What are the geographical and human confines that currently define our urban lives? In the wake of the pandemic, what relationship has formed between “closed” and “open”? Between the slow pace of nature and the variability of the urban landscape?

UNLOCK THE CITY! is a project supported by Creative Europe Program and developed by an international network of theatres, academies and universities, to reflect on how performing arts, combined with scientific research, can become a tool for rethinking the landscape of the post-pandemic city. 

Four cities Antwerp (BE), Barcelona (ES), Milan (IT) and Piatra Neamt (RO) will be involved in an extensive program of research activities and didactic courses, as well as the creation of 12 theatrical productions assigned to 10 European artists called on to examine the concept of “limit” (social, physical, cultural, etc.) in the urban context.

The aim of UNLOCK THE CITY! is to generate qualitative and perceptive growth - in terms of habitability, accessibility and sustainability - of urban spaces, as well as to contribute to active awareness-raising within and the empowerment and involvement of territorial communities, organisations and public administration.


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10 European Artists 
12 Theatre Performances

Thanks to the creation of this international network the project develops, over 36 months, surveys on the territory focused on the study of the landscape in the post-pandemic city and preparatory to the creation and realization  of 12 theatre performances entrusted to 10 European artists

   The project

UNLOCK THE CITY! is a culture-led regeneration project aimed at developing an integrated working method that combines technical scientific and design-oriented research with theatre practice, making the latter a tool to trigger sustainable development processes in the post-pandemic city. 

The project is being developed in 6 different countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) and sees the alliance of four theatre institutions with a strong international vocation with two academies dealing with scenography and staging and a university specialised in the study of landscape. 

    Limit in 3 levels

Operating in 4 European cities  – Antwerp (BE), Barcelona (ES), Milan (IT) and Piatra Neamt (RO) –, in places or areas that played a key role for citizenship during the pandemic, UNLOCK THE CITY! explore the concept of limit (economic, social, physical, etc.) in the post-pandemic city, on 3 different levels:


What does it mean being community today? What are the limitations and issues that are most perceived by inhabitants and by realities living in an area. How do we gather the different perspectives and how can they be narrated?


Physical Urban Space

How has the perception and imagination of places changed in the wake of the pandemic? What are the transformations that will reshape the boundaries, internal and external, the topography of (especially public) spaces of our cities in the coming years?


Relationship between Theatre and the Urban Area selected 

The city and the theatre: the eyes of one are reflected in the other as in a mirror, but the theatrical function does not end only in the representation of reality. How can theatre establish new relationships with the territory it inhabits, making itself an instrument at citizens’ service and concretely affecting the life of the city, redrawing its relationships and boundaries?

   Training & education

The research that is developed along with the theatrical productions is linked to and implemented by a series of training and educational activities , in-depth study of the themes and engagement of the territory, (Classes, Fieldwork Labs, Creative Labs, Public Assemblies) that involve the close collaboration of artists, theater operators, students, university professors and experts from different disciplinary fields

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