Empty Property as a Co-Creative City Lab

A small interdisciplinary urban consultancy promotes democratic design processes and focuses, in this project, on students becoming involved in the planning of public spaces in Asnæs, Denmark.

a Democratic approach to planning

When addressing today’s challenges in city planning, arki_lab seeks to bridge the gap between decision-makers and users, to ensure solutions and innovations that are equitable and embraced by everyone. In Asnæs, they transformed an empty property into a Co-Creative City Lab.

Playing with and visualising ideas

arki_lab collaborated with high school and middle school students, who took on the role of planners. arki_nopoly, an engagement board game, was used to identify challenges, brainstorm ideas, and develop strategies. The students then visualised their ideas through models, drawings, and videos.

Sense of ownership 

The students co-built temporary installations around the city and arki_lab ensured that they could see their ideas in the permanent design of public spaces. This created a sense of ownership of the city and its development amongst the youth. The project engaged with over 1,500 individuals over two years, actively working with more than 200 young people from two local schools. The final report details the new social and economic networks that were facilitated by the project, as well as the many local institutions that participated at different points of the project.

When you involve not only youth but also the rest of the citizens, you have the opportunity to create community across age groups.

Jeanette Frisk, Urban Designer, arki_lab
Project owner
Jeanette Frisk
Urban Designer, arki_lab
Project owner
Rasmus Frisk
Co-Founder and Director, arki_lab