We create beautiful, meaningful and unique places and human connections through our projects. But our long-term goal is bigger than that. We are building a Do-It-Ourselves (DIO) culture. When locals, our crew and volunteers lead change, our impact is not only created from one project, but also from mobilisation of our fellow citizens. With the landowner’s support, trust in the institution is restored and it is no longer expected to tend to public spaces alone.

The outcome of citizen-led city-making is that the locals have a shared sense of belonging to their neighbourhood and an informal understanding as to what constitutes acceptable use and management of the place. The public space expresses their shared identity through materials, artworks and land uses.

The DIO culture is also important for socially isolated participants who are reminded through our projects that their identities matter and are worth being shared.

Join our movement*.

*Maybe on Instagram! We are sharing our citizen-led urbanism stories. From Songdo and Hanoi, to Amsterdam and New Orleans, we collected stories about citizens appropriating their local public spaces and how we can create meaning in places. They illustrate small but impactful ways that ordinary citizens humanise our cities. Share your stories using #smallshift