Tag Archives: #CityMakers #Participatory #City

Using Participatory City in your City

Stokes Croft or where you live…

Q. John Cook asked “How can we apply Participatory City to Stokes Croft?” (Or anywhere else?) Provide 5 key points!

1. Firstly – life is unpredictable, full of the unexpected outcomes that shape the future, but you need to *bring* a mix of formal & informal strategies. Which means working with differing groups of peeps.

2. It’s the people stupid! As John Cook found in the digital community centres research he did for us, and I am finding out on the Origin of Spaces project, it is the odd people who buck dominant trends to act on what they believe in, who matter. People are unpredictable and have varying characteristics & motivations, but that is what you have to work with & what will make any local activity work (and distinctive).

3. Work with the context on offer, and build around that (it’s where the motivating “hooks” will come from). In Covent Garden it was the market, in Deptford the Creek, in Bilbao the peninsula. What gives Stokes Croft (or your neighbourhood) it’s “sense of place” ?

4. Work with the council, not “for the council” but with them. Find out what you do that can help them in what they do. Do the hard yards. As I say in “Walking into Government” Solve the problem they don’t know they have got yet (it’s the future, so it’s up to you).

5. Use social media to create bridges between people, community & (representative) authority, by telling stories about the new… Which is what Nigel Ecclesfield & I call “citizen-generated contexts”

This is a first go at the answer & so it is (To be continued)


Perspectives on the City


Background; We’ve just had an interesting discussion on Facebook when Carl Smith asked Christiaan Weiler of CAB42 if there are any “radical art / architectural examples of how we should be ‘envisioning the smart city as if people mattered’ do you know of any good examples?”

Christian replied “smart to me is close to martial arts : optimizing energy flows, peripheral vision, perpetual in balance, low cost, high output…. so here are some links that reflect that; Calypso 2001 http://bit.ly/1DKh1Cu

Book – city as loft http://bit.ly/1zxjNG8
Book – make shift city http://bit.ly/1zxjU4w
OfficeMargen lab Barcelona http://bit.ly/1Jz4qXZ
Projectde ceuvel (Nederland) http://bit.ly/1MLXNk8

Some interesting links developed from this opening comment. Christiaan added that to him ‘”identity requires adaptability”, putting the user-building relation central.’ Which is a part of Christiaan’s architectural philosophy. “Architecture that’s set in the present and destined for the future, adaptive and evolutive, imagined beyond the initial brief, a sustainable investment,” with examples collected on Pinterest.

Carl responded by pointing to the provocation piece; Cr-eAM FP7 EC Provocation: Experience Design and Perceptual Re(Design) through Post-Digital Context Engineering on Vimeo.

Fred responded by saying his work was a combination of creative Heutagogy, allowing serendipities and that he was Curious; Digital. The synergies of which he which he had been testing in the Ambient Learning City project

Ants, bees, new city metaphors; Fernando Mendes broaden the debate by mentioning Stymergy and the trace relationships between people and places in the city. This raised the issue of emergent behaviours, that Steven Johnson Continue reading Perspectives on the City