How we can co-create community places

How can you help change public space in your city? By sharing your voice!

Citizens of Differdange joined two workshops at the 1535 Creative Hub to share their thoughts and ideas about which locations could use a makeover in their city. The Diffmix project is part of Esch2022 and seeks to get local residents involved in creating art in Differdange and its localities. 

To warm up, all 16 workshop participants were first asked to create a collage depicting “What is a community space for you?” Everyone dove right into the topic at hand and got to know each other quickly. This was an important foundation for a successful workshop and already yielded some interesting ideas, such as communal gardens or a nicely designed public market space.

After each group presented themselves and their vision of a community place, the work began.

Assessing submissions

Previously, a range of individuals had already submitted a selection of locations that could use a creative facelift on the Diffmix website. The workshop participants now had the opportunity to review these submissions, identify additional locations, and discuss the needed artistic interventions in more detail. For example, the Niederkorn Gare features a “big sad wall” and could be improved with “Graffiti or mosaic.”

Once the group finished adding comments and additional locations, each participant received five red stickers to vote for the places they would prioritize improving. It seems there was a consensus in the group for Thillebierg & 74 rue de l’hôpital, which received 17 votes. But other locations also received a fairly high number of votes: Parc La Chiers and Place des Allies for example.

Now, participants were asked to roll up their sleeves: each group chose one location to work on in detail. 

Creating visions together

The groups chose the following locations: Beim Wäschbuer – Rue Victor Hugo, Parc La Chiers (two groups), Thillebierg (two groups) and Place des Alliés at Fousbann.

As a first step, each group was asked to describe the current status of the chosen space using “evaluation forms” with the following criteria:  

  • Comfort and image: does this location look nice? Is it clean? Does it feel safe?
  • Use and activities: what kind of services, activities or events take place here?
  • Access: is this location easy to find and to access?
  • Social factors: who uses this space? Does it feel welcoming to different groups?

Each participant was then instructed to answer the following question: What does this location need to become a better place for people to gather? They added these personal reflections on post-its. 

This created a range of interesting project presentations which were then discussed with the entire workshop. At the end, participants were invited to vote for best ideas. 

Have a look at the exciting two-day experience below, and keep an eye out for our Call for Artists which will open soon!

The full synthesis can be seen and downloaded as PDF