Shaping spaces of interaction for sustainability transitions

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Cities are complex environments where different actors and stakeholders co-exist and learn how to live together. Within these complex environments, different types of citizens initiatives are arising that we consider to be important starting points for achieving urban transformations to sustainability (Niki Frantzeskakiet al., 2016). These kinds of initiatives, typically enacted by social entrepreneurs, civic volunteers, local activists, free range civil servants etc., are challenging the traditional ways of city making through which urban services, spaces and buildings are usually developed through policy and planning. They seem to stimulate the rise of several new types of interactions between citizens, entrepreneurs and free-range civil servants but so far are hardly facilitated and linked to urban planning in a systematic way. Such interactions can be considered as transformative social innovations (Avelino & Wittmayer, 2016) that redefine the relations and interactions between actors to realize sustainable alternatives contributing to wider transitions. These transformative initiatives can be nurtured, developed, replicated, or complemented in protected environments and are often seen as part of a broader transition movement (Gorissen, Vrancken, & Manshoven, 2016). Those transformative initiatives are triggering the rise of spaces for the interaction between different stakeholders in urban environment, which is a key element of participatory city making. This paper aims to explore the role of planning in participatory city making. It connects complexity in planning and transition theory in order to describe the space of the interaction between the different urban stakeholders.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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