The bank, the municipality and the community

‘The Square of Us’

A neighbourhood improvement program, centred on the local community of Montevideo, Uruguay that encouraged inter-generational collaboration working together improving their immediate public space.

How did the collaboration come about?

The Inter-American Bank (IDB)’s platform for innovation is the Cities Laboratory, which aims to test prototype co-design projects between the official bodies and local community. Citizen participation is the fundamental driver of the Cities Lab projects. Collaboration between the IDB, the National Government and the Municipality of Montevideo worked with the local community and the Espacio Lúdico organization to encourage the neighbourhood to take ownership and reclaim their public space.

The collaboration allowed the community to gather, activate, participate, reflect and intervene, using innovative models of communication suggested through collaboration with the Espacio Lúdico organization. It resulted in a public square where the locals applied their co-learning experiences from structured playful work-shops, and during a 10-day co-construction process, the local community baptized the live project.

Will the project continue beyond COVID-19 lockdown?

The project itself took place before the Covid-19 pandemic, but is a proven model of collaboration that communities and local municipalities can adopt to spring back from the pandemic and engage.

How was the project funded

The IDB’ subsidiary Cities Laboratory funded the project and guided the local community through face-to-face interaction and supplying the locals with the resources and tools needed to improve their p

Any other comments?

The plaza will continue to be cared for by the neighbourhood and has improved inter-generational relationships and security of the area. It is now considered an essential part of neighbourhood life.

In order of importance, please choose the relevant factors that contributed to the success of this project?

Response to need
Response to COVID-19
The 'big' idea
Social impact
Delivery of Project
Combination of skill sets
Combination of participants
Volunteer support
Existing relationships
Available funding