March 23 2016
By Nicole Andreou

Jesper Koefoed-Melson

In today’s fast-paced world, there is a constant desire and demand for cities to create, develop and grow. These aims, which usually emerge from the knowledge of a few, lead to gaps when vibrant cities are being created. People have lost their inspiration to truly live and be involved in their local areas. What remains are empty public spaces and people living in, but not experiencing, urban life.

Reconsider Spaces

Jesper Koefoed-Melson aspires to redesign urban development by involving residents in the designing of their cities and returning power to those people who know their neighbourhoods best, which, in turn, makes residents both stakeholders in projects and key actors in local urban development. His vision is to “look more into the people who inhabit the city and change the way they view the city.”

Instead of putting up new buildings, Jesper suggests reconsidering the possibilities of old buildings, thereby making urban planning more sustainable and organic. Through the creation of a framework, which enables people to create their own projects in empty buildings and spaces, Jesper’s vision transforms and sets new standards for residents’ involvement.

Jesper’s talk will inspire people to look at the many untapped opportunities public spaces can provide. More importantly, you will be moved to reconsider what it is to be a resident who is part of a transformative process for designing shared spaces.

by Claudine Dizon


Jesper Koefoed-Melson is a Partner and CEO of GivRum, a non-profit working to make our cities more democratic and engage more people in urban development. GivRum is a professional organisation working primarily for cities that want to involve a diverse interest group in cultural and social development of areas.

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