Transformative Cities Introduction

Publication date:

Transformative Cities is an opportunity for progressive local governments, municipalist coalitions, social movements and civil society organizations to popularize and share their experiences of tackling and finding solutions to our planet’s systemic economic, social, political and ecological crisis. For more visit:

About transformative cities introduction

The initiative draws on the emerging wave of transformative political practices taking place at municipal level worldwide, by launching a unique award process that will ensure that the lessons and inspiration of these cities becomes viral.

Please find the open call for applications to the Transformative Cities Initiative here.

Why are we doing this?

We face a systemic economic, political and ecological crisis. Yet nation states and transnational institutions have increasingly been captured by private corporate interests which only exacerbates the crises. As a result electorates feel increasingly disempowered and disaff ected by electoral politics.

TNI believes that the city can be a key space for the promotion of transformative political and economic practices. Cities can both model transformation and collectively have the power to bring us towards a world of peace, equity and democracy on a sustainable planet brought about and sustained by an informed and engaged citizenry.

General Objectives

  • To reward transformative experiences, and encourage their spread internationally.
  • To show that “transformation is possible”.
  • To encourage learning and exchange to deepen transformative practices.
  • To discover and recognise interesting case studies.

Expected results

  • An international database of relevant transformative practices and processes from all regions of the world.
  • Publications of case studies, media briefings and stories about transformative city experiences
  • Seminars and workshops to share best ideas and practices.
  • Online learning courses based on the cases shared learning: Reviewing what is possible and what is not, so we can speed up the process of transformation.

How does it work?

We hope to organize a new model of awards, one which is participatory, inspirational, and rooted in exchange and learning

Our aims are big but we will start small, the first edition of the award (2017) will look at 3 issues: Energy, Water and Housing.

Scoring/Ranking will be based on an open source methodology assessing 8 categories:


  • Equity and participation,
  • Efficiency and quality,
  • Accountability and transparency,
  • Sustainability,
  • Solidarity and Public Ethos,
  • Transferability,
  • Labour/Working conditions,
  • Impact

Process for the Transformatice Cities 1st Edition

July-Sep Open call to receive candidates
Sep Selection of 30 semi-finalists
Sep-Oct Jury scores semifinalists
Oct-Nov Transformative Cities Index built and published
Nov-Dec Top three experiences of each category are written up by commissioned journalists

Jan-Feb General Public vote for one story from each category to select the most inspiring experience
March Publication of the selected experiences based on popular vote

Dissemination most inspiring experiences and new cycle of the Project,
Extension to other issues (migration & solidarity, territorial food governance, drugs harm reduction)

Target Audiences

  • Activists and social movements working on: Right to the City, Access to basic rights, trade unionists and citizens against privatizations
  • Municipalist groups and coalitions
  • Universities (Architecture/Urbanism, Sociology, Political Economy)
  • Progressive city policy makers

What we are looking for

  • A Fearless Media to partner with and outreach to millions
  • Organisations, networks, groups and individuals interested in working with us to develop and apply methodologies that identity the most inspiring transformative experiences.

Interested? Send an e-mail to

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