Within the 2019/2020 program, CANactions School will travel to 4 metropoles in western, northern and central Europe and explore their innovative approaches for creating more livable neighborhoods. Based on the findings, we will develop new strategies for locally specific and globally relevant questions, considering spatial, economic, social and political measures.
CANactions School
(Kyiv, UA / Amsterdam NL)

October 2019 – May 2020
Launch of open call:
June 20, 2019
4 seasonal schools of 8 days each
— Amsterdam (October 2019)
—Zurich (December 2019)
—Helsinki (March 2020)
—Kyiv (May 2020)
Up to 30 Graduates and Master-students from the fields of Architecture, Urban Design and Planning, Sociology, Political and Cultural Studies, Arts and Media and other related fields.
Read more
Program Theme
Contemporary cities are undergoing spatial and societal transformation processes in various scales, with global challenges like climate change, global migration and ongoing urbanization. From the past decades we see that accommodating growth is a complex question, running the risk of creating unsustainable, monofunctional neighborhoods, which are in a downward spiral of social segregation, left in a strong programmatic dependence by means of transport from other parts of the city.

The ongoing urbanization processes in the growing metropolitan areas are simultaneously a challenge and huge potential for cities, where quantity and cost-efficiency of housing are important, but so is the improvement of quality of life for new and old citizens. In this context, cities have to develop new and innovative ways in various scales, integrating different disciplines to make themselves "fit for the future".

Aiming to develop future-oriented, resilient living environments, many cities today are facing new – more pointed – questions than just organizing affordable housing for the masses: creating momentums of urbanity in new neighborhoods, diversifying the offering in response to societal changes,
renewing existing housing stock, re-use of buildings, densifying existing urban areas, resource-efficient city-expansions, as well as creating more open space quality and attractivity for existing neighborhoods.

In the frame of the Program, participants will challenge and link Architecture, Urbanism, Sociology, History and Policy-making, learn and practice the principles of an integrated approach to urban development and elaborate strategies based on the key findings of multiscale empirical research.
Urban development strategies should be based on an integrated approach to be transformative and sustainable but at the same time sensitive to the context.

In a series of 4 seasonal schools, held in Amsterdam, Zurich, Helsinki and Kyiv, participants will tackle the actual discourse regarding contemporary living environments in European metropoles receiving an influx of new inhabitants and in which different top-down, co-operative or bottom-up strategies were emerging lately. We will look at it and work with it through different levels of city production, from the level of policy making to urban strategies, urban planning to urban design and architectural design.
Learning principles and objectives
The program aims to develop a culture of urban research, design and a discourse that enables the participant
to develop urban strategies and design scenarios. The program will facilitate:

● the professional and cultural exchange (networking, discourse between different disciplines and cultural backgrounds);
● learning from each other (working together in groups, management of interests, leadership);
● increasing knowledge about specific to context questions (research and discourse);
● enhance working skills (working with experts in the fields);
● precise and enhance communication skill (presentations to different stakeholders).
The program is designed for graduates and young professionals with
a specific interest to explore challenges in urban development.
In particular, we are looking for:

● young professionals from the field of Architecture, Urban Design,
Urban Planning and Civil Engineering;
● critical thinking researchers and professionals with the background in Economics, Political and Cultural Studies, Journalism, Sociology, Data Analysis, and other related fields.
Also, the program seeks:

● open-minded executives of city administrations and urban development institutes involved in urban development, urban design, and/or city planning;
● activists, representatives of NGOs which activities connected to urban development;
● urban entrepreneurs with a strong interest in integrated city
development projects.
Requirements: university degree, preferable working experience;
English (C1, B1).

Education program team
The educational program teaching staff will be composed of the curator, tutors, lecturers, and invited experts from the wide international network of CANactions School who have the professional experience in both academia and praxis and are well acquainted with contemporary challenges and development processes in Western and Eastern European cities.
Mirjam Niemeyer is an architect, urban designer and founding partner at Helsinki Zürich Office. She is CANactions School Advisory Board member and has curated, and mentored CANactions School educational programs since 2016. Mirjam has been a visiting professor at the PBSA Düsseldorf and assistant professor at the Institute of Urban Design at ETH Zurich. She has tutored several workshops and published internationally. In praxis, she works as a designer, researcher & consultant in the fields of architecture, urban design and planning in an international context.
Aalto University, Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, Amsterdam City Hall, Architectural Prescription,
Helsinki City Administration, helsinkizurich.

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