UNLOCK THE CITY! is an international 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 programme takes place in six European countries (Belgium, Italy, Norway, the Czech Republic, Romania and Spain) and involves four theatrical institutions with a strong international presence (the Teatre Lliure of Barcelona, the Teatrul Tineretului of Piatra Neamț and the Toneelhuis of Antwerp, as well as the Piccolo), two expert academies of Performing Arts and theatrical programming (Østfold University College & Norwegian Theater Academy of Fredrikstad and The Academy of Performing Arts, AMU of Prague), as well as a university specialised in the study of the landscape (the Politecnico di Milano).

In each of the four “sample” cities (Antwerp, Barcelona, Milan, Piatra Neamț), urban areas or locations that played a key role for citizens during the pandemic have been identified, after which research is carried out to explore the concept of limits (economic, social, physical, etc.) within the urban landscape.

This research takes place on three different levels: community (subject), physical space (object), the relationship between theatre and urban area (relationship).

Over the course of three years (from 2023 to 2026), thanks to close collaboration between artists, theatre operators, students, university professors and experts (both local and international) on a range of disciplines, and therefore to the development of an integrated working method – in which theatre hybridises with scientific research – the project aims to develop activities regarding:

  • an examination of the territory and a study of the post-pandemic city landscape;

  • the creation and production of twelve performances by ten European artists;

  • thematic workshops and educational courses aimed at university students. 

For the Piccolo, these new productions, which are destined to become part of the programming for the upcoming seasons, also involve some of its associated artists: Marta Cuscunà, Davide Carnevali and Sotterraneo.

UNLOCK THE CITY! has a single prime objective: to generate an increase in quality in terms of the habitability, accessibility and sustainability of urban spaces in post-pandemic cities through awareness-raising within and the active involvement of communities, organisations, and public administration.


For further information unlockthecity.eu