Our Publications


Enabling City’s flagship publications have a dedicated worldwide readership in five languages, and have been warmly received by grassroots and institutional actors across many fields of practice. Both volumes are available in digital format as a free download or can be read online through the Issuu reader. If you’d like to purchase print copies of Volume 2 (EN version), shoot us a message via our contact form – and watch out for our online store’s grand reopening in 2019!

Christian Bason – CEO, Danish Design Centre

Christian Bason – CEO, Danish Design Centre


Enabling City Volume 2: Enhancing Creative Community Resilience

Packed with inspiring prompts and provocations, this volume explores the relationship between public space and democracy, the links between the commons and resilience and, ultimately, the role that social innovation can and must play in order to safeguard and advance both.

With over 80 initiatives hailing from 40+ countries, Volume 2 celebrates the efforts of everyday communities as they respond to the challenges and opportunities of urbanization and the issues influencing larger ecological, economic, and emancipatory trends worldwide.

Groundbreaking organizations like nef–the new economics foundation and MIT CoLab contribute 8 guest articles that complement the compelling stories of courage, vision and determination at the heart of this impressive collection. A series of infographics guide a more critical engagement with popular practices like civic crowdfunding and smart city planning, while an original proposal for a School of Civic Creativity celebrates the type of collaborative skills required for participatory projects to thrive.

As creative thinking redefines everyday life in communities everywhere, the power of place-based creative problem-solving is spreading not just to cities but to the suburbs, rural towns, and diverse settlements of the world. No matter the location, this volume of Enabling City connects the dots, reminds us of the power of our imagination and invites us to confidently make the most of it.

Volume 2 is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivative license. You can download the book here, or read it online through the Issuu reader.

TIP: Volume 2 is also available in FrenchSpanishItalian and German.

Ania Rok, Urban Governance & Sustainability Management, ICLEI

Ania Rok, Urban Governance & Sustainability Management, ICLEI


The Enabling City: Place-Based Creative Problem-Solving and the Power of the Everyday

At its simplest, Volume 1 presents a new way of thinking about communities and change. Guided by principles such as collaboration, diversity, and participation, the pioneering initiatives featured in this book attest to the power of place in stimulating the kind of innovative thinking needed to tackle complex issues ranging from participatory citizenship to urban livability.

What emerges is a civic space where local know-how and experiential knowledge are given wider legitimacy as meaningful problem-solving tools in the face of interlocking and increasingly complex issues. Here, innovation is intended as a catalyst for social change — a collaborative process through which residents can be directly involved in shaping the way a project, policy, or service is created and delivered. A shift from control to enablement turns cities into platforms for community empowerment — holistic, living spaces where people make their voices heard and draw from their everyday experiences to affect change.

We know that markets are no longer the only sources of innovation, and that citizens are capable of more than just voting during election time. We have entered an era where interactive technologies and a renewed idea of citizenship are enabling us to experiment with alternative notions of sustainability and to share knowledge in increasingly dynamic ways. We now see artists working alongside policy makers, policy makers collaborating with citizens, and citizens helping cities diagnose their problems more accurately.

Learn how placemaking can unleash spaces for reflection and debate, and witness how online learning can lead to offline action and resource-sharing. See how the values of Web 2.0 translate into the birth of the open government and open data movements, and what a holistic approach to financing can bring to local communities and cities alike. This is what place-based creative problem solving looks like in action. This is the power of the everyday.

Volume 1 is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivative license. You can download the book here, or read it online through the Issuu reader.

TIP: Volume 1 is also available in FrenchSpanish, and Italian.

Like the sound of this idea? Download the proposal in English, French, Spanish and German.


About the Author

Chiara Camponeschi works at the intersection of social innovation, urban resilience, and open governance. Originally from Rome, Italy for over a decade Chiara has worked alongside creative communities from all corners of the world on projects ranging from the commons to placemaking and beyond.

As an advocate for youth empowerment and intercultural dialogue, Chiara has collaborated with international organizations from the UN-level to the very grassroots. Her experience includes organizing sustainable development initiatives; serving as member of the CIVICUS Youth Assembly Planning Committee and UNESCO’s Sectoral Commision on Culture, Communication and Information; and animating the web’s largest multilingual community for young changemakers. She has spoken about the power of ‘social networks for social change’ at high-level events such as the International Forum on Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the European Commission in Belgium, and has shared her insights about ‘enabling frameworks’ at the inaugural SXSW Exo in Austin, Texas as well as at the White House GreenGov Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Chiara founded Enabling City to advance social innovation as a form of active citizenship, driven by an ever-growing commitment to the values of inclusion, accessibility and what she calls ‘civic creativity’. Her international public speaking covers a wide range of topics, most notably how to encourage the development of livable, inclusive and resilient cities everywhere. For her work with Enabling City, Chiara was selected as Italy’s only Oxfam Action Partner for 2010-2013, and was recognized as a Young Agent of Change by Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation. She is an advisor to projects big and small and continues to work with municipalities, social entrepreneurs, and activists on anything from new economies to civic labs and social justice campaigns.

A 2013 Trudeau Scholar, Chiara holds a Master in Environmental Studies and a B.A.(Hons) in Political Science & Communication Studies from York University. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Geography with a focus on emerging approaches to urban resilience to climate change.


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