FURNISH-KIDS: Transforming Urban Areas Into Playscapes

FURNISH-KIDS is a project co-funded by the EIT Urban Mobility project and has put together a unique consortium consisting of CARNET, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Elisava, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), the Municipality of Barcelona and the Municipality of Milan.

Cities today are facing urban complexity and user interaction more than ever before. The lack of open free space, traffic intensity, and air and acoustic pollution are only some of the factors that hinder the appropriation of public space from citizens, especially kids. In this context, some major cities have already started to take some initiatives to re-gain public spaces for people and re-think urban areas to transform them into safer, healthier, and inclusive spaces, including citizens in the design, guaranteeing that the full process is not only user-oriented, but user-created.

The FURNISH-KIDS project, led by CARNET with the participation of Elisava, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), and the municipalities of Barcelona and Milan, is one of the initiatives intended to transform public spaces and make cities more accessible. Specifically addressed to kids, the project proposes the implementation of Urban Mobile Elements as a set-up for social interaction among kids and the appropriation of public space from them.

The design process has been carried on the last months in several co-creation workshops with the participation of a number of 140 children aged 10 to 12 from different schools: Escola Casas (Barcelona), Escola Provençals (Barcelona), and Instituto Comprensivo Q. Di Vona T. Speri (Milan).

The results of these co-creation processes materialized in two different prototypes to be implemented in two different locations: the new pacified area in Gran Via Avenue in Barcelona, and the courtyard of the Instituto Comprensivo Q. Di Vona T. Speri in Milan. In this way, the prototype from IAAC has been set up in Barcelona, while the prototype from Elisava has been implemented in two different locations: it was first set up in Barcelona and thereafter moved to Milan.

Currently, the prototypes are being tested and assessed by CARNET and the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) and the first results show how the involvement of kids in the co-design process represents an opportunity to strengthen the co-responsibility in the use of urban space and to reinforce the sense of belonging, promoting better spaces and shaping more resilient and conscious citizens in the future.


For more information, please visit https://furnish.tech/.

(This article has been published at CARNET website)  



Empowering citizens: the Innovation Hub South co-organises two citizen engagement events in collaboration with our community ecosystem

In recent years, civic engagement aimed at community involvement and collective learning has become a centerpiece of environmental management. People are expected to be interested, inquire, express opinions, make suggestions, and even take responsibility. And EIT Urban Mobility is, among other actors, responsible for motivating them with attractive and meaningful initiatives. Also, understanding that citizens are our customers is vital for making this process feasible and with a clear purpose. And our customers need to be considered and heard.

Committed to our objective of empowering citizens and giving them the tools to speak up their minds, the Innovation Hub South organised two citizen engagement events in collaboration with the EIT Urban Mobility Headquarters unit, Factory, and two of our main partners: Toulouse Metropole and Barcelona City Council.

The first one was a session scheduled into the main programme of the Barcelona Innova Week, a Barcelona City Council initiative to reflect and experiment on the relationship between people, technology, and cities. In collaboration with the EIT Urban Mobility supported project Ces4Kids, and our partner VOI, we coordinated a workshop session where young students were challenged to present their ideas and solutions to their city’s daily mobility challenges. Creativity, engagement, and a bunch of robust and feasible ideas were the results of the workshop. The session also reaffirmed the idea that citizen Engagement must start at an early age, and people should be able to express their ideas and be considered in the process of (re)designing a city.

Our second event brought us to the city of Toulouse. Under the umbrella of “Le Festival Toulouse Innovante et Durable”, EIT Urban Mobility designed an action in collaboration with CARNET, core partner, and Factory. Together we created a space where citizens could discover EIT Urban Mobility and the pilot project implemented in Toulouse, give their inputs about how to improve citizen’s mobility = citizen’s life in the city, learn about sustainable mobility habits in our co-organised workshops and discover the mission and the vision of EIT Urban Mobility. All under one roof and in an appealing context that helped citizens approach us. These direct conversations and information exchanges facilitated the citizens’ engagement and empowerment and helped us position ourselves as key actors in the mobility ecosystem.

We strongly defend that true engagement is not merely providing information and gaining support from citizens, but it is about reinforcing the sense of community and building up citizenship in a participatory process. Events are a powerful tool to connect with the citizens and co-organising them in collaboration with our partners makes sense to our actions.

Launch of Call for Proposals for Citizen Engagement

Urban Mobility has gone through unexpected and momentous changes in 2020. COVID-19 ripped through our nations and cities bringing individual, community and societal upheaval and turmoil. Density and proximity, the very two things that makes our cities the economic, cultural, intellectual, political, and innovative beating hearts of our society, were also the weakest points when faced with a new and deadly threat. 

Wise medical advice led to lockdowns that inevitably saved millions of lives while freezing personal mobility. Who we are today, how we relate to each other, and how we perceive and move around our cities has changed. Maybe forever.  EIT Urban Mobility was privileged to play a small role in EU’s collective efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, through the ‘EIT Crisis Response Initiative’ launched by EIT. Inclusive logistics projects protecting the elderly and vulnerable were rolled out in Budapest touching thousands. New ruggedised rickshaws were designed for handicapped and reduced mobility passenger in the hilly cities of Bergamo and Bilbao. As road space was taken back for public space, citizens in five cities were able to design and manufacture their street furniture for their own public spaces.  New nanotech sprays covered the surfaces our buses and metros, to ensure we got home safely.  

It has been an unforgettable year that has shaped our thinking on where EIT Urban Mobility needs to go. We learned we could move fast and innovate at pace and that solutions can be tested involving citizens and end-users. We learned that the right thinkers and doers are there – you just need to find them. We learned that innovation can be financial beneficial and contribute to sustainable growth and to more liveable, healthy and safe places to live for the citizens.  

In 2021, we launch a call for the Citizen Engagement programme 2022 focused on our City Challenge Areas. This year we will focus on five simple areas: Active Mobility, Sustainable Logistics, Energy and Mobility, Future Mobility, and Public Realm.  We expect great things of our own EIT Urban Mobility Community and Hubs. Moreover, having seen how our community responded to COVID-19 with rapid, agile, and impactful projects – we expect more. Higher. Faster. Better. And as the saying goes “Don’t tell me how it cannot be done. Tell me how it can”

We look forward to receiving your applications for inclusion in the Business Plan 2022 – 2024. 

Main features of the call (aim and segments) 

Citizen engagement projects, focusing on: 

  1. Testing or implementing innovative methodologies, tools, business models or processes through which citizens are involved or empowered in co-defining the mobility challenges and in co-creation processes.  
  1. Events to be implemented in at least two cities from different Innovation Hubs, targeting or involving citizens aiming to creating awareness about the role citizens and end-users can play in improving mobility for more liveable urban spaces. 

Please note that there will be a Call Info Session with a dedicated part focusing on the Citizen Engagement Call for Proposals, scheduled for 23 March at 14.00-16-00 CET. You can find more information in the agenda here.

Call summary 

First call for proposals for Citizen Engagement for BP 2022 – 2024: Main Features.

Call opening: 19 March 2021 
Call closing: 18 May 2021 
Eligibility and admissibility check: End of May 2021 
Evaluation of proposals: June 2021 
Communication of results: Beginning of July 2021 

Budget allocation 
 Up to 800k EUR 

Link to submission portal 
PLAZA platform OPEN NOW!

List of documents to be submitted 
Application form available on the PLAZA platform

List of documents to take into consideration  
Business Plan 2022 – 2024 first call for proposals for Citizen Engagement
EIT Urban Mobility Strategic Agenda 2021-2027 (link below) 
Call Guidelines for applicants (link below) 
Appeal Procedure (link below)
Eligibility of expenditures (link below)
List of KPIs (link below)
Monitoring and reporting (link below)
Frequently Asked Questions – First Calls for BP2022-2024 (link below)
Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement

Short summary of the topics to be addressed 
Citizen engagement projects, focusing on: 
Testing or implementing innovative methodologies, tools, business models or processes through which citizens are involved or empowered in co-defining the mobility challenges and in co-creation processes.  
Events to be implemented in at least two cities from different Innovation Hubs, targeting or involving citizens aiming to creating awareness about the role citizens and end-users can play in improving mobility for more liveable urban spaces.  

Evaluation criteria 
For the Strategic Fit Evaluation
Contribution to EIT Urban Mobility strategic objectives (EIT UM Strategic Agenda), to the Citizen Engagement approach (Pillars Connect, Exchange, Empower) and EIT Core and EIT Urban Mobility specific KPIs. 
Fitting with BP 2022 Call Area and EIT Urban Mobility challenges at which the project proposal has been submitted. 
Addressing the concept of Knowledge Triangle Integration

For the Full proposal evaluation
Excellence, novelty, and innovation. 
Impact and financial sustainability. 
Quality and efficiency of the implementation, including sound financial management. 

Find all the information about this call below!

Supporting documents:

NEW! Additional document:

Contact details 

Type of contact Email 
General/technical call2022@eiturbanmobility.eu 
Citizen Engagement citizenengagementcall2022@eiturbanmobility.eu 


You can find the calendar on the main events here.