Open Cities – Guimaraes 2012, European Capital of Culture

Guimaraes in Portugal was one of two host cities for the European Capital of Culture 2012 (shared with Maribor, Slovenia). As part of a programme of events Watershed  led a project exploring the concept of Open Cities, both in Europe and further afield, which I produced on their behalf.

The concept of an Open City is one where an inclusive, and in many cases technology enabled, approach allows wide engagement in driving the social, cultural and commercial life of the city – whether in addressing specific local issues of governance, innovation and infrastructure, or wider societal drivers of sustainability, multiculturalism or social interaction.

Within the Open Cities project we explored six specific strands of investigation:

  1. Openness as a methodology for achieving positive change – the big picture
  2. Designing the City – public ownership of place and space
  3. Governance – citizenship and the relationship between the personal and the political
  4. The Smart City – technology as a driver for action and interaction
  5. Innovation – the network as a catalyst and collaborative organizer

Through the year we commissioned think-pieces, interventions and events, building towards a final Symposium in Guimaraes.

All of the commissions can be found here:


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