UrbanA community of practice
One aim of the UrbanA project is to establish a community of practice (CoP) on sustainable and just cities. The core of the project is a collaborative learning process, in the form of a series of arena events, that combines the competences of consortium partners with those of other researchers and practitioners involved in city making with whom the project builds strategic links. The UrbanA community of practice will be both a core outcome and integral component of this learning process.
Definition of the UrbanA CoP
Like any other CoP, the UrbanA community of practice is defined in relation to three main elements:
- A domain of shared interest
- The domain of interest corresponds with that of the UrbanA project: justice and sustainability in cities
- A community that shares this interest
- The community of shared interests consists of all active participants in, contributors to and followers of UrbanA, its online and offline activities and/or outputs
- The practice this community undertakes together
- The community is constituted through ongoing engagement in UrbanA through the four Arena events, Arena side events and other project activities. Through these, participants will engage in learning processes that develop and/or deepen local, translocal and regional networks over the three years of the project – and beyond.
Structure of the UrbanA CoP
The structure of a CoP can be represented as a series of concentric circles, each indicating different levels of engagement:
At the centre of the UrbanA CoP are the project consortium, who are hands-on in all its aspects throughout its life. In the next circle we might place the UrbanA fellows, who commit to attending all four Arena events and to working across the boundaries between the UrbanA CoP and the professional and other city-maker CoPs in which they are involved. The third layer could consist of less committed participants, who attend one or more Arena events but do not take on the responsibilities of UrbanA fellows.
The fourth layer would comprise those more peripherally involved, by reading and using project outputs but not directly engaging with the process itself. A fifth, outer circle would include those indirectly affected by UrbanA through its influences on their own CoPs and upon cities where they live, work or visit.
Roles within the UrbanA CoP
Within the UrbanA CoP, different actors play different roles:
- UrbanA Consortium
- Constantly feed the CoP by organising and hosting Arenas, webinars and other events, generating and releasing communications materials (blog posts, podcasts, social media contact), contribute to online structures and platform
- UrbanA Fellows
- 25 city-makers who will attend all four Arena events
- Write blog posts, create content for UrbanA media channels, actively contribute to arena events, engage in CoP online platform discussion
- UrbanA Participants
- around 20 in-person and 40 online participants per arena, plus others actively engaged but not attending arenas
- Actively contribute to arena events and related online activities, actively participate in CoP online platform
- UrbanA Followers
- More passive users who stay connected and updated through the UrbanA newsletter and social media channels
- UrbanA Impacted
- Not directly involved in the project, but experiencing its impacts in the cities where they live, work or visit