Expert article
Modifier 21 September 2022
by Konstantina Karydi, UIA Expert Resilience & Global Urban Affairs

Co-management and activation of large urban spaces in the era of climate transformation
Cartuja Qanat Interventions
This zoom-in article focuses on the New Governance and Social Innovation component of the project Cartuja-Qanat in Sevilla, which aims to propose an innovative shared citizen and service focused system for the management and revitalisation of open spaces. The goal is to catalyse the revitalisation of the new climate neutral space of Tomas Alva Edison inside Cartuja's Technological Park while actively identifying and supporting examples of citizen and business innovation and social action related to the field of climate transformation. The challenge is to identify a working model that will bring together different public and private actors who have an active stake in the space.

Key partners involved: EMASESA, City of Sevilla, Universidad de Sevilla, PCT Cartuja

Social Innovation and the co-management of a large newly developed public space

How can a city maintain its vibrant outdoors life when the temperature rises to 37 degrees on an average summer day? And how might this be possible while adhering to the Net-Zero energy consumption target set in the framework of the EU deal? This is the key strategic policy question that CartujaQanat is answering via a multitude of entry points:

  • Experimentating with new materials
  • Re-inventing an ancient old water cooling technique, the Qanat which derives from the Persian empire.
  • Exploring the appropriate co-management approaches to ensure the new space will be rediscovered and actively use by citizens and stakeholders alike.

The present article zooms in the third dimension: Social Innovation and the co-management of a public space.

The space:

  • An open air amphitheatre
  • A semi-underground events area
  • A technology demonstration area
  • Open-space recreation area


Activating a new space, dealing with multiple ownerships and maintenance. The triangle of challenges