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Co-creating Urban Futures

Extend your knowledge of co-creation in local government and learn more about urban challenges in diverse contexts

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CIVIS focus area
Cities, territories and mobilities
Open to
  • Master's
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
17 October 2022 - 13 January 2023

Cities have a significant role to play in advancing democracy and citizenship. In an urban world, cities are both home and local political context for most people. As centres of social life, economy and resource use, cities are also key sites for dealing with global challenges like climate change. Citizen “co-creation” is an important means of opening-up multi-directional, horizontal dialogues and decision-making processes between government and civil society. But it necessitates experimentation and institutional change, which can be difficult for local governments because of rigid structures and a lack of resources. There are also concerns over the extent to which citizens can genuinely influence the government. Hence critical engagement with local concepts and practices of ‘co-creation’ is necessary to identify challenges and ways forward.

Main topics addressed

  • Co-creation and co-production in policy making and governance
  • Participation, democracy and government
  • Planning, politics and power
  • Urban sustainability and transitions

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes for students will be the following:

  • A critical understanding of co-creation in urban futures
  • Local and comparative knowledge of recent experiences in cities
  • Skills of engaging with government and the public
  • Experience of collaborative learning in international contexts
Dates: 17 October 2022 - 13 January 2023 Language: English (B2)
Format: Blended ECTS: 3*
Location: Brussels, Belgium Workload: 90 hours


* Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 

This course will be running from October 2022 to January 2023. It consists of the following: 

  1. Online Roundtables October- December
  2. A dynamic, collaborative Online Learning Hub to facilitate exchange and document the results of the course
  3. The main on-site learning course is envisioned to take place from 23 to 27 November in Brussels
  4. An Online Forum hosted on the Hub for student and staff collaboration and exchange throughout the project

Virtual part

The virtual part will be running from 17 October 2022 to 13 January 2023.

Roundtables: There will be a series of four online roundtable discussions in October, November and December. The main goal of the roundtables is to establish a common ground for the course, as this is an interdisciplinary course including architecture, planning, urban studies, political science, and law.

All sessions include group work and discussions with students.

Time: 17:00-19:00 CET

  • Thursday 20 October

In the first session, the main aims and objectives of the course will be introduced and discussed with the students.

  • Thursday 27 October

In the second session, teaching staff from the participating universities will present their perspectives on “global urban challenges”.

  • Thursday 3 November

The third session is dedicated to the main concepts of “co-creation”, their normative foundations and role within politics.

  • Thursday 17 November

The fourth session aims at establishing the interrelatedness of “power, planning and policy-making”.

  • Thursday 8 December

This final session offers a review and summarizes the results of the onsite course and considers ways to fill the online repository with content.

Physical mobility

This course involves physical mobility to Brussels, Belgium, from 23 to 27 November 2022.

On-site Learning will take place in Brussels. Teaching staff and students come together in Brussels, Belgium, to learn together.

The 5 days of intensive learning experiences focus on the transfer of theoretical approaches to co-creation into more practical exercises, applications, and discussions. Teaching staff will give teaching input and lead smaller working groups dedicated to deepening the learning experiences.

These include:

  • drawing lessons from interdisciplinary theoretical approaches and problematising them in terms of practicability
  • experimenting with existing tools and techniques for organizing participatory problem solving
  • conducting interviews with participants of co-creation projects to gather insight into their experiences and to identify the strengths and shortcomings of such collaborative processes
  • meeting stakeholders from governments, administrations and civil society, and learning about their interests, needs, and recommendations for co-creating urban futures
  • participating in excursions to ‘best’ and ‘worst’ practice examples


This course is open to Master's students at CIVIS member universities, with a Bachelor's qualification in a related field e.g. urban studies, urban design, architecture, geography, sociology, or political science. 

A B2 level of English is required. 

Application process

Interested students should apply by filling in the online application form by 23 September 2022. 

Apply for this course


Learning will take place around blended formats of online teaching and the 5-day meeting:

  1. Students will have to prepare to engage with the core readings for the roundtables and the on-site course. They will be required to formulate questions for facilitating the discussions and hand them in via the learning hub. They will also do a group presentation on a real-world problem at the on-site meeting.
  2. Students participate in the experimental use of tools and techniques and reflect on their experiences in a short position paper
  3. Students develop final documentation of their learning experience by contributing to the open repository (this could either be presentations, posters, podcasts, videos, or written reports). The teaching staff will advise students and examine the assignments. They will be evaluated according to each participating institution’s system.

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

  • Dr Ross Beveridge, Senior Lecturer, Urban Studies, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Annette Hastings, Urban Studies, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Rolf Frankenberger, Senior Lecturer, Political Science, University of Tübingen
  • Professor Luisa Moretto, Architecture, Université libre de Bruxelles
  • Dr Giuseppe Faldi, Lecturer, Architecture, Université libre de Bruxelles
  • Professor Mihai Razvan Nita, Geography, University of Bucharest
  • Professor Carlo Cellamare, Planning/ Urbanism, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Professor Cristian Ioja, University of Bucharest