ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
It is our mission to develop and strengthen local communities by creating spaces that promote people meeting each other and socialising. We support neighbourhoods, residents associations, local governments and entrepreneurs in improving urban public spaces.
In particular, we specialise in creating space solutions dedicated to senior citizens. Our priority is to increase mobility and act on behalf of ageing in the place in the home. We combine the potential of our consultant team of sociologists, architects and designers and we always work in harmony with the space and its users. We work with:
— local government
— the business community
Our partner and practical inspiration is the New York–based organisation Project for Public Spaces. The Foundation is a member of the Placemaking Leadership Council, an international community of placemakers led by Project for Public Spaces.
The JAK DZIAŁA MIASTO collective is dedicated to education on how the city functions and operates at the foundation www.jakdzialamiasto.pl.
THE MANAGEMENT BOARD
PRESIDENT OF THE MANAGEMENT BOARD
Marta is a sociology and political science graduate, who specialises in creating good public spaces and solutions for active ageing.
VICE–PRESIDENT OF THE MANAGEMENT BOARD
Magdalena is an anthropologist, a city researcher and placemaker, who works on studying what makes urban space social and how effectively to involve residents in shaping their surroundings.
MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Adam is a sociologist, cultural animator, expert in social consultations and specialist in building neighbourhood partnerships.
CHAIRWOMAN OF THE FOUNDATION COUNCIL
Marta is an urban anthropologist and an expert in sustainable mobility culture. She is co-founder of the SAS School of Community Architecture and editor-in-chief of the Magazyn Miasta (Cities Magazine).
MEMBER OF THE FOUNDATION COUNCIL
Tomasz is a civic politician, local government expert and expert on public policies related to the ageing society.
Address: ul. Bednarska 13/15 lok.16
Bank Account: BGŻ PARIBAS 86 2030 0045 1110 0000 0233 3250
mob: + 48 607 753 035
mob: + 48 502 222 653
Creation of Spaces
Creating, in cooperation with residents and designers, living public spaces, including the transformation of poorly functioning places, creating new spaces, building a new spaces programme.
Research on spaces
Conducting qualitative and quantitative urban research, e.g. assessing the quality and potential of spaces, shopping streets, inhabitants’ needs and local potential and conflicts.
The Foundation specialises in conducting audits of space availability from the perspective of people with limited mobility.
Realisation of public consultations related to space. Consultation of new documents like local plans, architectural designs and collection of guidelines for designers (pre-design stage).
SUPPORT FOR NEW INVESTMENTS
Cooperation with new investment project designers in the creation of common spaces and social programmes.
OFFER FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
Running quantitative and qualitative research programmes connected with ageing in the city. This includes research supporting new investments, evaluation of existing housing estates and spaces and pre-design research. We also conduct utility tests of products related to urban space carried out by senior citizens and audits of space accessibility for seniors.
DESIGN OF SOLUTIONS
Designing public spaces – parks, streets, housing estate areas taking into account the needs of senior citizens and designing dedicated, original street architecture. Creating non-standard and innovative solutions.
CREATING STRATEGIES AND SCENARIOS FOR NEW AND EXISTING INVESTMENT PROJECTS
Building a strategy for age-related investment projects – e.g. multi-generational buildings and housing estates and co-housing. Architectural and social concepts dedicated to ageing at home.
Cooperation with designers of new buildings, especially with respect to creating a social programme, building accessibility and designing solutions dedicated to the elderly.
SELECTED PLACEMAKING PROJECTS
Co-designing Inclusive Mobility
The pivotal question of CoMobility is how to limit car traffic so that residents benefit from this change, understand it, support and engage in this process. The goal of the project is twofold. First, to understand the connections between mobility, air quality, city infrastructure as well as the needs of urban residents. Second, to co-design accessible mobility-focused solutions that might improve the quality of life in certain areas of the city, and can be transferred to other areas and cities.
We will work closely with groups of residents, businesses, local governments, and scientists using methods taken from the citizen science, public participation, stream data processing, artificial intelligence, econometrics, and environmental modelling. With the focus on transport modes around several schools in Warsaw we will co-design and evaluate selected solutions in the area. Then we use these solutions to simulate their impact on the entire city. This will result in a toolkit disseminated among stakeholders, local government officials, and decision makers. CoMobility will provide a platform for the co-creation of new mobility solutions reducing use of private cars, and give the opportunity to update and verify our existing knowledge on mobility choices. By engaging various stakeholders in the development of sustainable and accessible means of transport, we contribute to paving the way towards safe and pedestrian-friendly public spaces and reduced air pollution. CoMobility has the potential to unravel causal relations between individual characteristics and individual transport behaviour, and to make another small step towards data-driven mobility solutions contributing to development of a human-centred, democratic, car-light, and neutral to climate change cities of the future.
In this project the On-site Foundation will implement a City Lab (urban living laboratory) around school communities to support sustainable urban interventions. The City Lab aims at fostering the development and implementation of innovation, experimentation, and knowledge in urban, real-life settings while emphasizing the important role of participation and co-creation.
The project is realized within the ‘Applied Research’ Programme operated by the National Centre for Research and Development under the EEA and Norway Grants.
The project consortium: The University of Warsaw, The SGH Warsaw School of Economics, The Warsaw University of Technology, The Norwegian Institute for Air Research, The Fridtjof Nansen Foundation at Polhøgda, City of Lublin and The On-site Foundation.
WARSAW DIALECT PUBLIC GARDEN
The project was commissioned by the Warsaw Municipal Greenspace Authority
More materials: namiejscu.org/2019/04/25/skwer-gwary-warszawskiej
Project based on local knowledge
The concept of the public garden square next to the former PDT (Department Store) in Wola was created in an extensive participatory process carried out by the Na Miejscu Foundation. It was initiated with a diagnosis of local residents’ needs, an audit of the accessibility of space for senior citizens and parents bringing up children and included design focus-group workshops and consultations attended by about 500 participants. The project is currently under development with the involvement of local institution partnerships. This group includes businesses, local government and cultural institutions (e.g. Wolskie Centrum Kultury, Skanska, Wola Borough Office, local cooperatives and the Voivodship Labour Office).
Space and events project
The concept was the brain-child of a team of designers and sociologists. Under the direction of Marta Tomasiak, the landscape architects created the design in consultation with local partners. Concurrently, a group of sociologists worked on a programme of events that fitted into the local context. The programme may be launched even before physical modernization with the view to make a start to returning this place to its inhabitants.
The concept of space
The neglected public garden space is to become an active local centre – a public space with varied functions, active „fringes” involving a local partnership and adaptation of ground-floor premises linked to the urban context both in a purely „physical” sense – restoration of the possibility of pedestrian crossings at street level, introduction of a bike path, clear marking of the entrance zones to the garden, as well as the historical context – a programmatic and aesthetic reference to the location’s history (including the former WZ Cinema and introduction of a summer cinema, lighting hanging on the terrace of the Wenecja Restaurant and contemporary additional glade illumination, furniture solutions by Sołtan and Ihnatowicz,the architects of the Wenecja Restaurant inspiring contemporary urban furniture design). The garden programme was organised within five functional zones – (1) park, (2) glade, (3) alleys, (4) entrance squares and (5) „buffer zone”.
RECLAIMING THE BACKYARD
This project has been commissioned by the Warsaw Municipal Greenspace Authority
Working to transform Warsaw’s backyards together with local residents. The concrete-lined spaces between buildings will become green, attractive places of rest and meetings for neighbours.The renovated courtyards are supposed to encourage meetings between people enjoying their time together. We plan to create places to sit around, play and relax. Also, we believe the backyards will be safe places due to increased people traffic and neighbours’ vigilant eyes, rather than fencing and CCTV monitoring.
Renovation of backyards supports the creation of:
– neighbourhood meeting places
– a bit of fresh air by replacing concrete with greenery, which lowers summer temperatures, increases humidity and cleans the air
– access to greenery for residents of housing estates located far away from large parks
This project has been commissioned by Skanska and implemented in cooperation with Project for Public Spaces
This is a social project realised in cooperation with Skanska, the developer of the SPARK office building complex at Wolska street. The project lasted more than 3 years and was dedicated to building good space in the vicinity of this new office development.
RESEARCH ON THE NEEDS OF RESIDENTS
The social project was based on a diagnosis of the local community’s needs (qualitative study, 2016). The main conclusions are:
1. No MEETING SPACES. Even a small friendly public space.
2. The feeling of INSECURITY caused by the very high level of homelessness and drug addiction in the area (this is connected, according to residents, with the HIV/AIDS therapy and methadone therapy at the Wolski Hospital).
3. ARCHITECTECTURAL BARRIERS hindering mobility – in particular the inaccessible underground passageway at the PDT and the high number of illegally parked cars (this is just outside the city paid-parking zone).
As a result of residents and designers’ combined efforts, three spatial development projects have been created.
1. Greenery project in Kolonia Wawelberga (received funding for implementation from the Wola Borough Office as part of the Local Initiative), landscape architecture designed by Martyna Ciszewska.
2. Conceptual design of the development of the Warsaw Dialect Public Garden under the name „New Venice”, landscape architecture designed by Łukasz Kowalski. The concept was handed over to the city.
3. The last project is a purely informal local initiative. It is a „Neighbour’s Hut”, a playground house for children, built by the inhabitants of ul. Mlynarska.
A series of projects supporting small-scale local trade and services have been carried out under the slogan „buy locally”. There was a week of local buying and publicity encouraging people to buy Christmas presents locally in the Wola area.
GARDENS TO PLAY IN
This project has been commissioned by the Warsaw Municipal Greenspace Authority
More materials: http://jakdzialamiasto.pl/ogrody-do-zabawy
The Foundation, in cooperation with residents and artists, has created 5 childrens’ playgrounds using natural materials like stones, cones, bark, stumps, wicker and branches.
Natural (non) playgrounds are an alternative to the standard urban playground. They offer less obvious activities, focusing on exploring the environment through play, experimentation and adventure. In an environment of this kind, children may get dirty but also they become more creative and inquisitive. Places like this are also more ecological and maybe even more aesthetically pleasing than the classic, often over-colourful, playground.
Project implemented with funds from the Batory Foundation, the city of warsaw and skanska
Project partner: Project for Public Spaces
The aim of the project was to transform the square at ul. Krochmalna 3 with the participation of residents and local partners. The project was implemented in the spirit of placemaking and is the first project of its kind with the participation of the American organisation Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in Poland. The project was created in partnership between non-governmental organisations, local government and businesses. The dialogue with residents on the changes at ul. Krochmalna 3 started in 2012 with workshops, surveys and observations. The workshops were co-run by a representative of Project for Public Spaces. Also in cooperation with PPS, we developed a concept of temporary interventions and zoning of the square (LQC concepts – light, quick and cheap) The first changes at ul. Krochmalna 3 were prototypes designed to check which of the initial ideas would work best (there were 11 innitiatives). The evaluation of the temporary projects was the basis for the square development concept by the CENTRALA project group. The architects Małgorzata Kuciewicz and Simone de Iacobis based the concept on the idea of thematic islands, which can be created systematically or independently of each other. This architectural assumption made it possible to carry out the subsequent investment projects in small steps. In the course of several years of activity at ul. Krochmalna 3, the Foundation carried out 3 consultation processes and several dozen animation activities. The winning project received a participatory budget of PLN 140,000 and the local initiative got PLN 20,700. The project was implemented in partnership with local government, local educational institutions and businesses. The partnership has had a real impact in terms of transforming the square thanks to the involvement in the investment projects and programme implementation.
SELECTED PROJECTS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
TOILET FOR ME TOO
The project was implemented with funds from the National Centre for Research and Development (the funds were from the European Active Assisted Living Fund and the project has been implemented by an international partnership led by the Vienna University of Technology)
Project website: www.toiletforme.com
The aim of the Toilet For Me Too project (T4Me2) is to develop a flexible toilet in the public and semi-public space for the autonomous use of senior citizens and disabled people. The toilet is designed to be approachable, clean, safe and easy to use.
We are working on a toilet system with ICT-based, adaptive physical stand-up and control support with integrated safety features. It will allow people with movement or mobility restrictions, who currently require human assistance, to use the toilet independently and safely. This is the next step towards barrier-free toilets in public spaces for the disabled and senior citizens.
The project T4ME2 is funded in part by AAL and national research funding agencies. AAL is the funding association behind Toilet For Me. AAL is a European programme funding innovation that keeps people connected, healthy, active and happy into our old age. They support the development of products and services that make a real difference to people’s lives – for those facing some of the challenges of ageing and for those who care for older people if they need help.
The Foundation as a partner of the Museum of Modern Art runs a series of activities devoted to SENIORAL COHOUSING.
The group’s main theme is to reflect on this form of community living in the late years. The form of cohousing in the senior and intergenerational form is the one being considered.
Cohousing is based on a combination of private and community-accessible spaces. Private housing is organised around a common space including a dining room, garden or living room.
The inhabitants are also involved in the life of the community, creating a kind of clan village.
Cohousings are usually created by groups of friends who are linked by their worldview and life stage. The groups can be homogeneous or mixed – we look at both elderly-only and intergenerational communities; feminine and mixed; for LGBTQ people and those without a profile of this kind.
DEBATE: Feminisation of senior cohousing in English
Guests: Maria Brenton, Mette Kjörstad.
Our reportages about cohousings:
1. A safe place
3. Weathering the Storms of Life
Project financed by the city of warsaw
Project website: www.starszyzna.org
Senior as designers in collaboration with Academy of Fine Arts design students created solutions to make life in the urban environment easier for people over the age of 60.
Intergenerational teams worked out designs under the direction of Dr Tomek Rygalik – head of Product Design Studio No. 6 at the Faculty of Design of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. As a result, prototypes of concepts were created, which will be on display at an exhibition during the Warsaw Senior Week. The design was preceded by a joint training and the analysis of collected already existing good practices in Warsaw.
In a series of seminars, we ordered and extended the project participants knowledge on the conditions of urban ageing.
Link to the film: https://vimeo.com/294407628
AUDITS OF THE ACCESSIBILITY OF PUBLIC SPACES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
We evaluate the comfort and accessibility of space according to the needs of people over the age of 60 using a proprietary scenario and method. We draw attention to measurable deficiencies and barriers in space (e.g. inaccessible stairs or footpaths) and a qualitative assessment of the character and atmosphere of the place. The result of the audit is a report with recommendations for improvements. It is also possible to immediately design the desired solutions.
So far, we have assessed the following places and solutions:
– ul. Wolska (from Rondo Kercelak to ul. Młynarska)
– access paths and ramps at Plaza Poniatówka, a urban riverside beach area
– the River Vistula boulevards near the metro station
– Plac Defilad
– the new transport junction in Międzylesie (as a support for the Wawer Senior Citizens’ Council)
– a new model Warsaw public bench
FOCUS ON SENIOR CITIZENS’ COUNCILS
The project has been financed under the Citizens for Democracy programme from the EEA Fund.
The Foundation participated in three processes of participatory space planning so senior citizen’s needs are taken into account . The design was based on cooperation between architects and older people involved with local senior citizens’ councils. New spatial arrangements have been created in Prudnik, Elbląg and Lublin.
The studies were prepared by landscape architects: Krzysztof Herman and Łukasz Kowalski and architect Piotr Bujas.