Co-Designing Urban Futures with the Public at AMS conference

I’m delighted to moderate a special session during the upcoming AMS conference Re-Inventing the City.

The session (Thursday, Feb.17 at 15:00, online) will bring together artists, designers and researchers to consider how the public can be meaningfully brought into urban transition initiatives. The point of departure for the session is that efforts to transform urban systems often neglect to include the public, resulting in urban futures (and technologies) that are envisioned and created in a top-down matter by industry and government.

The conference’s call for papers (especially the theme “co-designing the system”) is evidence of this, mentioning “Science, industry partners and policymakers” but not the public (neither as organizations, nor as communities or individuals). The session will gather multiple perspectives on the roles the public can and should play in envisioning and promoting urban futures, with an emphasis on creative, imaginative or speculative approaches for urban co-creation. Such approaches serve to promote equitable public inclusion in urban development processes, while aiming to “stretch” the public’s imagination of how the city may take shape in the future.

I’ll be joined by Kars Alfrink, designer and PhD candidate at TU Delft, Cristina Ampatzidou, researcher at RMIT Europe and CreaTures project, Michiel de Lange, Assistant Professor, Culture and Media Studies at Utrecht University, and Julien Thomas, interdisciplinary artist and social designer.

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