in curated walks. People are free to join in and it usually leads to new stories.


A second public meeting is set in a place central to the local community – here it is a garden that used to belong to a old factory. We opened the garden for experiments before the meeting – inviting people to come with their ideas. Being, building and discussing it in the actual space makes the discussion about space more concrete.


For the actual meeting people would discuss new ideas and form networks around these – Or just build something themselves – for themselves.


Out of this second public meeting evolves a number of new localised networks and ideas.