Actors of Urban Change
International Cultural Exchange

Actors of Urban Change

Urban Development through Cultural Activities and Cross-Sector Collaboration in Europe
Actors of Urban Change aims to achieve sustainable and participatory urban development through cultural activities and by using specific potentials of culture as driver and enabler of positive change. This is carried out by strengthening the competencies for cross-sector collaboration among actors from the cultural, public and private sectors. Through local projects, an international qualification program, Europe-wide exchange and individual coaching, our participants put those skills into practice.

Actors of Urban Change is a program by the Robert Bosch Stiftung in cooperation with MitOst e.V. After two stages (2013-15 and 2015-17) of the program, the third program round takes place from autumn 2017 to summer 2019.

What do we offer?

We offer financial support to enhance your local project as well as international qualification activities focusing on workshops and peer learning activities. To support your local collaboration we offer a total amount of up to EUR 13,000. This includes:

  • grants for the implementation of your local project (up to EUR 5,000)
  • process-related and tailor-made support by experts (up to EUR 5,000)
  • mobility grants, i.e. financial support for Shadowing Internships in other cities in the network (up to EUR 3,000)

Additionally, we will reimburse all travel expenses and accommodation related to the international seminars. This financial support is embedded in international activities. These include participation in five international Actors of Urban Change Academy Meetings (4-5 days each) with a strong focus on peer learning, as well as mobility grants to spend Shadowing Internships in other cities in the network.

How does it work?

For 18 months, groups of three actors each, one from the cultural, the public and the private sectors, form a local cross-sector team for the implementation of an innovative project in their city. All teams from different European cities obtain support for professional training, their local project as well as through international exchange within the Academy Meetings. At a local level, the teams receive project grants and individual support for their projects through customized tools from experts such as coaching, moderation, counseling and process analysis.

During the international Actors of Urban Change Academy Meetings, advanced training is given on topics such as project and process management, as well as transition management, citizen participation or design and implementation of cross-sector collaborations. Shadowing Internships in cities of other participants allow sharing of experiences and mutual learning, and help to extend perspectives from a local to an international level. Throughout the process, participants receive practical support for project-related and formal issues from the program management.

Who is it for?

Actors of Urban Change is designed to strengthen participants’ skills and practical experience as well as to foster knowledge sharing in the field of cross-sector collaboration and participatory urban development. It is for individuals who:

  • work in the cultural, the public or the private sector
  • apply as a local team with a joint project proposal for their city
  • are highly motivated to develop their skills in cross-sector collaboration and participatory urban development
  • are interested in international exchange and networking
  • are ambitious to engage in local project work as well as the international elements of the program
  • have a good command of English
  • are based in one of the 47 Council of Europe member states, Kosovo or Belarus.

The local projects need to address a particular aspect of urban or community development within their city (e.g. social inclusion and cultural diversity, affordable housing, environmental justice, the responsible use of resources). It must be relevant to the city’s development, innovative at the local level and it must involve the local community.

Why are we doing it?

We believe in the importance of skilled, open-minded and committed actors as drivers for a sustainable urban change directed towards the common good. We are convinced that such actors can create positive change more effectively through combining their competencies and pooling different resources. Moreover, interaction with new organizations and individuals with different backgrounds, both at local and international levels, provides inspiring learning opportunities and facilitates further cross-sector understanding and collaboration.

We believe that culture is an enabler of and a driver in the sustainable development of cities. This is because culture is inherently linked to creativity, heritage, knowledge and diversity, and has potential to facilitate citizens’ participation, intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding, social inclusion, and innovation. Through our program we seek to further sustainable and participatory development of European cities by connecting and training change-makers and by building a European network across sectoral borders.


Dr. Sebastian Schlüter
Program Coordinator
MitOst e.V.
Alt-Moabit 90
10559 Berlin
Mobile +49 157 8726 3473

Contact at the Foundation

Agnieszka Surwiłło-Hahn
Senior Project Manager
Phone: +49 711 46084-689
Bologna, Italy
"Euphemia" - Artistic Training for a Changing City

Project description

The creation of a new cultural meeting place for migrants, refugees, and long-time residents of Bologna. Using theater as a means of mutual understanding and identity creation.

Karen Boselli
Project Coordinator, Cantieri Meticci

Michele Dore
Artist, Cantieri Meticci

Luca Virgili
Public Relations Speaker, Center M. Zonarelli, City of Bologna

Michele Petrizzo
Coordinator for Youth Activities, Coop Adriatica
Budapest, Hungary
U Tree Greening

Project description

The greening and refunctioning of inner city courtyards in order to create meeting points for residents and improve the microclimate in the neighborhood. Using collective courtyard projects to encourage the neighbors’ feeling of solidarity and belonging.

Márta Kiszely
Founder and Future President of the Association, Courtyard Gardens Action Group

Csaba Staniszewski
Environmental Control and Climate Adaption Officer of the Local Government, Mayor's Office of the 13th District of Budapest

Ildikò Réka Bàthoryne Nagy
Freelance Landscape Architect, Chief Designer, Assistant Professor, Climate Adaption Expert
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Dacia Central

Project description

Transforming the vacant Cinema Dacia into an important catalyst for a new local identity in Mănăștur. Engaging residents in brainstorming and development to create a central meeting point in the satellite city for and by the local population.

Laura Panait
Cultural Manager, Colectiv A

Silvio Medeşan
Freelance Architect
Geretsried, Germany
Stories set in Stone - Creating Connections

Project description

New resident house for the satellite district Stein as a meeting place for long-term residents and new arrivals from various countries. Getting to know each other as a means to break down prejudices and to create a common identity.

Dagmara Ewa Sosnowska
Project Manager, Youth organization Trägerverein Jugend- und Sozialarbeit Geretsried e.V.

Andreas Porer
Deputy Head of Building Department, City of Geretsried

Martina Roth
Neighborhood Management and Department for Technics and Insurance, Building cooperative Geretsried eG
Istanbul, Turkey

Project description

Preservation and rediscovery of the cultural heritage of Tatavla, the traditional GreekArmenian neighborhood today known as Kurtuluş in the Şişli district of Istanbul. In-depth exchange with the local residents to record the history, and exhibitions and readings to bring it back to life.

Çagla Parlak
General Coordinator, Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage

Ariana Kazancıyan
Expert, Şişli Municipality

Banu Pekol
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Design of Özyeğin University

Tamar Gurdikyan
Public Relations and Advertising Manager, Paros Magazine
Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Recycle Art Festival

Project description

The creation of a recycling system with citizen participation. A festival to raise citizen awareness of environmental protection.

Irina Ulanova
Curator of Cultural Projects, Member of the Coordinating Team, Krasnoyarsk Regional Non-Vovernmetal Youth Organisation "INTERRA"

Aleksey Savchenko
Head of Department, KGBU "KCMP Lider" Regional State Budget Institution

Maria Zykova
Eco Consulting and Public Relation Specialist, "Ecoresurs"
Messolonghi, Greece
Radio Friends Messolonghi

Project description

Citizens’ radio as a means for bottom-up urban development in a city with important structural and demographic differences. Giving initiatives a voice and enabling citizens to have more influence on the city administration’s policies.

Olga Daskali
Events Facilitator and Member of the Board, "Radio friends", Messolonghi Radio Station

Olga-Christiana Papadimitriou
Head of the Informatics Department, Municipality of the Sacred City of Messolonghi

Spyros Tzortzis
Co-Founder and Interim President of the Cooperative, Sociality
Novi Sad, Serbia
Project N.N.

Project description
A new cultural center for the satellite town Novo Naselje. Supporting children and youths in their role as the driving force of the district.

Ognjen Tomašević
Co-Director, Novo Kulturno Naselje (NKN)

Darko Polić
Authorized Urban Planner at the Department for Urban Planning, JP "Urbanizam" Novi Sad (Urban Planning and Development and Research Centre Novi Sad)

Marko Jozić
Owner, Café Pizzeria Alo
Porto, Portugal
Critical Housing Lab

Project description
A summer school program for international students, local unemployed people and experts to restore a social housing configuration in Bonfim, a working-class neighborhood in the heart of Porto. Cultural and discursive formats open to the local communities to raise citizen awareness and participation.

Juliana Trentin
Project Coordinator and Architect, Critical Concrete

Samuel Kalika
Director, Critical Concrete

Elisabete Valério
Psychologist at the Social Office, Junta de Freguesia do Bonfim

Pedro Cavaco Leitao
Technical Coordinator and Architect, Co-Founder of Moradavaga Collective
Skopje, Macedonia
Urban Art Action

Project description
Artistic guerilla actions to attract attention to social and urban problems and difficulties. Citizens and the city administration take action towards change with a touch of humor.

Nikola Pisarev
Program Manager, Contemporary Art Center Skopje

Martin Popov
Project Coordinator, Community Center of Municipality Centar

Gjorgje Jovanovik
Director TP Kaleidoskop
Athens, Greece
PEDIO_AGORA: Reviving Varvakeios Square

Project description
A laboratory for participatory decision-making processes and participatory urban planning.

Stephania Xydia
Project manager, Place Identity GR – Clusters

Stelios Voulgaris
Assistant to the Advisor on Civil Society Networking, Municipality of Athens

Mary Karatza
Partner / Strategic Designer, TheSwitch
Aveiro, Portugal
VivaCidade – Dress up the City Voids!

Project description
Engaging the community through placemaking by developing temporary interventions in urban voids

João Pedro Rosa
Director, PUiS-UA (Platform for Social Innovation - University of Aveiro)

Maria Ângela Oliveira e Cunha
Economic and Entrepreneurshop Division, Aveiro Municipality, before: Architect in the Urban Planning Department

Henrique Praça
Director, SETEPÉS, LDA
Barcelona, Spain
Alice Archive – Childhood, Experience and Public Space

Project description
Creating an interactive online platform to promote children’s perspectives on public space

Marta Gonzalez Fernandez
Neighborhood Agent, City Government of Barcelona

Maria Grande Bagazgoitia
Architect, Urbanitas Berlin Barcelona

Maria Muñoz Duyos
Co-Founder, Urbanitas Berlin Barcelona
Berlin, Germany
Moabiter Mix

Project description
Reinventing cultural formats to empower and involve residents in the appropriation and creation of their neighborhood.

Elena Azzedín
Cultural/Program Manager, Center for Arts and Urbanistics (ZK/U)

Matthias Einhoff
Founder / Director, KUNSTrePUBLIK e.V., Center for Arts and Urbanistics (ZK/U)

Carola Fuchs
Neighborhood Manager, Quartiersmanagement Moabit West

Miodrag Kuč
Founder / Art Director, Studio ParaArtFormations
Bratislava, Slovakia
More Bike Kitchen

Project description
Strenghtening a local bike community to foster sustainable mobility on diverse scales.

Tomas Peciar
Co-Founder, Executive Board Member and Project Manager, Cyklokoalicia

Melinda Darázsová
Project Manager, PRODEX spol. s.r.o., before: State Advisor, Department of Spatial Planning, Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development

Juraj Kiss
Online Marketing Specialist and Web Development, Free-Lancer
Kaunas, Lithuania
The Kiosk of Šančiai

Project description
Transforming a kiosk into a new icon for community involvement in a postindustrial neighborhood.

Kotryna Valiukevičiūtė
Co-founder, NGO studio 54°+

Ričardas Rusteika
Elder, Administration of Kaunas City Municipality, Eldership of Šančiai District

Vytautas Buinevičius
Co-founder and Director, Strategijos miestui (Strategies for the City)
Lublin, Poland
Tenants. Narrations about Urban Utopias.

Project description
Rebuilding a local community in the once utopian social housing estate “Osiedle Słowackiego”

Paulina Paga
Project Manager, Co-Founder and Member of the Board, Open Territory Foundation

Rafał Lis
Art Historian and Member, Open Territory Foundation

Wojciech Kutnik
Project Manager in International Projects' Implementation Division, Lublin City Office / The Municipality of Lublin

Michał Fronk
Architect, Nizio Design International
Maribor, Slovenia
Living City

Project description
Reactivating devastated spaces in the medieval part of Maribor together with local communities.

Katja Beck Kos
President, Manager and Programmer, HOUSE! Association for People and Spaces

Andreja Budar
Project Leader and Developer, Maribor City Municipality, Project Office

Robert Veselko
Architect and Partner, MI:ZA

Kaja Pogačar
Assistant professor for Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Maribor, Chair of Architecture at the Faculty of Civil Engineering
Zagreb, Croatia
Mjestimice svjetlo - Light in Places

Project description
Highlighting forgotten inner-city places through light installations.

Marta Klepo
Programme Exchange Assistant Coordinator, Clubture Network

Tereza Teklic
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia / Curatorial Organization KONTEJNER | bureau of contemporary art praxis

Katarina Zlatec
Co-Founder, Director and Designer, Oblok
Zugdidi, Georgia
Open House - Meeting Place for Zugdidi

Project description
Creating a noncommercial meeting place for the empowerment of diverse communities

Marta Gawinek-Dagargulia
Project Coordinator, Community Development Centre

Tamar Dagargulia
Board Member, Community Development Centre

Merab Qvaraia
Deputy Governor, Zugdidi Municipality Governance

Irakli Amanatidze
Lawyer, Iveria Qseli LTD
Program Documentation
Robert Bosch Stiftung / MitOst e.V.  Actors of Urban Change Program Documentation 2015-2017  Read and recommend
Robert Bosch Stiftung / MitOst e.V.  Actors of Urban Change Program Documentation 2013-2015  Read and recommend
Robert Bosch Stiftung / MitOst e.V.  Actors of Urban Change - Newspaper No. 3  Read and recommend
Robert Bosch Stiftung / MitOst e.V.  Actors of Urban Change - Newspaper No. 2  Read and recommend
Robert Bosch Stiftung / MitOst e.V.  Actors of Urban Change - Newspaper No. 1  Read and recommend