Meet & Create

If living in the city inspires you, if you see possibilities, if you want change, what would you do?

We choose to Meet & Create!

We meet with purpose and agenda of co-creating. We discovered that although we might have common ideas, we usually barely take the time to share them and transform them into action. Meeting and creating at different scales and levels and through different events starts with initiating action and involvement. This then results in brainstorming sessions, social events or building workshops.

 

Our aim is to create ambassadors for active co-creation among the urban citizens and create a platform for growing innovative ideas, skills and confidence, shared positive experiences and networks of engaged people with strong personalities.

Creative Roots is an international organisation for co-creative and tactical urban
transformation based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

A community of urban designers, landscape architects and other enthusiasts of urban
life, it provides a collaborative platform between local citizens, students, businesses,
decision-makers and experts to meet and create in the urban environment.

By involving the actors in meaningful action and revealing local assets, our projects
strengthen local social connections whilst impacting mental perceptions and physical
aspects of the intervention sites.

Our association emerged from a common wish of filling up the gap between the
student and professional life. The idea was to create a platform which would support
initiatives through networking and sharing practical skills.
As urban designers, we are interested in the interaction between cities and people.
We believe it is people and their actions that shape the city; even by not doing
anything to the space, you are shaping it. Therefore, we choose to consciously act on
the urban space.

What initially started as a student association, Creative Roots has grown into an international social enterprise composed of both a professional team and an active community of volunteers and enthusiasts.

The professional team within Creative Roots Studio performs community-building operations, offers consultancy services on co-creative and tactical urban transformation and develops innovative collaborative processes.

The student-run association Creative Roots presented by an active community of students and young professionals of various urban design related fields, supports the realization of new initiatives through prototyping in the urban space. This unique and dynamic constellation ensures both practical experience and the latest innovations to nourish our projects, whilst enabling students to participate in real projects, take responsibility and express their creativity.

We believe we are all shaping our cities of tomorrow through our daily actions

Our story

The initiative
Creative Roots was founded in August 2012 as an association of students in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Copenhagen.

However, looking back, the real shift occurred a few months earlier late one night when Anaïs launched ‘Co-Creative Urban Design’, a Facebook group calling for her fellow students to come together and initiate urban interventions. This way they would gain real practical experience of co-creative urban life by learning by doing with citizens and professionals.

The idea spread rapidly among her fellow students at the ‘hands-on’ course Urban Play. Indeed, discussing the idea revealed a common wish to fill the gap between the student and professional life, whilst developing skills one cannot learn behind a desk, but which are relevant for today’s urban challenges and transformation processes. With the first Creative Roots’ enthusiasts, we defined our shared values and vision through a series of co-creative breakfasts, and launched our young association in September 2012 with a speech at the Think Space Conference and a Park(Ing) Day urban intervention.

Urban Laboratory 
Meanwhile, together with the artist Hanne S. Nissen from KulturContainerne Gruppen, Anaïs was developing Creative Roots’ first professional collaboration with Frederiksberg Municipality – an Urban Laboratory for 52 Weeks of activities at the Tanke Zone in Ku.Be. The initial concept was to create cultural life and social networks in Flintholm, a new neighborhood in Frederiksberg through ‘Cultural Containers’ on the construction site of the future Ku.Be cultural centre. In the planning process the idea evolved from containers to the temporary use of empty shops right next to the building site. Creative Roots celebrated the opening of its first urban laboratory in January 2013.

Throughout the year we realized various projects, including KOS interventions, initiated by Heidi Thorstensen, Urban Movie Nights, initiated by Thomas Kerekes, Pop-Up Gardens, developed by Victor Olsen-Aalund (and was consequently the subject of his Master thesis), Urban Walks, lead by Frederiksberg’s former city architect and in synergy with another Ku.Be actor, Natalia Ivanova  and the parkour team of Street Expression; a street game

‘Soil is Poison’ for the w00t Copenhagen Play Festival, developed by Pauline De Gorostazu and realized in a collaborative spirit by the Creative Roots team. The intention of these initiatives was to enable local people to meet and create meaningful shared experiences that would have a long-term impact on the development of their neighborhood. The Pop-Up Gardens have indeed inspired the landscape architects of the cultural center to add urban gardening to their plan, as well as many other temporary urban garden projects Creative Roots have been a part of since.

Frederiksberg Dage Open Streets and Skjulte Perler
In Spring 2013, Creative Roots expended its field of action to the whole of Frederiksberg through the collaboration with Frederiksberg Experience, the union of businesses of Frederiksberg. Together with the businesses’ coordinator, Sine Lyons, many local businesses and residents and a dozen students of various backgrounds, Creative Roots coordinated four Open Streets initiatives for Frederiksberg Dage: in Værnedamsvej, H.C. Ørstedsvej, Peter Bangs Vej and an open neighborhood along Kong Georgs Vej and Dronning Olags Vej. The latter – Frederiksbergs Skjulte Perler, was Anaïs’ Master thesis project, with the urban renewal of Nordre Fasanvej area in perspective. Drawing from our experiences and new knowledge from the FRB Open Streets events, we realized an exhibition in September 2013 to keep the dialogue going and collectively reflect on the process and the future perspectives of such community events. This was indeed fruitful as we renewed our collaborations the following year during other successful Open Streets and Skjulter Perler projects in 2014.

Byens Rum Frb
Although still connected to Ku.Be with the successful take-over of the Urban Movie Night by Ana Santini, Creative Roots kick-started 2014 in a new office in byens rum frb, an urban laboratory set up by Jesper Koefoed-Melson from Givrum.nu. There we co-habit with Givrum.nu, Akademiker Center under Frederiksberg’s Job Center and Områdefornyelsen Nordre Fasanvej Kvarteret.