The book “Challenging the City Scale, journeys in People-Centred Design” is released by the Birkhäuser


The Human Cities/ 2014-2018 project book “Challenging the City Scale, journeys in People-Centred Design” is available in bookshops. After a first publication oriented on research and inspirational case studies of the Human Cities/ project, multidisciplinary network that gathers partners from 11 European cities, this final publication is the story of the experiences and cooperation addressed to a large audience of people interested in urban design and practices. As one of the partners in this European platform, Belgrade Design Week has contributed with the national project “100 Creative Playgrounds for Children of Serbia”.

Since 2014, the Human Cities/ network co-founded by the Creative Europe Programme, has been working on Challenging the City Scale 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.

Through conversations with the involved people, the book examines how bottom-up processes and their design, tools and instruments generate new ideas to reinvent the city. 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.


After the co-creative sessions, each partner departed on their own journey. Partners in Saint-Étienne, Graz, Bilbao, Helsinki and London worked with citizens to turn vacant or underused spaces into test sites for new solutions for work, service provision, education and communication. Partners in Ljubljana, Belgrade, Cieszyn, Tallinn, Brussels and Milan joined forces with citizens to contribute to the development of a neighbourhood through improving the quality of public spaces.

The book “Challenging the City Scale, journeys in People-Centred Design” is released by the famous international publisher Birkhäuser, and co-edited by Cité du design Saint-Etienne and Clear Village London, with the contributions of all the partners and invited authors – a designer and co-creation expert Alice Holmberg, journalists Côme Bastin and Fleur Weinberg, writer-philosopher John Thackara and founder and architect at “Akoaki” Anya Sirota.

The book is dedicated to expand this network of Human Citizens even further and convince policy and decision makers of the value of these initiatives and inspire them to take action to facilitate them better in the future.

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) et Clear Village (Londres)
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:

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Running in the morning through the city (down what the germans call a fussgangerzone) and being amazed by all the grand empty old buildings that reminded me of my Berlin beginnings. Grafitti on buildings. Lovely broken walls with acne'd facades from decades of reverse engineering. Discovering that all the ships on the river were party boats and open till the morning. Sweating so much in one of the clubs, my phone got messed up. Losing phone in said club. Visiting belgrade police station to report a then stolen phone to a twenty-something cop with a doctor's lab coat, listening to Rammstein (loudly) while hacking out my report on a pre-electric typewriter that looked (and sounded) as if it was from some era before typewriters were invented.   Thinking of Naked Lunch. Thinking of Die-Hard. Listening to architects talk about porous facades. Thinking of old smart bombs. Imagining the flash and crunch of several floors of reinforced concrete collapsing in on themselves. Wondering why I'm the only interactive guy here. Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade? Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade?!