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Apr 17, 2024
The LISTEN project is analysing the use of space in suburbs on the basis of three pilot regions in Belgium, Sweden and Austria. CIPRA Lab GmbH is working together with partners from research and regional stakeholders.
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Collective listening aims to improve the use of space in everyday life in three pilot regions. (c) Canva

Three countries, three European suburbs and their inhabitants: all are thinking about the use of space in everyday life. The ideal environment is the 15-minute city, where everything important can be reached on foot in 15 minutes: your own workplace, the grocery store, school, pharmacy, cultural centre or leisure facilities. In suburbs, however, there is often a lack of such communal and car-free locations. Immigration and other factors are making suburbs increasingly diverse – and with them the interests and needs of the people living there. Participatory planning processes therefore often do not lead to the desired results and sometimes even lead to a complete standstill.

Collective listening and international workshops

In contrast to traditional citizen participation, LISTEN pursues the approach of collective listening, supported by appropriate methods and formats. These include a 15-minute radio programme, a 15-minute atlas and a 15-minute walk. The project team talks to citizens, municipalities, entrepreneurs, organisations and associations in so-called super-diverse suburbs. The project partners and stakeholder groups exchange their findings at three international workshops. The first workshop will take place in Belgium, the second in Sweden and the third in Austria.

The common goal is to strengthen the capacity for collective listening and to compile a set of strategies and tools for a faster transition to the “15-minute suburb”.

Project goals and target groups

- Accelerating the transition to the 15-minute suburb by strengthening the capacity for collective listening

- Collaboration between local authorities and entrepreneurs in suburbs to open up (segregated) semi-public spaces for more diverse activities and communities

- Target groups: citizens, local authorities, entrepreneurs, organisations and associations in super-diverse suburbs


- Three listening experiments in three countries – collective listening of a key group, supported by a listening tool:

15-minute radio (podcast) during the first cycle

15-minute atlas (diagram) during the second cycle

15-minute walk in suburbs during the third cycle

- Three international workshops in Belgium, Sweden and Austria


2024 – 2026

Project partner

University of Hasselt, Belgium (project management)

Municipality of Genk, Belgium

CIPRA Lab GmbH (NGO), Austria

Rosinak&Partner (consulting company), Austria

University of Malmö, Sweden

NGBG Föreningen i Malmö (NGO/Cultural Association), Sweden

Project languages

English and local language


Jakob Dietachmair, [email protected]


The participation of CIPRA Lab GmbH in this project is financially supported by the Austrian Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, represented by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). Additional financial support for the project is being provided by “Driving Urban Transitions” (DUT). DUT is organised as a European partnership of more than 60 partners from 27 countries and is co-financed by the European Union.

Financed by:

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