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There is growing interest in the experiences of small and medium-sized industrial towns (SMITs) across Europe, spurred by their growing reputation as sites of economic and social discontent. Yet so far little work has been done to understand how social innovation can support the citizens of industrial towns and their broader development.
The Bright Future project has been exploring the qualities and characteristics of industrial towns across Europe, as well as the role which social innovation can play in helping them adapt and prosper. This new report documents a participatory research undertaken to generate context-specific social innovations in five towns in Europe. This involved an assessment of the social sustainability of each town, alongside a review of their histories of social innovation, which were used by residents as prompts for developing new responses to local challenges.
Bright Future is part of the ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures call in which cities and civil society in Europe can address urgent and long-term challenges by co-creating ideas and projects.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857160.