Over the past year Social Life has been leading a process to develop new ideas for social innovations which can address local needs in five industrial towns across Europe. This is part of Bright Future, an ESRC-funded European research project in association with JPI Urban Europe, exploring the qualities and characteristics of industrial towns across the continent.
In this report, we bring together the findings from the participatory research undertaken by the project partners in five European towns - Corby (United Kingdom), Fieni (Romania), Heerlen (the Netherlands), Kajaani (Finland), and Velenje (Slovenia). We highlight the common themes which emerged at each stage of the project and some of the lessons these might offer policymakers. We also reflect on some of the strengths and weaknesses of our methodology.
Many thanks to all those who generously offered their time and insights to the project. The next stage of Bright Future will focus on how policy can support industrial towns across Europe to adapt and thrive in the future.