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New Europe: Cities in transition

Pakhuis de Zwijger’s project ‘New Europe – Cities in Transition’ was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme ‘Europe for Citizens‘, measure 2.2: ‘Network of Towns’.

A total of five activities were carried out as part of New Europe – Cities in Transition under the Europe for Citizens programme.

  • The Metropolitan Field Trip Lisbon that took place in Lisbon, Portugal on 12-15 March, 2015
  • The Metropolitan Field Trip London that took place in London, United Kingdom on 11-14 June, 2015
  • The Metropolitan Field Trip Berlin that ook place in Berlin, Germany on 8-11 October, 2015
  • The City Makers Summit that took place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 27-30 May, 2016
  • The Metropolitan Field Trip Bucharest that took place in Bucharest, Romania on 6-9 June, 2016

All the activities that were realised with funding of the Europe for Citizens programme are listed and described below. In addition, Pakhuis de Zwijger was able to expand the network and its activities by connecting all 28 capital cities, and organise six  more Metropolitan Field Trips and two City Maker Pre-summits on 25 June, 2015 and on 4 and 5 February, 2016. Furthermore, Pakhuis de Zwijger organised the  New Europe City Makers Summit with participants from 150 European cities instead of just the five cities of the partners within the Europe for Citizens collaboration.

The full programme and report of the Metropolitan Field Trip London are available on The field trip involved around 180 citizens, including:

  • 2 participants from Bucharest, Romania
  • 3 participants from Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2 participants from Berlin, Germany
  • 3 participants from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 1 participant from Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 1 participant from Brussels, Belgium
  • an extra 38 invited participants joined the conference together with more than 130 local partners, organisers, City Makers and other involved persons from London

15.06.11 Metropolitan Field Trip London programme

Highlighting the economic potential of community-led enterprises and the limits of a city in transition

The London Metropolitan Field Trip aimed to demonstrate the limits of a city in transition. Where tensions of ensuring a well-functioning and affordable city are felt on a daily basis and the public, private and voluntary sector all play a role. The role of the voluntary sector has become more substantial over the last years, but is actually rooted in a long tradition of community-led and owned enterprises in London and beyond. This renewed focus on the responsibility and potential for the voluntary sector is flanked by government attempts to facilitate the movement and alternative structures to traditional economic structures.

Urban transition in London is characterized by community-owned and led enterprises whose main objective is to improve the social, economic and environmental conditions in their community and are very successful in doing so. Alongside this movement you will find alternative structures that harness the collective power of the public to either go beyond the monetary economy or traditional funders. One of the government acts that England is perhaps most known for in Europe is the 2011 Localism Act, promoting community asset ownership, community managed local services, community-led development and neighbourhood planning.

With a broad perspective on transition and social innovation in urban development we studied London as a city and a metropolis. We met with local City Makers, professional peers, residents, entrepreneurs, and study the small-scale, often informal urban interventions.

New Europe – Cities in Transition

The New Europe – Cities in Transition network and online platform has grown into a Europe wide network, connecting the 28 capital cities of the European Union, through partner organisations / local platforms that hold the title City Embassy and connect City Makers in their cities and internationally. With the help of the Europe for Citizens grant they have managed to develop activities that frequently bring together partner organisations from the cities Berlin, Bucharest, London, Lisbon and Amsterdam. This frequency and recurrence of the activities allowed for the development of a sustainable base for the New Europe – Cities in Transition network.

They have not only achieved initial plans, but have grown beyond expectations. Without the help of the Europe for Citizens grant they would not have been able to plant the seeds for a sustainable and ever expanding European network, working on the continuation of the platform and many future activities.

You can read about each of the tours, and how Locality has been involved on New Europe’s website.