Many place-focused professionals, notably economists from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, are suggesting that ‘resilience’ may be a sharper placemaking policy focus than the wider concept of sustainability. New insight and evidence is coming from each sector of the complex network of disciplines involved in making better places, and one thing is alarmingly clear: that if we don’t get more effective at working together then progress may be limited.
We need the social scientists and planners working on changing behaviour patterns, very difficult to pin down in terms of hard evidence, to be listened to by those tasked with investing in our transit systems. We have some useful strategies and theories of placemaking could and should deliver, but good placemaking is messy. We need to go the extra mile and involve and represent all sections of the community. Involvement and buy-in and the ability to have imapct on your own environment is the key to building resilience.
The upcoming Future of CIties Forum in September 2013 is bringing together just the right kind of mix, including RUDI team members, to really get ‘down and dirty’ in pushing the collaborative agenda forward.
‘Transforming urban infrastructure into regenerative systems consequently requires an integrated approach, coordinated action and policy dialogue. It requires straddling the public, private and civil society spheres as well as a cross-sectoral approach among authorities. While urban planning used to be the exclusive realm of specialised experts, today public participation is understood as a prerequisite in transformation processes. Multi-stakeholder dialogues that ensure representation of a diversity of voices from those concerned in the development process are therefore inevitable.’