During Metamorphosis, we found out that in the Grünau district, the residents would like to havea public meeting place. This idea was taken up by the city of Zurich. The old square in the Grünau was inaugurated last Saturday and will once again become a lively place for old and young. Two large barbecues, a children's play kitchen, picnic platforms, a new boules court and a long table ensure a cosy get-together.
The metamorphosis space transformer has been further adapted within the framework of the "Zusammenhalt Graz" - Action Plan 2020 against loneliness of the city of Graz.
Loneliness and social isolation have many faces. Regardless of age, income or nationality, we believe that low threshold communication stimuli can help to reduce loneliness.
For one evening, people of Graz were able to test how it feels when the city centre is freed from motorised vehicles. At COVID distances, people could walk through the quiet city and sit on chairs in the middle of a three-lane road. A completely new urban feeling. All of a sudden it became impressively visible how much space is sacrificed to car traffic in our cities. The "space transformers" from METAMORPHOSIS have contributed to the success of this "la strada" event.
Throughout Europe, Metamorphosis has so far implemented over 300 measures that make neighbourhoods child friendly. These measures contribute to physical activity and active mobility by, among others, redistributing urban space to the benefit of children and people in general – as opposed to cars. Planning public space for children could also help reducing the rate of infection and the mortality of a COVID-19 infection in all age groups.
Metamorphosis is initiating activities for child-friendly urban spaces all over Europe. Our project partners in Austria, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom organized several events to engage the community and to establish sustainable mobility as well. As you can imagine, a wide range of different topics and creative ideas came out. Their overviews are now catalogued in fact sheets available here: http://www.metamorphosis-project.eu/downloads/fact-sheets
The current health crisis we are experiencing as a consequence of SARS COVID-19 is affecting everyone. However, little is said about how children are coping with the pandemic. Their daily lives have also been affected and they share the same concerns most of us have. Children observe adults in constant anguish over the uncertainty that COVID-19 is bringing and the wave of false news that easily propagates via social media. Yet, they do not necessarily find a way to express their fears, concerns and emotions.
Now more than ever, the world is at a crossroad. We do have a choice: cities can continue to grow without the inclusion of social needs and environmental consequences, or we can embrace a sustainable and equitable process that builds community, enhances the quality of life, and creates safe and prosperous neighbourhoods.
The 2018 developed “neighbourhood treasure game” in the two pilot neighbourhoods in Zurich is a success! synergo was asked by the housing cooperative “Familienheim-Genossenschaft Zürich (FGZ)” located in the Friesenberg district, to develop a similar game. A workshop with children to identify their favourite places in the neighbourhood was held at the end of February 2020.