‘Design and Public Policy, A Two-Way Street’ - 10-11 March 2020, Valencia, Spain.


13 January 2020

‘Design and Public Policy, A Two-Way Street’

10-11 March 2020, Valencia, Spain.

Across nearly every front, the global agenda is being redefined: the challenges of climate change, new commercial and technological paradigms, the crisis of the conventional democratic model, the slowing of economic growth, new challenges of robotization, the precarisation and digitalization of industry, the new meaning of welfare, it calls for drawing new scenarios. Confronting all these problems with a minimum of success requires a secure Europe, based on its enlightened values and defence of freedom of citizenship in a context of prosperity and solidarity and that must play a leading role in global governance. In the words of the European President, Ursula von der Leyen, “the world needs more Europe.”

In this context, we must efficiently use all the resources at our disposal. Design can be an engine of change. Design-enabled innovation creates user-centred solutions to global warming, environmental degradation, economic stagnation, digitalised society, and the crisis of values, as well as other global and European challenges. And design approaches these challenges in a neutral manner, solving problems not only by people but also for their needs.

In Europe, three-quarters of the population lives in urban areas and European cities generate more than 80% of all economic growth. It is obvious that these cities offer talent, resources and infrastructure which promote better use of design and design-enabled innovation to face the challenges and opportunities of our time.

The overarching aim of the DESIGNSCAPES project is to exploit such potential of urban environments in the highest possible number of European cities to encourage the uptake and further enhancement and upscaling of design-enabled innovation by existing enterprises, start-up companies, public authorities and agencies, and other urban stakeholders.

The first DESIGNSCAPES Policy Forum: “Design and Public Policy, A Two-Way Street” will take place in Valencia, Spain on March 10th – 11th 2020, organised by the Econcult of the University of Valencia and the DESIGNSCAPES project consortium, in collaboration with Valencia World Design Capital 2022 Association and supported by the regional and municipal government of Valencia.

The goal of this forum is to debate, discuss and explain why and how the public and private sector innovators in Europe can benefit from integrating design with the urban dimension. It is an opportunity to formulate proposals for vertical policy measures – to be adopted at European Union (EU), Member State (MS) and Regional levels – that can boost the design capacity and capability of European innovation actors and systems.

It aims to explore a two-way street approach for design policy, advocating for favourable public policy to foster urban design-enabled innovation on the one hand, and on the other hand, using good design to empower public policymaking.

Based on the latest results of the DESIGNSCAPES project and other parallel studies, the forum will deliver scientific and empirical evidence around the world to show how design enables urban innovation to address a series of global challenges, with a particular focus on environmental sustainability, digital economies, wellbeing and European values.

As one of the meaningful milestones, a Green Paper on Design-enabled Innovation in Urban Environment will be presented at the forum to discuss and consolidate in order to shape recommended policy actions for European cities. 

We actively seek the participation of Urban Actors for Change, who are currently engaged in, or interested in, design-enabled innovation practices as well as academic studies and policymaking processes relating to the topic of design and public policy.

More forum information will be given in the following weeks. In the meantime, you can contact Dr Kerstin Junge to register your interest.

Read more about DESIGNSCAPE

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