Urban Cooks is a project which aims to design a universal toolkit to support bottom-up initiatives and open up a dialog between citizens and governmental policy.
Urban cooks are interested in citizen participation channels, who are currently pioneering abandoned spaces in their own cities to create rich public space initiatives. These channels are opposed to traditional governmental public space strategies, which often result in generic or commercial spaces. The purpose of the Urban cooks organisation is to highlight the difficulties that citizen led initiates face in terms of legal rights and resources in order to aid in the dialog between these projects and city management schemes.
The platform which started in December 2012 focusses on developments in Madrid, Belgrade and Skopje. In doing so, they wish to outline the necessary conditions for the implementation of permanent projects in each city and discuss if this methodology can be replicated throughout other cities.
The objectives of Urban Cooks are as follows :
Understanding the framework around citizen initiatives in Madrid, Belgrade and Skopje, both common and particular issues.
Learning how does existing programs in other cities work, taking a critical look of them.
Defining an ideal program, having in mind particular frameworks of each cities. Contents and objectives of this program are important, but also the “how it works”.
Approaching to the three municipalities to begin a process of dialogue and reflection.
Making a first pilot project, working in each city with a citizen initiatives that are already running and putting in practice the lines of the program.
Harvesting conclusions from the experience and writing a final inform that could lead to an official municipality program for supporting citizen initiatives. – Urbancooks.eu
Urban Cooks is a partnership formed by architects and sociologists from Basurama (Architects Collective, Madrid) Mikser (non-profit art and design organisation) & The Institute for Sociological, Political and Juridical Research (Part of the university of Skopje.)