Building transformation capacity through arts and design: Unlocking the full potential for urban transitions (BTC-ENUTC)

In this additional Era-Net Cofund Urban Transformation Capacities (ENUTC) call, art and design are the focal point as a means for urban change. The call's scope is to emphasize the importance of imagination, creativity and the cultural sector.

This call is closed.


  1. About the call
  2. Projects
  3. Events
  4. Call topics
  5. How to apply
  6. Project duration
  7. Documents
  8. Time schedule
  9. FAQ
  10. Call secretariat
  11. Participating countries and funding agencies


“Our current crisis is not only about
the environment and the climate,
but also a crisis of the imagination. “


1. About the call

We seem simply not capable of imagining the sustainable societies of tomorrow. We are stuck in current modes of thinking and old solutions, perhaps useful for solving old problems.

There is a potential of bringing change mechanisms by methodology and methods to envision the future. To imagine and create, open up new worlds, futures and imaginaries, and transform our minds, processes and tools in ways to achieve what needs to be achieved for urban transition.

The challenge is to implement these strategies and make change happen. This call focuses on the building of transformation capacities with new perspectives to make the urban transition really happening – by going beyond the usual procedures, and by being more innovative and creative.

Eight funding agencies from Sweden, Latvia, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria have together a budget of approximately 4 million euro for the call. The call follows a one-step evaluation process by an international expert panel.

2. Projects

The projects selected for funding was decided in the autumn of 2023, and you may find out more about the announcement here. You may also browse the Projects section for BTC-ENUTC projects here.

3. Events

International events are arranged to inform applicants about the proposal process and further on networking and exchange between projects. For more information, see the time schedule below.

For potential national events, please contact your national funding agency (see contact information below).

4. Call topics

The applicants can select between three topics when developing their projects. The three topics can be combined when relevant for the projects purpose, aim and methodology. Learn more about the call topics in the call text (see documents).

Topic 1: Experimentation and co-creation for a beautiful and sustainable urban future
A future that is “beautiful for our eyes, minds, and souls”. As such, the arts and creative sectors have an important role to play as boundary spanners for urban transformation. The ambitions for the transformation of our societies are high. To be able to deliver new ways to build sustainable, climate neutral neighbourhoods it is fundamental to use co-creation and radical mobilisation between disciplines, sectors, civil society, bodies of knowledge, etc.

Key elements: Inclusiveness; co-creation; experimentation; (re)design; (re)develop.

Topic 2: Transformation to sustainable cities / urban transformation
In a sustainable city, urban spaces are not loosely connected parts – but the very building blocks for liveable neighbourhoods and communities in the urban context. To anticipate anthropogenic effects, it is as important to integrate issues of design, consumption behaviours, circular economy, energy use, mobility patterns, waste management, and management of existing built environments – as it is to develop and design urban areas, neighbourhoods, streets, squares, etc. that promote more sustainable mobility patterns, renewable energy use and reduced consumption.

Key elements: Residential and public environments; architecture and design; biodiversity; ecological footprint.

Topic 3: Designing Inclusive, Liveable and Green Neighbourhoods
Transforming neighbourhoods while adhering to the needs of different groups of society can potentially lead to conflict-laden decisions and processes. There is a need for more knowledge and new solutions that bring into focus such conflicts, accountability, legitimacy, justice, trust, consequences, and opportunities that come with democracy and participation. To a high degree, public spaces and natural and cultural environments should be designed and used in ways that foster co-creation, social inclusion, and a sense of community.

Key elements: Different interests; democracy and participation; civil society.

5. How to build a consortium and apply

The culture and creative sector, with artists, designers, and/or scientists and practitioners should be represented in the project. Each consortium submitting a proposal must involve at least two eligible applicants applying for funds in the call, from at least two different countries, whose funders participate in the call. Each main applicant must only participate in a maximum of two proposals, and only once as a main applicant.

In order to build transformation capacities towards climate neutral and sustainable cities by 2030 and rely on aesthetic perspectives and approaches in terms of design, form architecture, art and cultural heritage and new forms of governance and collaboration, as well as by engaging citizens, it is imperative that projects are cross-sectorial. For matchmaking, we use the B2Match tool, and for registrations, go to 

Proposals must be submitted in the UEFISCDI electronic submission system, UDiManager, via: For more information, see the documents section.

6. Project duration

The expected project duration is two years, starting in November 2023.

7. Documents

>> Call text
>> Proposal submission guidelines for applicants
>> Proposal form
>> Powerpoint presentation from the February 27 2023 information meeting
>> Powerpoint presentation from the March 6 2023 Matchmaking event
>> Guidelines for projects
>> Article: Announcement about projects
>> Article: Projects met in the Netherlands
>> Projects catalogue 2023

8. Time schedule

Call opening: 22 February 2023, 14.00 CET
>> Urban lunch talk and information meeting: 27 February 2023, 12.00–13.30 CET
>> Matchmaking event: 6 March 2023, 13.00–13.45 CET
>> Deadline for submission of proposals (via UEFISCDI): 25 April 2023, 14:00 CEST
Eligibility check, evaluation of pre-proposals: May – August 2023
Meeting of Expert panel: September 2023
Funding recommendation by the Call Steering Committee: September 2023
National funding decisions and announcement of results to Main Applicants: October 2023
Granting and start of the projects: November 2023
Kick-off event & Agora dialogue, Netherlands (with cofunded call’s mid-term event): 8–10 November 2023
>> Urban lunch talk27 May 2024
Mid-term event: 14-15 November 2024
Final event: November 2025
Projects end: 2025

9. Call secretariat

If you have questions on the general process and proposal submission, please contact the Call secretariat:

Kristina Laurell
Formas – A Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development
Email: /
Tel.: +46 70 440 40 59

Elena Simion
UEFISCDI – Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding
Email:  /
.: +40 21 307 19 93 

10. Participating countries and funding agencies

Country Funding agency
Belgium Innoviris

Kourosch Abbaspour Tehrani
Tel.: +32 2 600 50 30

Bulgaria Bulgarian National Science Fund (BNSF)

Mrs. Milena Aleksandrova
Tel.: +359 884 171 363

Latvia Latvian Council of Science (LCS)

Maija Bundule
Tel.: +371-26514481

Uldis Berkis
Tel.: +371-29472349

The Netherlands Taskforce for Applied Research SIA (Regieorgaan SIA)

Marcus van Leeuwen
Tel.: +31 6 12 25 32 27

Poland National Science Centre (NCN)

Dr Katarzyna Jarecka – Stępień

Alicja Dyląg

Romania Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI)

Elena Simion
Tel.: +4021 307 19 93

Sweden Formas – Forskningsrådet för miljö, areella näringar och samhällsbyggande (FORMAS)

Kristina Laurell
Tel.: +46 70 440 40 59

The Swedish Energy Agency (SWEA)

Emina Pasic
Tel.: +46 (0)16 544 21 89




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