Open call: join us building the Brussels2030 city project

Brussels2030 is looking for organisations that want to make city together.

Help define what Brussels, as the European Capital of Culture, can mean for the city and its society by 2030.

Are you keen to help shape the city project on which Brussels2030 will build Brussels’ candidacy? Are you eager to help make the spaces in the city that will act as the working areas, playing fields and stages for a cultural and artistic Brussels by 2030 and beyond? Do you want to help make sure that, through these concrete places, we are able to let the societal transitions – in the areas of climate, ecology, social justice, sustainability and democracy - land on an inclusive footing? Then join us in creating a network of future places!

Deadline for the first round: 14 March 2023
Info sessions: 21 February 2023, 3 to 5 pm and 7 to 9 pm

Brussels and its city makers

Brussels is brimming with cultural, artistic and socio-cultural dynamics. At the same time, Brussels is home to an abundant and active network of ‘city makers’ who are already taking up roles ‘from below’ in unfolding the urban transformation(s), either directly or indirectly. Citizens’ initiatives assume strong positions with the aim of enhancing the city’s residents’ well-being and quality of life. Innovative users of space are setting up in vacant buildings and urban in-between spaces. Forward-thinking entrepreneurs are changing the way we consume or (locally) produce. Social-spatial activists are seen to adopt a thorough approach to water and energy management in the city. Nature organisations are working to secure space for biodiversity in the city. 

Cultural Brussels as a network of future places

Brussels2030 wants to appraise and make visible these existing bottom-up dynamics. We are looking to bundle the existing forces on a cross-sectoral basis and organise the various organisations as to strengthen their ability to write the city’s narrative. A city project that concerns everyone and connects different parts of the city, from the centre to the periphery, from east to west. In doing so, Brussels2030 is also keen to involve, through cultural production, city-makers ‘to be’ in setting the societal agendas. Brussels2030 wants to organise this joining of forces in the form of collaborations and local coalitions around concrete places: future places.

Future places are where abstract agendas take physical shape. These are buildings, neighbourhoods, streets, squares where societal transitions are put into practice, in the areas of care, solidarity, affordable housing, mobility, education, the redistribution of access to (public) spaces, the circular and productive economy, sustainable energy, water management, local food production, soil care and biodiversity. These places are the bedrock where current and future city makers and their partners have their roots, using the local surroundings as a seedbed to experiment with improving the daily living environment. A multiplicity of future places enables systemic change. Together, the future places give shape to an urban geography that forms the foundation of Brussels2030’s city project.

Participatory research in 2023, towards realisations in 2030

In concrete terms, in the first phase, we will be exploring the possible development of 6 to 12 future places together with the respective city makers (to be). Through participatory action research, we want to get a grip on the opportunities and challenges they see in the collective transformation of the living environment into a future place. In 2023, we will be working on a subjective cartography of the development opportunities of each future place. Along with the city makers (to be), we will work towards the creation of an imaginary of what the future places could be in 2030. From September, we will also assist the local coalitions in elaborating the next steps towards 2030 (e.g. organisational form and funding).

This fieldwork for each future place will contribute to a broader (city) narrative for Brussels2030. At the Summer Assembly in the summer of 2023, we will pool the insights for the various future places and present these to other experts and policymakers. Brussels2030’s artistic-cultural summer programme can serve as a framework to test and show ideas, as to start working towards the prefiguration of the city project. We set the agenda for the Brussels2030 city project and collectively write a place-based approach to the project of Capital of Culture. Together, we will build a robust framework for Brussels’ candidacy for the nomination as European Capital of Culture (to be submitted in summer 2024).

Are you a city maker (to be)?

Small or large, new to this kind of field or already a fixture in Brussels, professional or informal, we are happy to hear from you all – motivation and enthusiasm are what is most important. You can submit immediately with (a) (local) partner(s), but also as an individual organisation. A matchmaking with other city makers (to be) around the same place(s) is part of the process. Your organisation can submit using a simple, straightforward form. Together with an external jury, we will select 6 to 12 future places with local coalitions.

The candidatures are assessed on the basis of the organisation’s intention to:

• be part of a local coalition of city makers (to be)
• start from a spatial anchorage in Brussels, whether or not from a concrete place
• contribute to the urban project of the Brussels Region
• address different urban transitions
• diversify the engaged audiences

We also take into account geographical and thematic diversity in the selection.

Intrigued, but still have questions? On 21 February, we will organise two info sessions. In addition, please do not hesitate to raise any questions to the contact person Maya Galle at

The open call for projects and the Territory track are an initiative of Brussels2030, Louise Lab (ULB) and Architecture Workroom Brussels.

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