Urban Parliaments

The project

A few months ago I was invited to participate in a new project called “Universal Declaration of Urban Rights“.

The Declaration of Urban Rights was firstly developped by the collective Zuloark (Madrid, Spain), and shortly introduced in Portugal by some representatives in collaboration with the MEDS Reaction LX 2013 support. This project aims to know better what are the real worries of people living in cities and address the results of the researches to authorities, in order to open a new dialog and adjust the policies and decisions undertaken about  city living .

The methodology of work is quite simple and is based on three different and open qualitative questions, which are fix :

 A right to protect
> A right to conquer
> A right to abolish

This questions are basic on this research and the open a vast universe of answer. Responses are studied and condensed in order to create a solid data base and as well to detect the key concepts (hot issues) to be treated on.

This Urban Parliaments are held on an equals assembly where anyone can participate and raise his voice. This direct participative democratic process is based on real participatory democracies and recalls the voluntary processes of association.


The Urban Parliament is formed by sessions. Each session is about a different topic being a list of subjects a matrix:

  • Supplies and services (open urban facilities) (Active Programs)
  • Accessibility (City open to the public) (inclusive)
  • Expression and free communication
  • Meetings and citizen relationships
  • Energy and waste management
  • Living spaces (creating community and networks)
  • Communication between agents. (citizens vs. Administration)
  • Digital Space (transparency and open data)
  • Critical participation and civic autonomy (citizen curator)
  • Open source city
  • Co-responsibility and trust generation

Parlamentars can discuss freely about this suggestions and from the open dialog will be taken the major insights that would be kept for a posteriori revision and consolidation of the Declaration of the Urban Rights.

The Declaration

The Declaration of the Urban Rights doesn’t presented to be a fixed bill, it intends to be a tool for improve city coexisting, city living and placemaking. It is a document to help and make better the democratic process and decision making of our cities and it is open and editable. A declaration is not defined per saecula seculorum, it is stated for the time the community decides to be.


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