Neighborhood Democracy in Urban Communities

About the project

The project aims to enhance the civic space in Bulgaria’s urban communities through democratic participation of the public in the development of public spaces, the concept of placemaking and the promotion of local community policies in public administrations.

The project “Neighborhood Democracy in Urban Communities”, funded by Active Citizens Fund through a European Economy Area Grant, aims to contribute to democracy in the targeted communities and to strengthen democratic culture and civic awareness at a community level.

By organizing interventions with citizens’ participation, capacity building of NGOs and municipal employees, the project will lay the foundations for a democratic dialogue on a local and national level, boost neighborhood democracy in local communities, inspire citizens to participate in the political processes at a local level and encourage trust between members of the community.

The project will mainly contribute to (1) national policies and regulations, influenced by NGOs, and (2) local policies and regulations, issued by the local authorities and local governments, influenced by NGOs.

Project Partner: BG BE ACTVE

BG Be Active is a Bulgarian non-governmental organization that promotes active citizenship and community engagement in projects related to placemaking, place management, physical activity, healthy lifestyle and littering prevention by organizing awareness-raising campaigns, educational activities and partnership-building projects. The organization works at local level, national and international level, using placemaking as a  means to urban development.

Webpage: Instagram: @bg_beactive

Nabolagshager Role

Nabolagshager will work as experts in:

  • Setting up a methodology and theoretical framework for researching successful placemaking cases in Norway and Bulgaria.
  • Writing a publication with successful cases and trends in placemaking in the context of citizen democracy in Bulgaria and Norway.
  • Developing a Community Toolkit to enable better communication, connect local stakeholders, and enhance local placemaking interventions.
  • Developing an impact measurement methodology (using Theory of Change and Social Network Analysis).
  • Conducting research studies to measure local citizen’s attitudes.
  • Developing a toolkit for municipalities to open up dialogues with local actors and integrate input, building trust between public administrators, civic organizations, and local citizens.


This publication gathers successful placemaking stories from Bulgaria and Norway to build an understanding of how communities are interconnected with their public spaces and their sense of shared ownership of their cities and its public spaces. We hope you will enjoy wandering through this document and we hope these placemaking stories inspire you, like they have inspired us, to connect to people and public places in a new way. Download here .

This toolkit was created based on research on Bulgarian and Norwegian placemaking for democracy practices (see publication above). Based on this research, we identified the current challenges and opportunities to use placemaking to enhance democratic citizen participation in Bulgaria and Norway, and how these challenges could be addressed. We have created this toolkit based on these challenges, to help practitioners, community groups, and local citizens to empower themselves and others to have a say in what happens in their communities and in their public spaces Download here.


For questions about this project, contact:

Kim Weger – Community Relations

Laura Martinez – Director of Research