Result interviews with supported projects in the Smart Urban Futures call (ENSUF)

"(...) Many of the projects have created momentum for positive urban change"

Are you involved in a JPI Urban Europe supported project? Don’t forget to register to the Projects Meeting to take place on 29 September. The Projects Meeting is combined with the final event for  the ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures (ENSUF call). You can now access the result interviews with projects that were supported between 2017-2020.

In ENSUF, cities and civil society in Europe address urgent and long-term challenges by co-creating ideas and projects. JPI Urban Europe contracted journalist Shafayet Choudhury to help the projects and their partners share their stories…

“The most striking thing was that despite having abstract sounding names, the projects dealt with real problems faced by real people.”

  • Hi Shafayet You are the lucky interviewer who got to “meet” all ENSUF projects at the end of their journey. You sat down with about 20 different people involved in ENSUF projects and discussed their learnings and impact from three years back. What do you remember most from your interviews?
    – The most striking thing was that despite having abstract sounding names, the projects dealt with real problems faced by real people. Initially, I was worried it was all going to be a series of abstract discussions, completely removed from reality. Thankfully, every single interview turned out to be about something people were already dealing with in their lived experiences of city life. All the interviewees offered cogent visions of how their work could contribute to familiar problems in the present and offer some comfort for anxieties about the future.
  • Was there anything in the interviews that made a particular impression on you? 
    – I really appreciated how all the projects were committed to listening to ordinary people. None of them came in with the attitude that they knew best. Sometimes you get this detached academic perspective in research, but in this case I found that all the interviewees rejected the premise that they knew more just because they were researchers and that objectivity meant detachment by definition.
  • The projects will meet at their final event on 29 September to exchange knowledge, discuss how results can best create positive impact in cities, and find partners for future activities. What do you think about that?
    – I think this is brilliant! What I would really love to see is how the different projects learn from each other. I recall, some of the projects were dealing with problems that were related. I’m also keen to see how they all intend to follow up on the work they started. Although the projects have are now all formally over, I get the impression that many of them have created momentum for positive urban change.Read the interviews:
LOOPER: How to improve urban infrastructure using learning loops and multiple stakeholders
PLACED: Public libraries are turning the page (and place?) to the future
CAPA.CITY: Suburban areas to adapt and transform in an urbanising world – collectivism over individualism?
LOOPER Partner interview: Practicality over academic methodology when improving neighbourhoods through dialogue
SMART-U-GREEN: How governance structures matter for realising sustainable and inclusive landscapes
Smart Pedestrian Net: Why and how cities can “walk their way” into a better urban life
Smart Urban Intermediaries: You cannot have smart growth without community makers
SoHoLab: Why inclusion and storytelling is key to upgrading social housing estates
Urban Education Live: How changing the role of universities can enhance urban equality
GLIMER Partner Interview: Refugee Policy from a Scottish Perspective
3S Recipe Partner Interview: Why local governments should work with the cultural sectors in urban resilience strategies
PLACED Partner interview: Library staff keeping an eye on the big (urban) picture
BRIGHT FUTURE: Industrial towns can have bright futures if we find the right stories
3S Recipe: Saving Europe’s cities with proper policy analysis and bold interdisciplinary approaches
GLIMER: Europe and refugees- Lessons for the next decade
FLOODLABEL: Flood risks- You don’t need an ark, but you could use an app…
FLOODLABEL Partner Interview: Flooding mitigation requires a technological response with a human touch

FloodCitiSense: Predicting floods in an unpredictable world- with the help of citizen science…

C3Places: Using ICT for co-creation of inclusive public spaces

Cities of Making: Exploring the what, where and how of 21st century urban manufacturing in European cities


Contact Shafayet Choudhury:


> Find all interviews in our “Blogs and Articles” section

ENSUF is supported by the European Commission and funded under the Horizon 2020 ERA-NET Cofund scheme. Read more here.




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