CoGent, a response to culturally engage citizens in the digital transitionWith a kick-off event in December, the city of Ghent launched CoGent (the collection of Gent residents), a European funded initiative within the Urban Innovative Action programme (UIA) which provides resources to test new and unproven solutions addressing urban challenges. The project has been awarded 4,7M € by the UIA, which was in its last call, looking for initiatives on the topic of culture and cultural heritage.
CoGent strives to make culture and cultural heritage more accessible to all through opening data. Its first step will consist of digitalizing 100.000 heritage items of the Flemish city which will be the cultural kit for the data infrastructure that then, will be used to create a high-tech mobile experience room, called the white space.
One of the striking components of this project is its socially inclusive nature. By 2022, the mobile immersive experience will traverse 3 socially diverse neighbourhoods of Gent and visitors will be able to add their own stories. Thus, the project aims to culturally integrate residents of foreign origin in the collective heritage of the city.
The ultimate collaborative collection will be ready in 2023 when it will have a permanent space in the new wing of the Design Museum of Gent called DING, to remind us that granting access to digital culture strengthens, as well, our own communities.
You can find more information on the Initiative here.