Who? Why? What?
Self-organization as a tool for the socio-ecological transition

Key Concepts

  • Spaces of Adaptation are self-organised, community-driven places with a high level of resilience with an aim to move towards a sustainable future.
  • Self-organisation: a non-governmental, citizen-led, localised form of organisation.
  • Participation is within this context a form of self-organisation that includes co-design


Spaces of Adaptation is a network of initiatives and projects that are at their core self-organised, community-driven places with a high level of resilience aiming to move towards a sustainable future. SoA works interdisciplinarily involving not only urban changemakers and self-organized spaces, but also research and political actors. Some of the project partners / members aligning on this initiative are: TU Delft (Delft, The Netherlands) for the academic backbone; Space of Urgency and MitOst for the participatory leads; as spaces: BASIS (Silandro, Italy), Critical Concrete (Porto, Portugal), ADM - ‘Het Groene Veld’ (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Promprylad (IvanoFrankivsk Oblast, Ukraine), InCommon (Thessaloniki, Greece); and the Urban and Policy departments of Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam & Helsinki.


Self-organized spaces have long been undervalued and under attack by mainstream institutions - yet, they hold many elements needed to face the climate crisis: resilience & justice at their core. It is relevant then to understand their importance in the needed transition and investigate what can be learned from these spaces, what are the good models and practices, and in which way some of their foundational values are key placeholders to face the climate crisis today.


Spaces of Adaptation’s strategy:
  • Recognize value of existing spaces in demonstrating social and ecological resilience;
  • Help spaces to develop fundable case studies to scale and replicate;
  • Connect these case studies to social investors, institutions and other funders;
  • Advocate for self-organization as a policy tool

With / by

Spaces of Adaptation is delivered by Space of Urgency in a partnership with Actors of Urban Change (Actors), a program by MitOst e.V. supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Actors of Urban Change is a community-driven, international good-practice network promoting sustainable urban development based on a culture of co-creation as a driving force for positive change. Actors will join FREI(T)RÄUME to help us explore how to achieve a greener, fairer society for all by empowering civil society, leveraging the power of self-organisation and citizen initiatives.