METAMORPHOSIS seeks to transform the neighbourhoods of seven partner cities in a child-friendly way, in order to promote the sustainable use of public spaces. The direct involvement of children in each phase of the project is a key element of its innovative approach.
METAMORPHOSIS starts from the premise that a neighbourhood having many children-friendly public spaces is an indicator of good, people centred and sustainable neighbourhood (Gehl, 2013). The project applies an innovative and participatory approach, which encompasses the direct involvement of children as crucial players in each phase of the project – from planning to implementation, evaluation, and dissemination. Children are considered facilitators sharing their innovative visions and producing societal behavioural change. During each phase of METAMORPHOSIS, children’s perspectives, suggestions, and ideas are highly valued as essential contributions.
The participatory building processes in the seven partner cities lead to the implementation of six main activity fields. The latter consist of subtasks such as Interventions in Public Space, Temporary Closures, Crystallisation Points, Educational Innovation Tools and Empowerment for Active Mobility. This field of activity relates to the improvement of planning procedures and the integration of METAMORPHOSIS issues into Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), so that the project outputs are integrated within long-term policies.
The improved innovation capacity is directed towards the transformation of neighbourhoods into more liveable public spaces, increase the attractiveness of neighbourhoods to new start-ups and impact the reorganisation of urban mobility systems. It hopes to also contribute to climate change adaptation by using public space for greening projects (urban gardening, planting trees, etc.).
Moreover, the METAMORPHOSIS approach leads to the integration and the improved understanding between different social, cultural and age groups. Thus, METAMORPHOSIS expects to turn public spaces into multi-functional spaces used for integration and social interaction.
Metamorphosis is a European project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. Seven partner cities, Alba Iulia (RO), Graz (AT), Meran (IT), Munich (DE), Southampton (UK), Tilburg (NL), and Zurich (CH).