The Urban Fabric Initiatives Network

What is it?

It is an international network of stakeholders in participatory and transitional urban development (also referred to as temporary, tactical, transient, interstitial or transitory urban development). This network is open to all stakeholders who are interested and involved in the urban fabric.

What do we do?

We share, discuss, train in and test ways of making the city "in common". The Urban Fabric Initiatives Network proposes activities to identify and contribute to the creation of new urban fabric initiatives, to provide support and expertise to current urban fabric initiatives, training courses, residencies, study trips, peer discussion workshops, student workshops, etc.


The network is open to all those who conceive and make the city on a daily basis! These are representatives of public project contractors, local authorities or State agencies working for urban development, residents' and users' groups, local associations, civil society and local economy organisations, universities and researchers, students, international development stakeholders, etc.

How to participate in the network?

There are several possibilities: as a member of an urban fabric initiative or a project contractor that is a partner of an urban fabric initiative; as ad hoc participants in discussions and exchanges; or even as an individual or structure interested in these approaches.

The network is an open forum for discussion and sharing, learning and training.

Your ideas, contributions and experiences are welcomed! Come and interact with us, share documentation on this collaborative opendata platform, talk about your experiences, write to us and tell those around you about us!

By subscribing to the newsletter and/or contacting the network's secretariat:

Halte PNR Dakar

Who facilitates the Urban Fabric Initiatives Network?

A team of partners based in France and Senegal, made up of:

Le Gret

GRET is an international solidarity organisation whose objective is to reconcile satisfaction of essential needs, social rights and environmental imperatives. Since 1976, its teams have been implementing the most locally appropriate solutions and partnerships to improve populations' living conditions while preserving our planet. In Burkina Faso and Senegal, GRET also operates the Ouagadougou Urban Fabric Initiative and the Dakar Urban Fabric Initiative. It draws support from qualified teams in countries and mobilises the network of partners it has built up over the past 40 years working in Europe and overseas territories, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.


UrbaMonde is an association that was created in 2005 in Switzerland and in 2015 in France. Its objective is to promote collaborative housing locally and internationally, and to increase residents' power to act. The association facilitates the Cohabitat network, which brings together community-based organisations, including Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR). In all these countries, residents in precarious neighbourhoods are federated and mobilised around data collection, savings groups and political advocacy. They manage urban funds and conduct projects for restructuring and access to services in collaboration with public authorities. Since 2007, urbaMonde has been supporting particpatory urban planning, flood risk management and improvement of housing in Senegal alongside urbaSEN. These two associations operate the Dakar Urban Fabric Initiative.

Cabanon Vertical

Cabanon Vertical is a multidisciplinary collective combining applied arts and visual arts. For almost ten years, it has been initiating and developing transitional urban development projects taking a designer-builder approach. It valorised and shared this experience in a guidebook. Cabanon Vertical tested the training-action system in Burkina Faso as part of the Ouagadougou Urban Fabric Initiative. Cabanon Vertical is also a member of the Abidjan Urban Fabric Initiative group. GRET and Cabanon Vertical are working together to implement the Ouagadougou Urban Fabric Initiative.


UrbaSEN is an association that was created in 2009 and develops projects in the suburbs of Dakar, including the Urban Fabric Initiative. Its activities focus on urban restructuring, regulation of property tenure, flood prevention, reconstruction of housing in disadvantaged areas, and organisation and empowerment of citizens' groups for greater participation in management of public affairs. It draws support from the Senegalese Residents' Federation (FSH), a network of residents in precarious neighbourhoods with almost 5,000 members. UrbaSEN and FSH are members of the SDI network and the focal point for French-speaking federations in SDI, particularly in Burkina Faso and Benin. They support these federations with methods for social mobilisation, political impact, financial engineering (revolving funds and savings) and territorial management (mapping and data collection).