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Urban renewal / rehabilitation

Rethinking the future of metropolitan public spaces

Social change starts by transforming public space. But how can we measure the quality of our spaces? What mechanisms can we put in place to ensure equity? How can public space adapt to the needs of the population? These are some of the difficult questions that need to be asked, and Metropolis is providing a response in the project ‘Rethinking the future of metropolitan public space’. The initiative is being run with support from the Brussels-Capital Region, and the first meeting of the working group took place on Wednesday 12 May.

Public spaces are the building blocks of our communities. As the majority of the world’s population lives in metropolitan areas, public space has an impact on our well-being, social equity and health. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the key role that local and metropolitan governments play in transforming the built environment.

Given this scenario, the project focuses on the future of public space in the metropolis and how integrated and cross-cutting policies can lead to more qualitative, inclusive, resilient and sustainable public spaces. Ultimately, the project aims to support local efforts to create public spaces that reflect the diversity of metropolitan spaces.


Kick-off workshop on Public spaces


A dedicated working group on public spaces, including the Brussels-Capital Region, Medellín, the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB), Montréal and Seoul Metropolitan Government are working together to produce:

  • A comparative study providing an analysis of policies and projects led by Metropolis members in relation to public space.
  • A final publication including the best practices, main roadblocks, trade-offs and levers to designing quality, inclusive, resilient and sustainable public spaces.


Are you interested in setting up a new project or working group? Contact Laura Valdés, Research & Policy and Communications Officer at Metropolis.