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What makes a place feel like home?

This question is the driving force behind the Urban Belonging Project, to learn how different communities and individuals perceive, interact with, and form connections to the city of Copenhagen.

The Urban Belonging team has worked with academics, city planners, and representatives from diverse urban demographics in the city, to develop a way for citizens to share their lived experiences, both positive and negative, and provide a platform for these voices to be heard and drive future urban decision making.

The Urban Belonging Project was the winner of the 2023 European Prize for Citizen Science – Diversity and Community Award, recognising the project’s fantastic work in elevating the voices of those who are often heard when it comes to urban planning.

This was done through the development of a smartphone app, where members of the community can record their experiences in real-time, and upload these to an online map of Copenhagen.

Alongside the App, the Urban Belonging team organised workshops and outreach events, where architects, town planners, academics, and community members can discuss the needs of those living in Copenhagen.

In this IMPETUS interview, we catch up with Sofie Burgos-Thorsen, where we discuss how the project used co-creation and citizen science methods to develop the app, the importance of hearing from diverse voices in urban planning, and how the project is working with other cities around the world to help make urban environments more liveable for everyone.