Cities are increasingly complex environments where different actors and stakeholders co-exist and learn how to live together. Within these complex environments, new kind of city makers are arising that represent an innovative form of urban insurgent activism that aim at transformation, calling for new answers to citizens’ needs. These city makers are typically represented by social entrepreneurs, civic volunteers, local activists and similar groups; they are challenging the traditional ways through which urban services, spaces and buildings are managed. These new and different makers also bring along the need for new processes and a different way of City Making; processes that not only bring together various disciplines but also enable a collaborative new way of working between these different disciplines of professionals, academics, private enterprises, policy makers and citizens. The aim of the Participatory City Making project is to develop a framework that can enhance participatory city making of the various groups. In particular, the project will explore the interaction between grassroots initiatives and the public administration through small-scale experiments, within a Transition Management perspective, looking how small-scale experimentations can trigger a broader change and transformations in the existing regimes. In the city of Rotterdam, the case study context, the project aims at uncovering unique insights and governance issues by analysing the opportunities, challenges and barriers for Participatory City Making.
This document aims to provide the early version of the Participatory City Making Framework. It will first present a brief literature review about participation in the planning and design fields. The second part will describe the method used in the first phase of the project in order to develop the framework, which has been adjusted over the time following an iterative Research Through Design approach. The third part will be focused on the framework itself and it will provide a case study application in the City of Rotterdam. The last part will present some early conclusions and next steps to be undertaken in the project.