In recent years, cities have faced new challenges that demand creative ways of developing solutions. The public space is at the centre of this urban transformation that puts in dialogue nature, mobility, community, culture, education and economy to promote places that offer better quality of life to the local communities. Places that are healthy homes.
The URBiNAT Healthy Home Interdisciplinary Summer School called on students, citizens, technicians and local organisations to contribute to this debate with their knowledge and experience.
Taking place from 6-12 July 2023, five years almost to the day since the URBiNAT project was launched, Healthy Home in Coimbra represented an opportunity to learn about the URBiNAT project and its goals.
The workshop “Healthy Home”— the centrepiece of the Summer School —was proposed by URBiNAT partner CES and the Department of Architecture of University of Coimbra (UC), with the support of the Municipality of Coimbra and local associations.
The aim of the workshop was to explore a healthy corridor for Coimbra, co-created with the local community of Eiras, by testing and improving the methodologies developed by the URBiNAT partners. In this sense, the workshop challenged the participants to co-create a healthy corridor in the Eiras district, situated at the periphery of Coimbra, and to develop processes and products that can transform the healthy corridor into a healthy home connecting the social housing neighbourhoods Relvinha, Ingote and Monte Formoso with the Choupal natural park.
Map of the intervention area
While the first 3 days were dedicated to lectures, training sessions, visits to the four intervention areas and local diagnosis, the following 3 days were organised in a free studio format to stimulate co-design activities according to the context of each group (with one group per intervention area).
Tutors from URBiNAT academic partners and cities participating in the URBiNAT project were on hand, providing students with an opportunity to learn from experts who have experience working on similar projects in different cities.
4 study groups and their results
The Relvinha group proposed the development of a healthy corridor that explores the green and social dimension of the public space.
Proposal Relvinha “GREEN HEART”, Workshop Coimbra, July 2023
Proposal Ingote “INGOSA”, Workshop Coimbra, July 2023
Consider and build on what already exists …
The group working on the Ingote intervention area proposed to expand a project that has already been realized by the national project Bairros Saudáveis with a local primary school to other associations in the public space of Ingote.
… and a strong local support
The group working on the Monte Formoso area, strongly supported by the neighbourhood’s resident’s association, co-created tactic action to reactivate public spaces with low-cost and easy-to-build solutions and proposed the humanisation of the main street that currently divides the neighbourhood.
Proposal Monte Formoso “REGA O TEU BAIRRO”, Workshop Coimbra, July 2023
Build on the past…
Proposal Choupal, Workshop Coimbra, July 2023
… but focus on the future
The group working on the Choupal area studied the history of the park, the way it is used and the pressure provoked by the urbanisation of the territory. The group proposed the expansion of the limits and the articulation with the other three housing neighbourhoods through a healthy corridor.