Learning through co-creation: how to solve urban problems with citizens

Imre Keserü, Joe Ravetz, Massimiliano Condotta, Jesse Pappers, Chiara Scanagatta, Cathy Macharis

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


The public realm is a place where urban stakeholders interact and come into conflict. Symptoms such as traffic congestion, safety and pollution are difficult to tackle as they involve multiple stakeholders. Planning and implementation to improve public space can be enhanced through co-creation, but examples of co-creation approaches overarching the full planning cycle are rare. The aim of this paper is to present the LOOPER participatory co-creation methodology and platform developed in the Learning Loops in the Public Realm (LOOPER) project to demonstrate ‘learning loops’ i.e. new ways of decision-making which bring together citizens, stakeholders and policymakers to iteratively learn how to address urban challenges. A loop starts with collective debate on topical issues, then frames the problem and collects data. The LOOPER platform visualizes the
data and enables the co-design and evaluation of solutions. The selected solutions are then implemented, and the results are monitored with a second loop learning from the first. The LOOPER prototype platform integrates online and offline tools to facilitate learning in each stage of the co-creation process such as visualisation of participatory sensing data, a geotagging tool to collect citizens’ qualitative input about urban space and an idea generation tool to contribute to the co-design. The methodology and platform are demonstrated in three Living Labs with different spatial, cultural and thematic contexts. The main issues being solved are traffic and mobility in Brussels; traffic and green space in Manchester; and air and noise pollution in Verona. LOOPER will enable policy makers to improve their decision-making in a participatory manner. The paper will discuss the overall approach and methodology developed in the LOOPER project to support finding solutions to urban problems in a participatory co-creation process.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAESOP 2019 Annual Conference - Venice - Venice, Italy
Duration: 9 Jul 201913 Jul 2019


ConferenceAESOP 2019 Annual Conference - Venice


  • co-creation
  • air pollution
  • traffic safety
  • living labs

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