“Challenging the City Scale” final book of the European project Human Cities 2014–18

Posted on: 23. May 2019

HC map logoHC, Photo: A. Templier

Since 2014, the Human Cities network has been working on Challenging the City Scale: a pan-European project led by Cité du design Saint-Étienne and supported by the Creative Europe programme to question the urban scale and investigate co-creation in cities. The Human Cities partners have carried out urban experimentations in 11 European cities empowering citizens to rethink the spaces in which they live, work and spend their leisure time.

“Challenging the City Scale” is the story of their experience and cooperation.

Through conversations with people involved, the book examines how bottom-up processes and their design, tools and instruments generate new ideas to reinvent the city. Published by Birkhaüser, in collaboration with Cité du design Saint-Etienne and Clear Village London as editors, it offers inspiration and insights to everyone, from practitioners and politicians to designers and active citizens, eager to try out new ways to produce more human cities together.

We asked two urban experts to provide a context for our stories. John Thackara, a writer-philosopher, explains the importance of understanding the notion of the city “as a living system. Anya Sirota, founder of and architect at Akoaki, shares with us her experiences from Detroit, USA.

Since its start, the Human Cities project has led to a network of “Human Citizens” distributing their knowledge and skills across Europe, and beyond as well by making use of the network of UNESCO Creative Cities of Design. By writing this book, we hope to expand this network of Human Citizens even further. We hope that by sharing our enthusiasm and experiences, the book will be an inspiration and a valuable reference for those inclined to become involved themselves. Moreover, we want to convince policy and decision makers of the value of these initiatives and inspire them to take action to facilitate them better in the future.

The book can be found in bookshops, libraries, and can be red as a free open-access e-book on Birkhaüser/De gruyter e-books platform : here

Further Information


Technical Information:
Title: Challenging the City Scale, Journeys in People-Centred Design
Collective book co-edited by: Olivier Peyricot, Josyane Franc, Frank Van Hasselt
Authors: Josyane Franc, Olivier Peyricot, John Thackara, Alice Holmberg, Côme Bastin, Fleur Weinberg, Anya Sirota,  Frank Van Hasselt, Robin Houterman
Graphic design: Audrey Templier, Isabelle Daëron
Language: English
Publisher and distributor: Birkhäuser, Basel Co editors : Cité du design (Saint-Etienne) & Clear Village (Londron)
ISBN: 978-3-0356-1796-2
Format : 21,5 x 26 cm (vertical) – 176 p
Price: 39.95 €
Available in partner’s  bookshops and bookshop distributed by Birkhäuser
Open access digital version: https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/510323?format=EBOK

Photo Gallery – take a brief look into the book