URBiNAT at the FCIC’24 | Faro Convention International Conference 2024

February 7, 2024

Transforming Through Co-creation: Participatory Heritage Practices Tackling Urban Challenges

Cultural heritage practices are no longer exclusive to heritage professionals. Across multiple fields, the importance and benefits of collaborating with multiple stakeholders are increasingly acknowledged and promoted, with particular attention to the participation of communities, groups, and individuals.

However, there is no simple road map for co-creation. The challenges range from engaging politicians and decision-makers to the definition of adequate tailor-made approaches to engage with communities, groups, and individuals in different contexts, and the actual adoption and integration of co-created solutions into urban management practices.

Therefore, how to go beyond participation’s good intentions? What resources are there for local governments who want to make a change? How to sustain more deliberative democratic governance structures? How to implement truly transformative participatory approaches?

These are key questions discussed during the Faro Convention International Conference 2024, “Transforming through co-creation: Participatory heritage practices tackling urban challenges”, which took place from 29th January to 2nd February 2024, in the city of Porto (Portugal).


Image: Faro Convention

As keynote speaker of dimension 2: Research on co-creation in urban heritage practices, Gonçalo Canto Moniz, Architect, Urban Planner, Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) of University of Coimbra, and Coordinator of the URBiNAT project, opened the Faro Convention on Tuesday, 30 January.

URBiNAT Keynote

Inclusive public spaces for social housing neighbourhoods in Europe: research in action collaborative strategies:

Keynote abstract

The public space of the cities is changing not only in the historic urban areas, where tourists occupy squares, streets, avenues and parks but also in the suburbs, where people live, work and study. The change is in the territorial dimension to include nature and slow mobility as well as in the social dimension to integrate human activities that contribute to people’s wellbeing and sense of belonging. The suburbs are the result of the modern urban planning strategy that created zones for several human activities built in agriculture areas with lack of public infrastructure. 

The social housing neighbourhoods were built in these urban peripheries all over the world to offer a house to people that was arriving to work and live in the city. Some of these complexes have good architectural quality but many are still today isolated and far from the city centre, with physical barriers (highways or train lines) creating physiological walls for their inhabitants, adding to the lack of a sense of belonging, and with high unemployment rates, low incomes, and insecurity. In fact, social housing neighbourhoods are a forgotten heritage.

This presentation will focus on research in action methodology based on co-creation process for social housing neighbourhoods by involving all the actors to understand the territory and its use (co-diagnostic), to identify and develop solutions for specific challenges (co-design), to build together products and processes (co-implementation), and, finally, to evaluate the impact of these solutions and the participatory process (co-monitoring). In this context, research is no more in the academic laboratories or ateliers, it is in the communities, putting all the actors in direct interaction with reality, through “living labs”.

To face the complexity of these urban challenge, academia has an interesting territory of research not only to analyse the phenomenon but also to develop strategic actions. To do so, it needs to work with an “ecology of knowledges” by activating a “community of practices and interests” that can contribute to understand the needs and explore the solutions together with municipalities, companies, practitioners, stakeholders (third sector), local community and nature. In this context, National and European projects and programmes (URBiNAT, Bairros saudáveis, new European Bauhaus, etc) have been developing the concepts and methodologies for an urban regeneration that aim to co-create an inclusive public space.

Visit of the URBiNAT Healthy Corridor

The Programme of the FCIC’24 started on 29th January with a Technical Visit of the URBiNAT Project Healthy Corridor Alameda de Cartes Park – guided by Gonçalo Canto Moniz, Principal Coordinator of the EU H2020-funded URBiNAT project.


Image: Faro Convention


Gonçalo Canto Moniz
Principal Researcher / Associate Professor, Centro de Estudos Sociais, University of Coimbra

An architect by profession and Principal Coordinator of the EU H2020-funded URBiNAT project.  Professor at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) at the University of Coimbra, where he leads WP4 dedicated to the NBS catalogue and the Healthy Corridor implementation in Frontrunner and Follower Cities. Co-creating Healthy Corridors with communities is his big challenge.