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Unleashing city innovation in Eastern Europe

Addressing cities’ most pressing economic development issues through the Urban Imaginaries programme.

CPI is working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to co-design and implement the Urban Imaginaries programme.

Designed to promote city innovation, the programme will strengthen the capabilities of mayors and city leaders in cities across Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan.

Cities are receiving training and exposure to complexity-informed approaches and are being supported in designing place-based solutions across a wide range of issues.

How are we supporting governments to embrace complexity?

Develop place-based solutions

Support cities to design place-based solutions through training in design thinking and deep listening techniques.

Complexity-informed approaches

Introduce cities to new approaches, such as sensemaking, experimentation, Human Learning Systems, and futures and foresight.

Embracing learning

Create spaces and opportunities for peer-to-peer collaboration, collective reflection, and knowledge sharing.

Project snapshot

  • 18 cities that were part of the first iteration of the programme

  • 50 city representatives participated in the programme

  • 15 experiments designed and tested by cities in collaboration with residents

Journey of city leaders

City leaders engaged with residents and other system actors, creating the space for new perspectives in understanding their chosen city challenges.

Through this process of listening, they were also encouraged to involve residents in co-designing prototypes for solution ideas. These were tested, with city leaders closely documenting the learning.

“This methodology is very helpful, because it helps us to understand what others need and build our empathy muscle. We've understood the needs may change from one citizen to the other, and we found some needs that were expressed by citizens that we did not expect.”

Irakli, Poti (Georgia)

“We have shared this approach with active use groups in the community which is critical. We are going to continue using this process going forward.”

Ashot, Charentsavan (Armenia)

City stories of change

Watch the video to learn how Urban Imaginaries is supporting governments to reimagine towns and cities alongside residents.

About UNDP and the Mayors for Economic Growth initiative

Urban Imaginaries is part of the Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) Facility, an EU funded programme that seeks to enable vibrant communities, strengthen local economies and establish sustainable and innovation driven networks for learning and change.

Get in touch

Want to find out more about how we're helping cities get future ready? Get in touch and let’s have a conversation about how we can work together.