The Future DiverCities project is implemented by a consortium of 13 partners led by La Friche La Belle de Mai (Marseille).

The pilots are grouped into three clusters driven by a thematic point of entry which has been identified as the most relevant for each empty space. The three themes reflect positive ecological values of urban empty spaces. 

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Berlin, Germany /
Liepaja, Latvia /
Zagreb, Croatia

pilots on


Kuopio, Finland /
Marseille, France

pilots on


Athens, Greece /
Florence, Italy /
Timişoara, Romania

Pilots on Biodiversity

Berlin, Germany / Liepaja, Latvia / Zagreb, Croatia

To enhance the potential biodiversity of the space and how it is linked to the city ecology.
To improve new forms of relationships between human and non-human inhabitants.
To test culture-led projects and approaches that are able to strengthen further this asset.


In Berlin, Public Art Lab will explore the relationship between human and non-human living beings in the Spreepark which was an amusement park before the Berlin Wall fell, long a lost place, surrounded by water and now an in-between state of past and becoming a future arts and cultural venue, the Spreepark Art Space. Together with Prof. Myriel Milićević and her students from Potsdam University of Applied Sciences, Public Art Lab will study especially the disappearance of species and the arrival of new creatures (neobiota) with mapping methodologies presented in artistic scenarios and performances and including the local communities and audiences. Furthermore Public Art Lab currently develops the idea of the Climate Flags together with the artist Hans J. Wiegner in the workshop about “Renewable Energies for Urban Empty Spaces” which will open on 11 July in the Spreepark Art Space.

Discover the pilot site from the local coalitions perspective: Spreepark Horizontal, Spreepark Vertical, Map with paths, and Spree Cohabitation.


Liepāja intervention will explore biodiversity through artistic approach at the vacant spaces in Karosta – a specific part of the city that was closed to residents for several decades for military purposes. During the intervention municipality representatives, non-governmental organizations and local communities, especially young people will be involved to help convey the interconnectedness of ecosystems, raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity conservation, inspire a sense of wonder and appreciation for the diverse life forms that exist in Karosta and underline its importance in the future development plans of urban environment of Liepāja city. To do this, multi-sensor interaction with the surroundings will be implemented and the senses with various technological tools will be stimulated.

Discover the pilot site from the local coalitions perspective:  Sensory Video and Karosta beauty.


In Croatia, Zagreb has been heavily affected by the 2020 earthquakes (alongside the pandemic). Damage to museums, galleries and similar infrastructure caused a transformation of the city centre and a lack of spaces for cultural and artistic programmes. By repurposing and activating empty spaces not previously used for culture, Zagreb intervention will explore new models of artistic production, presentation and community participation through the topic of biodiversity and urban ecology.   

Discover the pilot site from the local coalitions perspective: HERE.

Pilots on Commoning

Kuopio, Finland / Marseille, France

To develop practices of Commoning associated to the empty space, fostering a vision of inclusive urban ecology.
To test culture-led projects and approaches that are able to further strengthen this asset.


The intervention could explore new types of being, ecological wellbeing, socially, bio art, participatory methods, or somatic practice. The Local Coalition in Kuopio will not only co-design the space but will also take part in running citizen-lead activities there. ANTI aims to take over of a former unused railway space in Kuopio for the duration of the project, looking at how it can be occupied by artists, exploring new models of cultural spaces that are beyond the usual 1.0 venue (studio, exhibition) but that can prototype new forms of cohabitation with its developing neighbourhood, becoming a community place for ecological development. The old train repair building (Konepaja) is located in the middle of the rapidly changing neighbourhood of Itkonniemi, which will be under development (infrastructure, public transport, housing) for the next 20 years.

credit photo: Akseli Muraja


Marseille has seen recent major problems of space management, with deadly collapses of dilapidated buildings, and the city has very important regeneration plans. The intervention is planned on abandoned spaces in the neighborhood of La Belle de Mai where La Friche is located, in the city centre. They are in a derelict state and contribute badly to the residents’ well-being. The approach on Commoning will aim at creating citizen-led processes, fostering citizens participation and a form of renewed collective ownership of the area, whilst exploring positive applications of the Nudge theory.

Pilots on Impermanence

Athens, Greece / Florence, Italy / Timişoara, Romania

To preserve the impermanent status of the space and how to maintain that through temporary, agile and resilient strategies.
To test culture-led projects and approaches that are able to strengthen further this asset.


In Athens, the project targets specifically the place recently called ‘PLEX’, located in the Athenian neighbourhood of Metaxourgeio.

BIOS will work with architects, artists, creatives and inhabitants to be more involved to the development of urbanism and the transformation of abandoned neighbourhoods of the city.

PLEX aims to create structures that support artistic practice, encourage collaboration with the local communities, and improve the overall quality of life in the city.


In Florence, the initial concept is to investigate the underused space, a space that is not empty per se, but is lacking in purpose and meaning. It will challenge the usages, looking at adding new ecological value and meaning. The intervention will investigate the idea of rethinking spaces and places through relational and generative mechanisms, leveraging the role of artists as key actors for social and civic change.


In Timişoara, the entry point will be to meet the needs of disadvantaged communities, contribute to enriching the quality of life of the city’s different communities and work to counteract the ghettoization of the city through reclaiming the use of empty spaces to create vibrancy and new forms of temporary occupations.