Project Details

Co-designing Public Space: In Policy and Practice

Duration: 01.04.2023 - 30.07.2023
Project Partner: Jane Wong, University College London (UCL) und Yip Siu, Greater London Authority (GLA)
Project Type: Third-party funded project


Shaping urban environments has always been a complex process related to the political decisions, economic pressures, planning aspirations, and social struggles. Multiple actors involved in that process have different powers and interests often excluding some population groups. Collaborative process of placemaking can contribute to designing the marginalised groups in the public spaces and to decreasing procedural, spatial, and health inequalities.


This interdisciplinary and international project aims to test and inquire about new approaches to public space designing and planning; specifically, the potentials of co-designing for spatial justice, health, and wellbeing.


We develop together with policymakers, academics, and practitioners including architects, urban designers, public health experts, engagement facilitators and public realm experts a strategic guidance for co-design at local governance level. The London and Bremen teams build upon the ‘Towards Spatial Justice: A guide for meaningful participation in co-design processes’research. The teams test co-design guidance and tools of the report through a series of peer reviews and live-project testing.


In partnership with the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Regeneration Team, we test and evaluate the co-design framework and seek best practice from the field. This project dovetails with the emerging guidance on commissioning co-design processes at the GLA, and recommendations from the suite of Good Growth by Design guidance which allude to co-design as a central methodology in addressing different types of spatial justice – including, but not limited to Gender Inclusion and Women’s Safety in the Public Realm, Children and Young People, Designing for Disability and Requirements for Social Infrastructure.


In partnership with the City of Bremen, we discuss Bremen’s development context and necessary conditions to employ a co-design approach for healthy and equitable urban development. Here also we test and evaluate the co-design framework and seek best practice from the field. In Bremen project dovetails with the guidance „Bremen! Lebenswert – urban – vernetzt“, which indicates to collaborative approaches and community involvement in developing a sustainable and just city.