Cities by Citizens is a blog about cities, people and planning for the future of cities, in an environment extreme uncertainty and rapid change.
For most of human history, cities have been made by small inputs from a central authority about buildings and public spaces, and many individual and collaborative decisions made directly by their citizens.
Only with 20th Century modernist planning has the pendulum swung far towards centralised control. Today, almost all decisions about public space are made by central authority. Citizens have to ask for permission to do just about anything to, in or with their public spaces.
But the 21st Century brings a new chance for citizens to re-engage with their urban surrounds. Citizens are questioning the slow pace of government response and action. Governments are contending with disengaged citizens who are not co-responsible for their own environments.
But the solutions might be simpler than you think. Worldwide, we are seeing new strategies for urban change emerge, and a reconnection with old processes. Propelled by rapid urban growth, citizens are transforming their local neighbourhoods through temporary land uses, youth enterprise, smart phones and other less conventional approaches: a global experiment.
This blog exists to document, explore and discuss that experiment.
About the authors
Lucinda Hartley is a landscape architect and urban designer who has spent the better part of a decade working to better connect people with places. She advises locally and globally on approaches to urban development that are faster, cheaper and simpler.
David Week is an architect and international development professional with some thirty years experience in the scoping, planning, design, management, monitoring and evaluation of culturally appropriate infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region. He is a thought leader on community development and urban strategy.
David and Lucinda are currently writing a book on this global experiment.
Your comments will help inform this book.