Equal public space: LIFE LAB for local disadvantaged groups represented by their political leaders in Kairouan

  • TunisiaCountry
  • SouthMed CVDonor
  • ENGLanguage
  • social involvementPublic spaceembracing community NGOscapacity buildingTopics

The Applicant/ Leader (in English)

Kairouan Community  (KC)   

Background of the applicant

Field of work *
In a few words (no more than 700 characters, spaces included), describe the main working areas of your organisation (e.g. cultural, artistic, educative, social, etc.)

Kairouan Community, est. in 2014 is a grass-root coalition/community type CSO/NGO, first of this kind in Tunisia: encompassing rep. of 3 sectors: CSO, local authorities, business. Its experience is rich thanks to the diversified experience of its members: NGO rep. share their experience of various programmes, i.e. NGO “We Love Kairouan” promoting ecology, active citizenship, supporting young leaders; association A.G.I.M  which runs the daycare center with vocational training for disabled people;NGO “Gouvernance Participative” organizing campaigns aiming to merge the awareness and support participation of all citizens in public debate; NGO ATDVER –projects on using alternative energy sources.

Organisation’s goals and objectives *
List the goals and objectives of your organisation (no more than 700 characters, spaces included).

Kairouan Community’s mission is to pursue Kairouan governorate & Central Tunisia sustainable development agenda.  The main goals are sustainable environmental, social and economic development in Tunisia; mainstreaming of durable solutions to social & economic malaise and underdevelopment of urban and rural communities; political, social and economic empowerment & activation of disadvantageous and marginalized areas and vulnerable groups and communities.

Organisation’s references *
Please list at least two persons that can introduce your organisation (name, position, institution, web or blog, email, phone number).

Wojciech Szpoci?ski, Development Policy Foundation, chairman of board, www.fpr.org.pl, info@fpr.org.pl,

Jaros?aw W?odarczyk, Press Club Foundation, chairman of board, www.pressclub.pl,

Lassad Ghdami, Mayor of Kairouan, Municipalite de Kairouan,

Organisation’s registration document *
Please upload an official document that proves that the organisation legally exists – e.g. register(s) of companies, official gazette, VAT registration, etc..
Permitted file types: pdf, jpg, jpeg, bmp, gif, png. Maximum file size: 5MB

Is this your first project? *


If this is not your first project, please add the required information for at least one previous project.

Previous projects; Title Type    Location          Year

ELECT Fix Kairouan: in approach of genuine self-government in Tunisia - debating & data gathering & local electoral promises/democratization (partner) /Kairouan/2015

Micro-initiatives pour le developpement locale/local development/cooperation with business/Kairouan/2015

SO EAS+Y young european design/design/development/Komarovo/2015

Project Summary

Project responds to the needs of civil society, cultural & social institutions/NGOs & marginalized groups (people with disabilities, seniors, mothers) in Kairouan, Tunisia to ensure equal access to public space & foster social inclusion & boost public participation by creating sustainable links between artistic & social focused actors on local level & engaging young architects in practical artistic mission with social objectives. As a result of engaging community/excluded groups/NGOs/young architects into a dialogue on public space via workshops & innovative public consultations/live project lab, an artwork in public space will be created as a pilot community project.

Specific objective(s)

to strengthen public participation in the debate about public space & ensure equal access to public space by introducing innovative approach in public consultations

- to foster inclusion of marginalized groups by ensuring equal access in the debate about public space & its accessibility

- to create durable links between social & culture activities & build capacity of NGO, architects & public administration officers by including social factor in culture management

- to engage young architects in social tailored project to enable practical use of their skills & promote design & good quality architecture 

- to strengthen network & partnerships between young architects, cultural & social institutions of Maghreb by introducing new collaboration schemes;   

Background Outline & Justification

Common activities of Kairouan Community/local NGOs/institutions/municipality in cultural & social actions showed problems of public space in Kairouan (green zones, playgrounds, squares) in lack of equal access, esp. for disadvantaged groups (PwD, mothers with children, seniors), causing their exclusion in public life; low attractiveness & no adjustment to people’s needs; lack of cultural factor in public space potential: no events/examples of design/modern architecture.

Problems with public space in Kairouan come from lack of cooperation between municipality/NGOs/community & lack of coordinated actions of Centre Culturel/Municipality & NGOs. Due to very limited budgets for activities, there is a necessity of staff training to seek external finances/projects/cooperation with NGOs & local business.

Lack of interdisciplinary approach & know-how in architecture/design/art combined with social problems/public space accessibility & is democratization: no joint initiatives & no interventions with tangible results & narrow-minded policy: example – perception of PwD in public space: historical buildings can’t be adjusted to people on wheelchairs, as it was not how originally building was designed.

Project activities will boost capacity of social & cultural focused NGOs & give a new perspective in their activities: social NGOs can help their beneficiaries in social inclusion process while using art as a tool of therapy & raise their voice to the debate on culture & public space; cultural institutions may diversify their offer & promote equal chances.

The innovative public consultations will push public participation & strengthen the dialogue with municipality & increase attractiveness of public space & collective responsibility for public domain.

The realisation of pilot art work in public space as common project of young architects, citizens, NGOs & municipality, will fill the gap of joint social & culture & design initiative. Example of art work: butterfly bench:  fully fold up/collapsible tray bench turning into table or just entirely pulled up vertically/up to the wall - thus easy accessible for wheelchairs/baby strollers: perfect for rooftop bus stop/parks.

Architecture students engaged as volunteers will use practically their skills for the first time, & confront innovative ideas with social background to create people-friendly public space. Meeting with other students will result in extended networking & partnerships between young architects & cultural institutions of Maghreb. 

Description of the activities

1/ Kick-off meeting with participation of municipality, NGOs (cultural & social focused) architects in Kairouan – needs assessment; recruitment for the workshops

2/ 2 session of workshops

3/ Networking & capacity building activities

3/ Public consultation event & voting on pilot artistic co-production project to be created

4/ Realisation of the art work

5/ Final conference/debate on public space

6/ evaluation

Methodology or project’s strategic approach

Rep. of local actors: cultural & social NGOs, municipality, local architects & architecture students as volunteers & partners from Maghreb will be directly engaged in project activities.  

Foreign experts (rep. of Development Policy Foundation www.fpr.org.pl & +48 Architects http://www.plus48.com.pl/  have experience in social-focused architecture & design projects in Belarus live lab projecting & building:  https://www.facebook.com/331201520389266/photos/pb.331201520389266.-2207520000.1446433534./350454465130638/?type=3&permPage=1) will conduct workshops & supervise the realization of art work. Their know-how about local needs comes from participation in projects of Press Club Foundation, Poland in Kairouan, financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Poland, Support for Democracy Programme 2013-2015.

Workshops theme: culture management: cooperation models, fundrising, public space management – accessibility/attractiveness/needs tailored, methodology of innovative public consultations & live-lab; cross-cutting social/architect/art actions in participatory public space making;

Public consultation event – charrette type: https://www.wbdg.org/resources/charrettes.php with participation of young architects from Maghreb & all local actors; ideas on pilot art work to be created as a product of citizen participation will be prepared & voted on.