The city of Valencia has chosen its first innovation mission (www.missionsvalencia.eu): to make Valencia a climate neutral city by 2030, in the context of the European mission of 100 climate neutral cities by 2030.
Ciutalab, the citizen laboratory promoted by Las Naves, is called to be a key instrument for the involvement of citizens in this climate mission.
I would like to systematise the CIutalab experience and reflect on strategies to include people and groups traditionally excluded from citizen involvement processes in this space.
When I received an email from Faberllull on the 8th of June inviting me to take part in a ten-day residency on "Citizen labs, landscape and sustainability", I was hesitant to accept. This mainly stemmed from the fact that I had my doubts about whether what I would learn in the residency would compensate for the probable accumulation of tasks that would be waiting for me after taking ten days off from my work.
On the 11th of November, shortly after finishing my stay at the residence and on my way home, I can categorically say that it was absolutely worth it.
My initial intention was to devote my time at the residence to put together an overview of everything we have done at Ciuta lab, the citizens' laboratory that we are running from La Naves, and to reflect on strategies for including people and groups that have tended to be excluded from the citizen-driven activities carried out in this space.
Now that the residency is over, it's safe to say that I've definitely made less progress towards this aim than I had originally planned. Nevertheless, thanks to the enriching exchange with the other participants in the residency, I was able to outline a strategy for incorporating cultural aids into the methodology of citizen laboratories, and I was able to come up with some new mediation strategies for Ciuta lab.
Much like a citizen's laboratory, my initial idea gradually evolved as I interacted with the other participants. I may not have obtained the results I had initially planned, but I was able to reach new conclusions, which were just as significant (if not more so). This wouldn't have been possible were it not for this interaction with others and all the insight that this diverse group of people at the residency were able to bring. In the same way as in a citizen's laboratory, and to borrow the words of Pep, another of the residents: learning, sharing, connecting, understanding and discovering.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take part in such a rewarding experience!