During the first weekend of March, UK member office Kaleidoscope was privileged to visit and work together with the NGO Urban Insight Center, Urban INC, in Bucharest, Romania. The aim of the collaboration, which is supported by the EEA program through the Bilateral Exchange Fund, was to exchange knowledge and promote bi-lateral connections, but also to delve into a case study about how to define a strategy for citizen-initiated urban regeneration in the context of the business district Pipera – Dimitrie Pompeiu in Bucharest. Kaleidoscope and Urban INC arranged a workshop where local architects and urban planners were invited to work together, exploring design thinking methods as a tool for problem solving in complex situations. The team has now published an article about the emerging business districts in Bucharest and are finalising a work book to sum up the outcome of the collaboration. As a part of the workshop Kaleidoscope held presentations also about Uusi Kaupunki collective, our ways of working and approach to participatory urbanism.
Last year, Uusi Kaupunki was exhibited in the Romanian Design week (read about it here). The young generation of designers and planners is bound to make a difference in the way cities are built and regulated in Romania, and we are grateful for having now built up contact with them. The awareness of the power of people has started to rise in Bucharest and we can expect to see a change towards the positive, hopefully also in the way the citizens can affect the city they inhabit.