Samarbetsland: Brazil


Regional Focus: Europe

Time: May 2023-2026

ICLD is part of a consortium of European organizations to undertake a large-scale research project on inclusive nature-based solutions (NBS).


TRANS-lighthouses aims to gather evidence on material and immaterial results of NBS in order to rethink and reframe the main elements that compose the complexity of creating social and ecologically just NBS. More than a driving process, the collaborative work on planning and making NBS functional might stimulate a more concerted response towards environmental and climate crises, increasing the commitment of different stakeholders and upscaling their own spheres of action. TRANS-lighthouses adopts a nonlinear perspective and opens up space for the adoption of a fluid and organic position that is able to integrate the diversity of subjects, institutions, knowledge(s), practices and values. TRANS-lighthouses’ ambition is to become a European reference on sociopolitical challenges for supporting NBS projects and solutions. The socio-politics dimension will be part of the public agenda for NBS towards SYSTEMIC CHANGE. This ambition will be achieved by assessing the benefits and limitations of NBS co-creation that have already been implemented and designed, tested and disseminated economically and socially fairer guidelines for NBS implementation. For this purpose, the project will conduct a thorough assessment, grounded on a transdisciplinary approach and critical analysis. Constituting a well-oiled network of citizens, local governments, scientific institutions and civil society-based partners which acts across borders, disciplines and sectors, TRANS-lighthouses will lead research on activities aiming to implement socioeconomic and political changes capable of enabling pathways for a socially and ecologically just implementation of NBS. TRANS-lighthouses integrates a network of NBS lighthouses for urban, rural, coastal and forested areas in 10 EU countries and 6 non-EU.

NBS Lighthouses are:
● local/regional arrangements/platforms bringing together multiple actors;
● to enhance the NBS contributions to social and economic targets;
● to test new governance and co-creation models;
● to adequate NBS responses to different socio-political contexts;
● small-scale but big-picture projects than can be upscaled over time.

Expected output: designing economically and socially fairer guidelines for NBS implementation.

TRANS-Lighthouses is an acronym:
T – Transformative
R – Reflexive
A – Activist
N – Networked
S – Solutions
Lighthouses – shedding light on just and equitable practices to guide the way forwards

ICLD’s role in primarily in the governance and co-creation dimension, aiming to unveil and understand the governance and co-creation context, including under-researched actors, sectors and landscapes, agendas, rules and interactions; to design innovative governance models, towards community-based decisions; and to co-monitor and co-evaluate. We host Local Democracy Labs, and our deliverables will include policy briefs, learning cases and animated videos.


  1. Centre for Social Studies (CES) Portugal
  2. Roskilde University (RUC) Denmark
  3. Technical University of Munich (TUM) Germany
  4. The Cyprus Institute (CyI) Cyprus
  5. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) France
  6. Nantes Université (NU) (Affiliated to CNRS) France
  7. Université Gustave Eiffel (uni. Eiffel) (Affiliated to CNRS) France
  8. University of Louvain (UCLouvain) Belgium
  9. Sapienza, Università di Roma (Sapienza) Italy
  10. University of Extremadura (UEx) Spain
  11. Universidade dos Açores (UAc) Portugal
  12. ATHENA Research Centre (ARC) Greece
  13. Economias BioRegionales (EBR) Spain
  14. Município de Estarreja (CME) Portugal
  15. Município de Barcelos (CMB) Portugal
  16. Ville de Bruxelles – Stad Brussel (Brussels) Belgium
  17. Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) Sweden
  18. Associazione Jangada Onlus (Jangada) Italy
  19. Cooperativa de Incubação de Iniciativas de Economia Solidária (Kairós) Portugal

Associated partners

  1. Universidad de Chile Chile
  2. Universidad de Buenos Aires Argentina
  3. Universidade de Brasília Brazil
  4. Prefeitura de São Paulo Brazil
  5. Tata Institute of social sciences India
  6. University of Illinois USA
  7. University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania
  8. Polycom Development Project, Kenya
  9. Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, Brazil

This is an EU-funded project under call HORIZON-CL6-2022-COMMUNITIES-01 (Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities)

Environment/Climate changeInclusive leadership and governance
Globala mål
11 - Hållbara städer och samhällen13 - Bekämpa klimatförändringarna
Participatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting

Child-Focused Cities Analytical Framework

This research project, aiming to develop an analytical tool to address the Sustainable Development Goals from a child rights perspective, is divided into multiple steps. Phase two, conducted in 2023-2024 is described first while phase 1, which served to build the conceptual groundwork for the analytical framework, is described after.

Phase 2 – Child-Focused Cities [CFC] for the Sustainable Futures Network

Regional focus: Eastern Africa / Southern Africa / Europe / Latin America The Sustainable Futures Network

Time: July 2023 – July 2024


Child-Focused Cities (CFC) brings together a group of engaged researchers epistemologically curious about the inclusion of children and youth in local democracy. The group revolves around questions of why, how, where, and under what circumstances children and young people are recognised as political subjects and crucial role-players in shaping sustainable futures.

The project will facilitate cross-sectoral exchange between local decision-makers, researchers, and practitioners by embracing the format of Research Circles. Through local partnerships with reputable professional organizations specializing in working with children and young individuals, the research will enable creative interpretation of the CFC initial concept, thus illuminating multiple geographical and cultural registers around childhood, and providing the indispensable link between local politics and research. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a toolbox as a collection of practical instruments and protocols that will be essential for advancing the CFC agenda within the Sustainable Futures Network.

Research team

  1. Jua Cilliers [Australia], School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney
  2. Paula Barros [Brazil], Escola de Arquitetura Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  3. Lynne Cairns [Scotland], Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA), University of Durham
  4. Caroline Brown [Scotland],The Urban Institute, School of Energy, Geosciences, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University
  5. Predrag Milic [Serbia/Austria], Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space, TU Wien / Faculty of Architecture and Planning Austria
  6. Rongedzayi Fambasayi [South Africa], Play Africa Group NPC, Children’s Museum / Law and Development Research, North-West University
  7. Rejoice Katsidzira, [Zimbabwe] Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

Phase 1 – Let’s get together and make change: Towards The Child-Focused Cities Analytical Framework

Regional focus: East Africa, global

Time: October-December 2022

This study is conducted with an Impact Research Grant – stipends for projects designed to facilitate solutions to a local government’s expressed needs. The projects build on Local Democracy Labs, where local governments discuss a current issue with expert researchers.


This research ultimately aims to create a new toolkit –a relational object – that reframes the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from children’s perspectives in their respective everyday-life environments. Such a tool aims at the paradigmatic shift of the child-friendly city approaches by claiming that “friendly is not enough”! Conceptualised as the Child-Focused City Analytical Framework, the toolkit should offer guidance for analysis andaction to local governments, municipalities, and professionals within and beyond the ICLD network. In short, this project will enable a team of international scholars to revisit, contextualise, and stress-test the concept of the CFCAF, developed during the LDA2022. In this “stage zero” phase, contextualising the CFCAF to the needs of partnering local governments and professionals serves to stress-test the toolkit, jointly draw conclusions and prepare for its further development.

With a participatory approach and co-creation of results, the project encounters municipalities in their respective realities and engage in a constructive dialogue around child and youth inclusion. As a group of international scholars, the researchers will not do “research”, but “praxis: reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it” (Freire 2005: 51).

Municipal partners for this project are Livingstone and Victoria Falls, Zambia, while multiple municipalities participate as observers.

Inclusive leadership and governance
Globala mål
11 - Hållbara städer och samhällen17 - Genomförande och globalt partnerskap
Child rights and youth participationHuman RightsParticipatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting