INCLUSIVE URBANISM, SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: A HOLISTIC APPROACH
Free (open access)
131 - 141
There is a growing demand for cities to satisfy the needs of their different citizens. Beyond the stereotype of an “average citizen”, urbanism is beginning to introduce complementary points of view such as gender perspective or those from elders, children or lower-income people. In this context, within the scope of sustainable development and enhanced by community engagement, this paper proposes a holistic approach to improve both urban planning and design. The three concepts are connected by a what–who–how relationship, “what” being the sustainable design and planning; “who”, the inclusive urbanism; and “how”, the community engagement. The research compiles a series of case studies of inclusive urbanism (initiatives, plans and projects), developed together with community engagement. Cases are mainly from the Basque Country, completed with others from the UK and North and Central America. The methodology is based on comparing data concerning plans and projects with specific new stakeholder types (neighbours, women, elders, etc.), different engagement tools and processes, and different planning and design-related key issues (land use, density, housing, etc.) and scales, from the region to the building. The results reveal how the combination of this holistic what–who–how approach significantly contributes to improve urban plans and projects, with additional benefits to the community, the public administration and even the private sector. Despite the time, effort and challenges still to be dealt with, the research seeks to unveil how considering new points of view and enabling informed engagement are essential to achieve truly sustainable design and planning, able to meet the needs of the diverse current and future generations.
inclusive urbanism, community engagement, sustainable urban design, participatory urban planning, engaged urbanism