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Urban communication

city crowdIt is simple, really: People tend to be happier when they feel involved in the decisions that affect their lives. The more power is taken away, the more powerless and estranged from our surroundings we feel.

A city does not want a population of estranged and powerless individuals. Besides from being generally unhappy, such individuals do not show great initiative. They do not open new shops or cafés. They do not found new start-up businesses. They do not set up cultural events. Nor do they participate in many.

As the cities of the 21st century are being so dramatically transformed, it is easy to be left feeling a bit powerless. Like greater forces are reshaping one’s world without one being able to play any part in it.

This is why the clever city, the ambitious city, seeks to involve its citizens in how the physical frames are evolving — and should evolve. An entire population cannot be urban designers, but simply feeling well-informed goes a long way in also feeling involved and establishing a connectedness with one’s city.

Add two-way communication and the option to contribute with ideas and suggestions, and you are well on your way to becoming an engaged city. The city people live in needs to feel like a shared project.

Engagement through closeness and narrative

UBLA’s approach is to first understand the culture of a given city. People are more alike than we often think, but cultural differences play a part. What are the typical, existing aspirations for people of the city? What is their current relationship with the city? How is their understanding of their city?

whole new image of the cityWhat is a staple in all contexts, however, is that we communicate to city-dwellers in a plain and visual language that emphasises consequences over anything else.

How could this change my life?

Simultaneously, we work to construct a clear narrative of the city. People understand things, and develop relationships with things, through stories.

Bringing the perception of the city close to people’s lives, and articulating the city itself by letting it evolve through a past, present and possible futures, is the key to engaging the people of a city.

And engaging citizens in the reshaping of their surroundings will foster enterprise and an urban dynamism that will benefit the entire city.


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Our core communication principles




Once humans have visualised a possible future, their engagement in bettering things increases immensely — benefitting all.

Invite and engage

Invite and engage

City dwellers need to feel a sense of empowerment to truly engage with the city. If invited to contribute, in however small ways, people become part of a shared dream.

Narrative and identity

Narrative and identity

Creating a city narrative allows inhabitants to become part of something bigger — an ongoing project to improve the frames of our lives, for our own sake and for our children's sake.

Move the inside out

Move the inside out

Most of us care about our homes, our physical frame. Simply extending this interest into the space around our homes, creates new levels of engagement.

Our communication services


<div class="service-com-header">Urban Communication</div>Your own popular media

Urban Communication
Your own popular media

Wish to become an engaged city? Stimulate interest and pride through publishing a print or digital media and create a city narrative. The cost is low — the impact extremely high.

<div class="service-com-header">Urban Communication</div>Visuals, Campaigns & Tech

Urban Communication
Visuals, Campaigns & Tech

Need to inform or change behaviour? Don't talk to people in municipality-speak. We help you get a clear message across — and utilise tech wisely.

<div class="service-com-header">Urban Communication</div>Keynotes

Urban Communication

Let us help inspire and motivate you to engage your citizens through the communication you produce.

How we work with design