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12 · 09 · 2017

Polish-Danish dialogue concerning engaging citizens in the planning of city development during RISING Architecture Week

Polish-Danish dialogue concerning involvement of citizens in city development

The two city architects Steven Willacy (Aarhus) and Marlena Happach (Warsaw) meet to discuss the engagement of citizens in the planning of city development.

Future cities in Poland and Denmark

In the process of planning the development of future cities in Denmark, it is important to take inspiration from the development of international cities. Equally interesting is finding out what experience we can share to the use of other countries.
As part of that exchange of knowledge the Danish Cultural Institute in Warsaw has taken the initiative to get the chief architect of the city, Marlena Happach, to visit Denmark, where she will share her knowledge and thoughts on city development, as part of the Aarhus2017 RISING Exchange Conference sep. 13.-14. Together with her colleague from Aarhus she will discuss the potential of involving citizens in planning city development.
Though local concerns can play a part in the challenges that has to be faced, there are many similar questions to answer in these processes, like how to engage the residents of the city and how to connect the city centres to outlying areas.

City development and engaging citizens

The environment of any city is created in equal measure by the frame set by the cityscape and the acitivities of the residents within this. That is why it is essential to involve citizens in different parts of the decision making process when developing this space, so they can get a sense of ownership of the environment they inhabit.
How to do this most effectively is being considered when Marlena Happach and Steven Willacy meet on Wednesday sep. 13.
The event takes place at 12.40 pm in Den Rå Hal at Godsbanen in Aarhus, as part of Rising Architecture Week, which takes place from sep. 11.-15. 2017, with the Danish Cultural Institute in Poland as a partner.

Marlena Happach

Before Marlena Happach became the chief architect of the city of Warsaw, she was a founding member of the NGO Odblokuj, which works with the involvement of citizens in revitalizing city spaces. She is also a member of the Polish architects association SARP, which has the improvement of local centres on the edges of Warsaw as one of its focus areas.

Steven Willacy

Steven Willacy is originally from England, but has been living and working in Denmark for years. In 2012 he became the city architect of Aarhus. From the start of his run in this office he has been interested in involving the local citizens in his work and in achieving a greater connection between the inner city of Aarhus and its outskirts.