The Center also engages in projects that aim to research, reflect and also develop new urban spaces, which fulfill public, memorial, and educational roles in the life of the contemporary city. Our projects focusing on urban spaces vary in scope and approaches, ranging from discussions to workshops, from architectural competitions to spatial installations, from video and art works to memorial sites. In our spatial projects we pay special attention to such issues as participation, sharing responsibility and knowledge, inclusive and critical reflections. We seek to explore how the past shapes our today and can give an understanding of contemporary challenges and possible changes.
The issue of participation was at the core for the program "Future City Game" that stressed the importance of citizens’ involvement in reflecting present challenges and outlining possible futures. The question of how to respect and work with the historical contexts, addressing contemporary challenges and envisioning urban change was among the issues addressed in two architectural competitions for specific sites in Lviv and were co-organized by the Center: for the sites of Jewish heritage in 2010 and for the site of Bernardine Monastery in 2012. The former was a critical milestone in one of our longest spatial initiatives: the memorial site The Space of Synagogues that transformed the place of neglected Jewish history into a memorial and public space marking the Jewish heritage of the city. Temporary spatial interventions aiming at public reflections of the city’s history was at the core of the workshop "Jewish History Sites in Lviv: Art, Heritage, Commemoration" dealing with several sites important for Jewish past and for the inclusive reading of history in the city. More generally, our spatial workshops focusing on urban sites and environments attempt to reconsider modalities of working with history, memory, and diverse heritage in public space and to develop good practices and inspirations, especially for local implementation. Among the results of our spatial workshops are city walks, another important format for the spatial part of our Public History program. Either off-line or digital, city-walks became an important format to activate discussions, learning, and exchange that has a potential for more inclusive and sensitive readings of the place. While most of our city-walks take place in Lviv, we also try to expand to other locations. As a part of the ReHerit project, the city of Uman has become an important place to explore the possibilities of this format.
Two long-term projects - ReHerit and Open Heritage - that were launched in 2018 within the EU programs Prospect ad Horizon-2020 - engage critically with the potential of urban spaces as heritage sites. Both projects, however different, set out to explore the social and cultural potential of heritage for local development and more inclusive and critical engagement with the past. Both projects contribute to a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable re-use of heritage sites.