176 pages | 7 B/W Illus.
This book gives definition to participatory practice as a necessary form of activism in development planning for cities. It gives guidance on how practice can make space for big and lasting change and for new opportunities to be discovered. It points to ways of building synergy and negotiating our way in the social and political spaces ‘in between’ conventional and often competing ideals – public and private interests, top down and bottom up, formal and informal, the global agendas which outsiders promote and the local needs of insiders, for example. It offers guidance on process, designed to close gaps and converge worlds which we know have become divisive and discriminatory, working from the detail of everyday life in search of beginnings that count, building out and making meaningful locally, the abstractions of the global causes we champion – poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, resilience.
Practice – the collective process by which decisions are negotiated, plans designed and actions taken in response to needs and aspirations, locally and globally – we will see, is not just about being practical, but more. Its purpose is to give structure to our understanding of the order and disorder in our cities today, then to disturb that order when it has become inefficient or inequitable, even change it. It is to add moral value to morally questionable planning practice and so build "a social economy for the satisfaction of human need." Practice in these spaces ‘in-between’ redraws the boundaries of expectation of disciplinary work and offers a new high ground of moral purpose from which to be more creative, more integrated, more relevant, more resourceful – more strategic.
Hamdi’s latest book The Spacemaker’s Guide to Big Change is a call for a new way of doing things. Hamdi’s work is relevant not only to planners and humanitarian workers but also artists and creative practitioners, who are looking for new ways to make a difference through their practice. Hamdi’s belief in and focus on the everyday and ordinary, and the particular in people’s lives, is a radical new starting point, that brings hope and empowers those of us who are ignored and overlooked. - Emma Chetcuti, Director, Multistory: a community arts organisation located in the Black Country in the West Midlands
Hamdi is interested in activism and results. In this book he shows us how participatory practice can be a speculative as well as an integrative instrument in an inequitable world. These ideas, modes of engagement and insights are as relevant for intervening in our existing built environments as for imagining the sustainable form for places of human habitation in the future.- Rahul Mehrotra, Professor and Chair Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard University
Both philosophical and practical, this reflective book contains insights that go beyond participatory practice. The collected cases, references, and wisdom unpack the challenge of making change in the face of complexity and competing voices, and give encouragement that we can start small, where it counts, now, to achieve desired futures. - Jamin Hegeman, Service Design Network
Foreword Introduction Part I: Learning Practice 1. Deciding on Purpose - In Search of Beginnings 2. Learning and Practice - Understanding and Action 3. Learning How to Decide 4. Cross Cutting Themes - Ownership, Organisation and Asset Building Part II: The Spacemaker's Guide to Becoming Strategic 5. Equity, Efficiency and Participation 6. Equity, Efficiency and City Form 7. Participation in Practice Part III: Country Files 8. Cultivating the Top - The Million Houses Programme of Sri Lanka 9. Case Files - Learning from Practice Part IV: Enablement and the Art of Improvisation 10. Embracing Serendipity - Finding Opportunity in Ambiguity 11. 'Yes is More': Getting Unstuck - Working with Troublemakers 12. Insiders out and Outsiders in: Practical Wisdom and the Co-Production of Knowledge
There is increasing global demand for more local involvement in the planning of the environment. This is the only way that communities will get the surroundings they want and make the transition towards a sustainable future. This series of short, accessibly priced, practical books have been written by the world’s leading planning professionals to provide tools to support community planning wherever it occurs. Each book is a stand-alone, but together they create a compelling resource for planning professionals, community groups, activists, planning students and anyone looking to facilitate engagement in a community context.