Kenniscentrum Maatschappij en Recht

Creating actionable futures (CrAFt)


How can you make European cities climate neutral, beautiful and inclusive in the near future? And which local collaboration models can help in this process? Three AUAS Centres of Expertise will work together with an international consortium of universities and cultural organisations on answering these questions as part of the Creating Actionable Futures (CrAFt) project.

Policy challenges in large-scale spatial projects

CrAFt is being implemented in the context of the European Union's New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative. The project is taking stock of the policy challenges faced by large-scale spatial projects when seeking to achieve the values of NEB. CrAFt is researching the obstacles to the transition, while also gathering actionable methods that can support cities with the development and implementation of collaborative local administrative models to speed up their transition to climate neutrality, regardless of their starting point. The use of culture and creative methods plays a central role in this.

The role of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in the project is to test policy models and creative methods by means of interventions. This will be done in three so-called sandbox cities: Amsterdam, Prague and Bologna. The results of the project will be collected and shared in a Smart City Guidance Package, a road map for cities wishing to get involved in New European Bauhaus.

Climate neutral, beautiful and inclusive

Each city has its own context, scale, history and inhabitants, and therefore faces different concrete challenges. European cities find themselves at different phases in the transition to climate neutrality and the processes themselves differ from city to city. And yet, the contexts are often similar and the challenges usually have to do with familiar obstacles in the transition - the challenges associated with changing behaviour, setting long-term goals, finding the required funds and overcoming regulatory barriers and disciplinary silos. Since these challenges differ considerably from city to city, it is necessary to create a standardised approach that is also adjustable.

'We will collaborate in the CrAFt project at AUAS with three Centres of Expertise. We are convinced that this interdisciplinary approach is essential for tackling the complex social issues faced by the city. - Mareile Zuber'

The approach

  • Stress test and showcasing NEB governance models in Amsterdam, Bologna and Prague;
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration and student participation in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) teams and an NEB ‘think and do’ tank;
  • Sharing of knowledge and scaling up with at least 70 Reference Cities in mutual learning exercises;
  • A knowledge platform and an NEB road map for cities: ‘Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Guidance Package: NEB Edition’ with models, tools, examples or stories of local administration in partnership;
  • A storytelling campaign about the impact of comprehensive, sustainable urban development.

Three AUAS Centres of Expertise involved

Three AUAS Centres of Expertise will collaborate in the CrAFt project: Creative Innovation, Just City and City Net Zero. And four research groups will be involved in the project: Spatial Urban Transformation (Professor Frank Suurenbroek), Civic Interaction Design (Professor Martijn de Waal), Coordination of Urban Issues (Professor Stan Majoor) and Creative Media for Social Change (Tamara Witschge). The international consortium is managed by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.


AUAS research team

The following AUAS employees are working on this project, alongside the professors mentioned above:

  • Federica Colombo
  • Maria Kapteijns
  • Ruben Logjes
  • Andrew Switzer
  • Mareile Zuber

More information

Want to find out more about the project? If so, please contact the project leader:

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

Published by  Afdeling Communicatie 17 July 2024

Project Info

Start date 01 May 2022
End date 01 May 2025