Case Study

Open Nowy Port

Changing the future together

What happened?

There were two participatory processes that took place in the district. Mapping the local DNA of Nowy Port and creating the Compass - District Vision. We used the OpenCCI program – a tool that was successful in supporting the organizers of grass-roots activities in the implementation of their ideas. Three projects were orginised in collaboration between CCI and local initiatives. First - Five Colours, raised awareness about the ecological impact of produced waste and of the need to take care of common refuse dumps in backyards. In second video director Dominik Szefler, known for his work with hip hop artists, has been working on a film presenting the district from the perspective of the young resident. Third - Open House Festival - opened closed spaces of the district and discussion about local DNA.

  • Who can help?
  • city planning department
  • local NGOs
  • local schools
  • artists
  • local businesses
  • local cultural institutions
Open Nowy Port


The problematic social environment of the area is a challenge and the concentration of public housing creates social segregation, the accumulation of marginalised groups, high unemployment, alcoholism, and social security dependency. Streets are littered and vandalised and there is plenty of public drinking.

The image that outsiders have of the place is changing a lot as there are more visitors to the area. The local inhabitants would like to emphasize that it is a good place to live and to take a break away from busy city life.

The area is undergoing a process of regeneration and it is crucial that the local inhabitants are involved in the process. In Nowy Port the local NGO and cultural scene is growing and is energetic.

The aim was to activate the social imagination and use it to drive a long-term engagement process

How? (tools & methods)

  • The proces followed all of the phases of cultural planning, proposed by the project.
  • It began with mapping which included: a SWOT analysis workshop, mental maps; maps of social connections in the district; and photo-walks, which were conducted by architecture students at Gdansk University of Technology.
  • A further shared vision was formulated in the participatory process during a workshop with all of the most important stakeholders in the district. As a result of this workshop, the Compass of the project was created, which identifies the emotions connected to the transformation process, as well as common values, main actors, material resources, and places and problems.
  • Local actors developed the projects that fit the common vision outlined in the Compass.
  • The summer of 2021 was a time to evaluate the project results and a moment in which to anchor the partnerships and actions for the future

For whom?

  • Depending on the phase of the project:
  • adult residents of the district,
  • young people and children.
  • There was no focus on social status.
  • In one case the activity was aimed at people who have recently lived in the district and want to share their perspective.
  • For the Open House festival activities were directed to a wider audience, as one of the aims was to challenge negative images of the district.
  • How much time is needed?
  • 7 month of mapping 4 months of visioning 6 months of designing 9 months of implementing with co-design 4 months of implementation

What should you be aware of?

The challenge is to reconcile the scope of public intervention, which takes place in a fairly rigid organizational and legal framework, with the expectations of the inhabitants. These are the conditions the revitalization and public-private partnership take place.

    Curator: "Regardless of the age group I was asked to intercede in matters that fell within the competence of the municipal authorities. There is a great need for the involvement of officials in social dialogue." There is hope in the method of cultural planning for bringing together public and grassroots sectors.

What worked out?

"The most important phase was the preparation of the Compass. It was a vision mapping and design phase. Our cooperation with the inhabitants of Nowy Port allowed us to understand a number of things. How we communicate cultural planning, how they understand planning, and how we can support the professionalization of young NGOs and informal groups. I got to grips with new tools of participation and unique methods for workshops. I really liked the fact that residents and their needs are the focus of our attention."

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