Abstract: This article argues that a citizen science and participatory planning approach to infrastructure can lead to significant outcomes for improving quality of life, as well as building pathways to shared prosperity in diverse urban environments. Drawing on examples from Lebanon—a country that is heavily impacted by displacement from neighbouring Syria—the article argues that the practice of co-design creates opportunities for social inclusion and engagement that are often missing from top-down infrastructural development projects. This point is illustrated through the case studies of Ziad Kalthoum’s (2018) film Taste of Cement and a participatory spatial intervention organised by a British Academy-funded project in which the authors took part. Focussing specifically on the dimension of subjectivity, the article claims that participatory planning that engages both hosts and refugees can encourage collective aspirations and affirmation of difference rather than the social divisions and negative stereotyping that often result from infrastructural exclusions.
Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 7, supplementary issue 2 (Cities and Infrastructure in the Global South).
There are 7.7 billion people on the planet today, and every year our global population grows by around 1.08% – or around 82 million people. It is estimated that by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities. The cities we know now will have changed and adapted to accommodate for this. How will we ensure they do so in a way that improves the quality of life its residents?Read More