More than 70% of the EU’s citizens live in urban areas: cities and urban areas are centres of economic development, services, knowledge and creativity. The public space is the soul of the City, the place where all its features come together. It is an area of overlap and interconnection, the place where the character and the culture of a Society are materialised.

If the public space we inhabit today was basically constructed prior or during the Industrial Revolution, the Information Society is now beginning to bring new principles and technologies with which to rethink the functioning and structure of the streets, avenues, squares and parks.

Public space can now be transformed into Active Public Space, fostering people interaction with flows of energy, materials, services and finances to catalyse sustainable economic development, resilience, and high quality of life.

Smart Urban Technologies are essentials for the change and consist on a combination of software and hardware that allow real-time data capture, energy generation, storage and reuse, material adaptability, real-time management of time-uses and citizen-space interaction.

APS (Active Public Space) is an EU co-funded project with the aim of developing knowledge on Active Public Space.


Project objectives

  • Increasing architecture’s integrating and innovative role in implementing sustainable urban development.
  • Fostering the exchange of knowledge and best practices in the application of smart urban technologies for the transformation Public Spaces into Active ones.
  • Contributing to bridging the existing skills-gaps on smart urban technologies among architects and urban planners.
  • Enhancing citizen participation in European urban sustainable development processes.
  • Increasing visibility for European architecture and urban spaces, raising public awareness of the role of architecture and urban planning in sustainable urban development.

Project activities

  • Collecting and publishing the State of the art on European active public space.
  • Development of a workshop programme in Barcelona, Prague and Vienna aimed at providing architects and urban-planners with skills on smart urban technologies, sharing knowledge and good practices and experimenting with citizen participation on urban sustainable development processes.
  • Publication of an online “How to implement urban smart technologies Guide
  • Organization of a total of 3 urban installations (Barcelona, Prague and Vienna) where citizen participation will be put at the service of sustainable urban development.
  • Implementation of a final major symposium, in order to present the project’s results among selected international representatives (architects and urban planners).
  • Co-production of a touring exhibition on best practices and learned experiences to be held in Barcelona, Prague, Vienna, London and Copenhagen
  • Development of a wide-reaching dissemination programme aimed at increasing the visibility of the role of European architecture and urban planning role in implementing sustainable urban development.