Cultural and creative industries, cities and citizens fostering sustainable development and well-being. logo



Does opera matter? Does it have a future? The Traction project thinks opera is extraordinary and it wanted to show how co-creation is at the heart of its future. A consortium of artists, technologists and researchers, worked with communities in Barcelona, Portugal and Ireland to co-create three exploratory operas.

In Barcelona, the Liceu Opera House in Barcelona worked with people from Raval to co-create a new opera about their dynamic, diverse, but often misjudged neighbourhood. In Portugal, inmates of Leiria Youth Prison co-created an innovative opera about their experience, with their relatives and professional musicians from SAMP music school. In Ireland, three diverse communities co-created an opera about environmental disaster in virtual reality, working with professional artists from Irish National Opera.

Digital tools developed by Traction supported the co-creation process in the performances and in enabling people to work together in co-creation. We found new ways of using new technology to support and enrich the opera co-creation process. We found that co-creation can be as artistically exciting and socially transformative as opera ever hoped to be. Its productions are different from those created exclusively by professionals, but they aspire to equally high standards of excellence.


SuperBARRIO is an open-source video game using gamification strategies to engage the citizens in the design of the public space. As an online tool that can be used from different locations, Superbarrio widens the potential audience of participatory design processes, overcoming the limits of conventional methodologies.

Initially developed as a pilot in the framework of the Master in City & Technology of IAAC, it has been implemented in Barcelona (2017) to co-design the Superilla pilot project, in Favara (2018) to co-design with kids the Fam Cultural Park, in Genoa (2018) to co-design the Casa Gavoglio area, as part of the H2020 project UNalab and in Nantes, Porto and Sofia (2019) to co-design the healthy corridors as part of H2020 Urbinat project.

The gamification tool collects qualitative data about the citizens' needs, desires and proposals, empowering urban planners, architects, and public entities to engage citizens in public space co-design while educating towards sustainability and inclusivity.

Users can visualize their neighborhoods in 3D, customize elements, and incorporate functions and services related to ecology, energy, mobility, leisure, and culture. The game evaluates proposals based on accessibility, economy, productivity, ecology, and social interaction, enabling non-specialists to actively contribute to urban design and grasp the intricacies of decision-making.

Art & Well-being Project

Art & Well-being explored the potential of the arts to enhance individual and community well-being, through three areas of action: artistic experimentation, research, and capacity building and advocacy. It created new opportunities for cultural participation for various audiences, fostering their well-being through the arts. Activities included the co-production and presentation of new artworks, workshops and exhibitions, culture on prescription pilots in Cluj, Maribor and Brussels, and the prototyping of experimental spaces for arts and well-being. A study on people's engagement with arts and creative activities during the Covid-19 lockdown and related well-being benefits has been carried out. A series of artists and scientist's dialogues, policy workshops and conferences were organised in partner cities. The project was implemented by Cluj Cultural Centre (RO), Centre for Fine Arts Brussels/BOZAR (BE), Maribor Art Gallery (SI) and Bruno Kessler Foundation (IT), with support from Creative Europe.


MediaFutures is a three-year European innovation project, which is part of the S+T+ARTS ecosystem, aiming to contribute to high-quality news media activities. Through three Open Calls, startups and artists encourage citizens to engage more meaningfully with high-quality journalism, science education, and digital citizenship by deploying a range of pilots, artworks, and immersive experiences. At the heart of MediaFutures lies an accelerator and residency program that supports over 60 exceptional media startups and artists. These projects tackle the pressing challenges faced by today's media ecosystems, including misinformation, deep fakes, algorithmic biases, and more. Through data-driven solutions, these initiatives boost community-building, generate media literacy applications, and raise awareness of the socio-technical aspects of information dynamics, among other aspects, paving the way for a more informed and resilient society.


RESPONSE project aims to establish a strategic vision for Smart Cities Energy Transition: Climate-neutral cities by 2050. The idea is to turn energy sustainability into a doable vision by solving the energy trilemma (security, equity/affordability, environmental sustainability) at building, block and district levels in smart cities. The project builds upon intelligent integrated and interconnected energy systems coupled with demand-oriented city infrastructures, governance models and services that foster energy sustainability.

RESPONSE supports the lighthouse cities of Dijon (FR) and Turku (FI) and their Fellow cities Brussels (BE), Zaragoza (ES), Botosani (RO), Ptolemaida (GR), Gabrovo (BU) and Severodonetsk (UA)

RESPONSE attracts the interest of stakeholders by generating innovative business models enabling the upscale and replication of the solutions forming a validated roadmap for sustainable cities across Europe and beyond. The focus is to create resilient and safe cities increasing the quality of life and lowering the impacts of climate change.

NEB Goes South

Changes in the climate affect environments and ecosystems in a variety of ways. Countries in Southern Europe are dealing with, among other problems, increased signs of extreme climate events, rising temperatures, heat islands, desertification, and drought. They also share rich histories and cultural heritage, which need careful protection while addressing these emergencies.

NEB goes South acknowledges its common geographical and cultural legacy. Six architecture schools from different countries join forces to create a pan-European platform for meetings and discussions. Education is our common goal. We believe that creative solutions available to everyone are crucial to change mindsets and make citizens aware of the key issues of our time. That effort needs to consider the critical role of higher education and research institutions in providing sustainable solutions while still accessible, affordable, inclusive, and aesthetically qualified, as the NEB strives to inspire.


TimelapseMigration project aims at reframing forced mobility narratives and questioning the distortions produced by misinformation and disinformation. We use data-based evidence, sociological research, and educational digital narratives to explore the long-term impact of migration on host societies.

To reframe the debate, the project brings refugee artists' voices to the fore, hosting digital art exhibitions on the web and in the metaverse. Time-Lapse migration is one of the Mediafutures program 2n cohort finalists, selected between more than 130 proposals all over Europe and presented in Centre Pompidou (Paris) in October 2022. The project is the result of the collaboration between the artist duo Varvara&Mar, who curated the exhibition, and the start-up La Tempesta, in charge of the design and development of the project.


Creative practices have already shown transformational potential in the area of social cohesion and environmental citizenship, but they are often fragmented, poorly resourced, and badly understood. The CreaTures project (Creative Practices for Transformational Futures) demonstrates the power of existing - yet often hidden - creative practices to move the world towards eco-social sustainability.

Through experimental co-creation, observation, and evaluation of diverse transformational creative practices, followed by a direct engagement of various stakeholders (including policymakers, researchers, artists, designers, and members of the public), the CreaTures project generates a diversity of insights and resources demonstrating how creative practices can stimulate action towards eco-socially sustainable futures. The CreaTures Framework summarises these findings in a concise and easy-to-access way.


MESOC is a Research and Innovation Action designed to propose, test and validate an innovative and original approach to measuring the societal value and impacts of culture and cultural policies and practices, related to three crossover themes of the new European Agenda for Culture: 1) Health and Wellbeing, 2) Urban and Territorial Renovation and 3) People's Engagement and Participation. The global aim is to respond to the challenge posed by the H2020 Call (“To develop new perspectives and improved methodologies for capturing the wider societal value of culture, including but also beyond its economic impact”).The need arises from the realisation that the argument of the social impact of culture is very often used to justify and claim more support for culture in public policies and to materialise corporate social responsibility, yet we lacked proven methodologies and clear conceptual models to assess and evidence the social impact of culture.


“When a space becomes a place” is participatory Art projects by Annalisa Cattani, in collaboration with the municipality of Imola and Sern (Italy), which recalls the motto of the geographer Ti Fu Juan, who highlighted how “when a space becomes familiar we can call it a place”. The cities of Siena, Bolzano Cremona and Imola were invited to revitalize their values adopting the forgotten monuments and the important places which through the years had become indifferent. Today it has become a European project with 8 European partners that look together for “spaces” to become “places” again. They created a platform of discussion and next year each country will show the “Places” renewed under the banner of commitment and imagination in order to learn to “live” and not just to “exist”


Performing arts in a new era. Premiere seeks to modernize the performing arts focusing on dance and theatre by using advanced digital technologies. In this performance, Instituto Stocos combines dance, electroacoustic music, and interactive light, and reflects on the place of the individual in the world, with the senses expanded through technology, beyond the limits of geographical origin and cultural identity. The dancer is interacting with a universe made up of light, evolving non anthropomorphic avatars and phonemes from multiple languages and places across our planet. The performance proposes a sensory experimentation of the world through the body, a world that becomes accessible through our expanded senses through interactive technology.


The ekip project under Horizon Europe aims to establish a partner and network-driven policy recommendation engine, fostering continuous formulation and adoption of policy development recommendations for Europe's Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs). The primary objective is to facilitate the development of ecosystem-level policies that promote open innovation as the standard, with cultural and creative entities serving as transformation drivers.

Comprising 17 partners including universities, cities, and companies, ekip brings together specific competences akin to an engine. Additionally, over 40 CCI networks and organizations across Europe have joined hands to initiate the engine's operations by defining and providing data pertaining to policy areas. This data is then meticulously analysed, prioritized, and channelled into the policy lab. In the lab, formulations are produced, iterated, and tested within partner cities' ecosystems. The ekip observatory will effectively communicate the work conducted and the resulting recommendations.


Advances in immersive technology are revolutionizing how we engage with culture, but accessibility remains a challenge. Cultural institutions struggle to meet the expectations of a digitally savvy audience. To overcome this, a global framework for Cultural Creativity is needed, focusing on cost-effective software and hardware. The EU-funded Artcast4D project is leading the way with an open-source program based on AAASeed software. It aims to create immersive environments in public spaces using minimally intrusive projection technology, interactive applications, and crowd sensing capabilities. Pilots in France, the UK, Spain, and Greece will demonstrate the potential of immersive experiences in boosting Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) as drivers of innovation. The project will provide policy guidelines to enhance competitiveness and innovation, unlocking Europe's potential for inclusive, immersive user experiences.