The Ghent pioneering

It all started in Ghent

The Living Street is the result of a project initiated by the City of Ghent. In 2012 the City asked a group of citizens, entrepreneurs and civil servants to imagine a sustainable future for their city. Their vision can be found in their agenda for the future “The Trojan bike”. A network of car-free zones built around central squares, with rapid transit bike lanes, public transit, and neighbors talking in the street. The group realized that only a vision by itself would not change the world. To make it really happen, they launched concrete experiments, such as the Living Street (“Leefstraat”) and tried to make their dreams of the city of tomorrow visible today.

The power of a temporary network

The front-runners of the first hour organised themselves for a couple of years in a temporary network: The Trojan Lab. The Lab connects collaborating citizens, businesses, city services and organisations in Ghent to bring about a new way of city governance. The Lab -through its unique approach- demonstrates that structural changes are possible and that experimenting and envisioning are solutions which can take away humans’ innate resistance to change. This approach can help to achieve sustainable, sociable and climate-neutral cities in a better, faster and co-creative way.

Pussemierstraat Ghent, one of the two first Livingstreet-experiment (spring 2013 © www.livingstreet.org