A Preliminary Model for Navigating in Social Sustainable City Development


Migration to Europe has increased over the last 40 years. Migration and mobility are inevitable in this century; these bring a variety of opportunities, advantages as well as challenges. Like in many countries, in Denmark, this change brings a mixture of different aspects where people with different cultural backgrounds, values, and ways of living need to live together in society. The current policy in Denmark promotes ´the mixed city´ as a model for solving the emerging social and environmental problems; it refers to the city as a place of dense populations where all neighbourhoods contain residents from across social, cultural, and economic spheres. With this perspective, this paper focuses on how design can play a role in expanding communities in deprived neighbourhoods as well as how designers/architects can enter as active partners in socially sustainable city development. The paper presents the conceptual framework of social frictions, the framework of social city models, and the role of the designer in order to analyse two student projects as cases in a masters programme as part of a two-year collaboration between the programme and youth clubs in a city in Denmark. The analysis of the two projects in connection with the discussion of social frictions, social city models, and the role of the designer/architect results in a preliminary model that consists of three main elements presenting the shifting role of the designer/ architect that we argue can support navigating in socially sustainable city development.


Canan Akoglu
Associate Professor, Lab for Social Design, Designskolen Kolding, Denmark

Anne Corlin
Assistant Professor, Arkitektskolen Aarhus, Denmark


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


2023 Special Focus—New Agendas for Design: Principles of Scale, Practices of Inclusion


Social sustainability, City development, The role of the designer, Inclusion

Digital Media


A Preliminary Model for Navigating in Social Sustainable City Development (pptx)