Updated: Jul 6
We are excited to announce the start of a new project - My Soft City: From Flâneur to Entrepreneur. It is a 3-years long initiative where an international team of non-profit organisations, small businesses and art schools will work together on involving young people in supporting cultural heritage of their cities. The project is developing simultaneously in France, Romania, Sweden and Portugal – particularly in Madeira, where Art Center Caravel in partnership with Association ARTE.M are leading the educational and artistic activities.
My Soft City: From Flaneur to Entrepreneur is a project that aims at bettering cities’ youth dimension. The fact is that cities which are more youth-friendly have more chances to develop as united and proactive communities. So this project offers youth a voice in what concerns their city’s cultural heritage and encourages them to become cultural and social entrepreneurs themselves by exposing them to such an environment that fosters educational, cultural and urban growth.
As described by Michael Dear, expert in Urban Studies, “the soft city is full of humanity, invention, and fun, totally unlike the “hard” city with its ponderous monuments, commemorative namings, patrolled spaces, and formal geometries”.
Very soon in Funchal, a group of youngsters of 16-22 years old will get together to create an illustrated map of the soft city. We will also prepare a set of game cards Dérive City, and a book with stories about social entrepreneurship From Flâneur to Entrepreneur.
The subtitle, From Flaneur to Entrepreneur, reflects the fact that a passer-by can become a change-maker in their community through proactivity and an entrepreneurial spirit. While in the 19th century, a flaneur was a stroller, observing and enjoying the architecture and atmosphere of the streets of Paris, we invite youth to become from observers into active actors of the social and cultural urban sphere. The subtitle also emphasizes the fact the project aims to combine the old and the classic with the new and the innovative: the digitalization and gamification of cultural heritage by young people which further aims at preserving and promoting the urban patrimony of Europe. The project is cross-sectorial and combines youth work, social work, heritage, art and entrepreneurship in order to deliver interdisciplinary outputs and outcomes that improve and innovate the activity of youth workers and that help youth learn in an alternative way.
To prepare for such challenging tasks, the project team will travel to dedicated training courses in France, Romania, Sweden and Madeira, and organize local workshops for young people.