Urban Cultural Planning – citizen-centred social innovation (Interreg BSR)

Project title: Cultural Planning as a proven method of citizen-centred social innovation (Urban Cultural Planning).

Partners: Danish Cultural Institute (Leader), City of Pori, City of Riga, Guldborgsund municipality, Pomorskie Voivodeship, City Culture Institute, Heinrich Böll Foundation Schleswig-Holstein, Project company Kiel-Gaarden GmbH, The Baltic Sea Cultural Center, Copenhagen International Theater, University of Skövde, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Vilnius Tech University.

As an associate partner of the project, our urban games and research Lab has contributed to the field research, co-design activities (Urbingo game’s version for the blocks of flats area, the catalogue of local plants, and a co-design workshop with children) and arrangement of the Urban Lab Vilnius / Co-urbanism 2020 (online forum in placemaking, participatory urban development and urban cultural planning).

Model: in this project, urban cultural planning process starts from the mapping phase, moves to the vizioning and ends with the prototyping. However, the real process is non-linear, as during prototyping phase you learn new things about the neighbourhood, which contributes to the data collected during the mapping. Also, the outcomes of the prototyping phase may adjust the visions of the neighbourhood’s development.

Sites of project: 10 neighbourhoods across the Baltic Sea Region.
Areas of the project in Lithuania:
• Visaginas (lead Oksana Denisenko);
• Vilnius, a territory of blocks of flats in Šnipiškės district (lead Dr. Jekaterina Lavrinec);
• During the lockdown in 2020-2021, the geography of the local cultural planning activities expanded by involving more districts in Vilnius and municipalities in Lithuania, where the students Creative Industries, Vilnius TECH University stayed (lead Dr. Jekaterina Lavrinec).

Results in Vilnius (Šnipiškės):
• Documented and described scenarios of the everyday use of coutryards;
• 210 interviews with local residents. Focus: residents activities in the courtyards of the blocks of flats;
• More than 40 gamified routes and creative workshops with the residents of various age in Šnipiškės (during the lockdown the geografphy of the gamifies routes expanded to other Vilnius districts, Lithuanian towns and cities);
• Street Trees game for Šnipiškės was arranged in cooperation with the parks expert Dainius Labeckis;
• Two online Urban Labs, one in Vilnius and the other in Visaginas, were arranged with hundreds of participants;
• Two art residencies were arranged – with Iza Rutkowska in Vilnius and Lucyna Kolendo in Visaginas. In the framework of the residency in Vilnius an urban planning workshop for kids “What animal is this” was arranged, and exhibition based on the artifacts of the future museum of Visaginas was opened;
• Series of site-specific art interventions in the Šnipiškės courtyards by invited artist Pijus Čeikauskas;
• Series of placemaking initiatives by the Yours Yard group in the Šnipiškės coutryards;
• Performative placemaking action “Šnipiškės totem” with Šnipiškės kids and parents was run by invited Teatronas.

Check for Activities in Visaginas.pdf and Activities in Šnipiskes and other locations across Lithuania.pdf

Dissemination. Conferences: 

• Jekaterina Lavrinec, conference paper “Students and Children as Cultural Planners” at “Cities in Flow”, Urban Cultrual Planning Riga conference 2021
• Jekaterina Lavrinec, conference paper “Reinventing green spaces in the “sleeping districts” at Cultural heritage in a changing climate: Oslo Forum 2021.
• Jekaterina Lavrinec, paper “Cultural Urban Planning: Green Space and Quality of Life” („Kultūrinis miestų planavimas: žalia aplinka ir gyvenimo kokybė”) at Inclusive Urban Planning: Perspectives for Collaboration, Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, Contitution Hall, Vilnius, 2022

Publications: Lavrinec Jekaterina. Rediscovering green spaces through creative practices. Cultural heritage in a changing climate : Oslo forum, 28–30 September 2021. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage, 2022, p. 104-109.

Supported by: Interreg Baltic Sea Region
Duration: 2019-2021