Levente Polyak

Edited on 20/03/2024

Levente Polyak

  • Hungary

  • Hungarian, English, French, Italian, Spanish
Availability :
Available for Lead Expert role and Ad-hoc expertise missions

Validated Expert info

Expert can perform the Lead expert role and Ad hoc expertise missions at network and programme level in relation to:


1. The design and delivery of (transnational) exchange and learning activities


2. Thematic expertise:


3. Methods and tools for integrated and participatory approaches:
> Sustaining stakeholder engagement and translating strategies into actions


I am an activist, urban planner, researcher and policy adviser. I studied architecture, urbanism and sociology in Budapest and Paris and I taught at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, the Budapest University of Technology and TU Wien. I was visiting fellow at Columbia University and the École nationale supérieure d'architecture Paris-Malaquais and hold a PhD in Sociology from the Central European University. I have worked on urban regeneration projects for the New York, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Budapest municipalities. 

I am editor of Cooperative City, co-founder of Eutropian Research & Action (Vienna-Rome), member of the KÉK - Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre (Budapest) and Board Member of Placemaking Europe. With these organisations, tapping into resources of Horizon, Interreg, JPI and DUT programmes, I have been working on connecting community-driven practices across Europe with each other, with local municipalities as well as EU-level policies and policymakers. 

In the past decade, I have developed specialised expertise on urban regeneration, cultural development, community engagement, local economic development, ecosystem-building and social innovation, with a special focus on building development scenarios on existing resources. Building on this expertise, I have been supporting public administrations and NGOs of various sizes and geographic locations across Europe in creating spatial development projects and new governance models.

Based on these activities, I have worked as an expert in several URBACT networks (Temporary Use as a Tool for Urban Regeneration, Interactive Cities, ACTive NGOs, RiConnect, CO4CITIES) and Urban Innovative Actions projects (Curing the Limbo Athens, DARE Ravenna, CUP 4 Creativity Újbuda, Rock the Block Egaleo), designing learning trajectories and coordinating knowledge exchange projects between municipalities, knowledge institutions and civil society organisations in various countries of Europe.

In the past years, I have been researching new organisational and economic models of community-led urban development projects and methodologies of civic ecosystem-building, co-authoring the books Vacant City: Experiments in Inclusive Urban Regeneration (2015), Civil Város: Lakatlan ingatlanok a közösségek szolgálatában (2016), Funding the Cooperative City: Community Finance and the Economy of Civic Spaces (2017), Il rilancio dei mercati: spazio pubblico, servizi comunitari ed economia circolare (2019), The Power of Civic Ecosystems: How community spaces and their networks make our cities more cooperative, fair and resilient (2021) and Open Heritage. Community-Driven Adaptive Reuse in Europe (2023).