LIFE QUALITY INDICATORS IN THE CROSS BORDER AREA
OF SLOVENIA, ITALY AND CROATIA
A digital photo contest for students to contribute to ESPON EU-funded project
DURATION: 3 months
COMMISSIONER: ESPON, EU Development Fund
LEADING PARTNER: Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems – ISINNOVA (Italy)
PROJECT PARTNERS: ZaVita (Slovenia), MCRIT (Spain), Spatial Foresight (Luxembourg)
The ESPON (European Spatial Planning Observation Network) “Quality of Life (QoL) Measurement and Methodology” project is a research initiative focused on studying and improving indicators for the spatial development of European regions. As part of this project, experts were tasked with defining new metrics for measuring the quality of life with a specific focus on Slovenia, Italy and Croatia.
To bring a fresh perspective to this effort, Non Architecture (NonA) was invited by consortia leader ISINNOVA to participate in the project and was asked to come up with a new approach to involve university students in the conversation. NonA responded by designing a participation process for students in the cross-border region of Koper, Trieste, and Pula, which is an area where people often commute between countries on a daily base.
Through a dedicated website, students were invited to submit a photo that captured their everyday experience of quality of life. As part of the submission process, students were also asked to participate in a gamified survey, which rewarded them with a book for their participation.
This participation process provided valuable input for the ESPON project in two ways. First, the survey responses provided quantitative data and suggestions for indicators that could be used to measure the quality of life. Secondly, the submissions from the students formed a powerful visual narrative of what quality of life means to the younger generation, with the photos serving as a strong visual representation of the topic.
Overall, this participation brought a new level of inclusiveness. This process allowed the ESPON QoL project to gain a deeper understanding of the quality of life from the perspective of university students, providing valuable insights that could inform the development of new metrics and strategies for improving the quality of life in European regions.
RESEARCH DIRECTOR, ISINNOVA
“Quality of life is directly driven by sense of belonging and collective memories. With the Cross-border city contest we captured a glimpse of these feelings through the eyes of young university students from Slovenia, Italy and Croatia.”