To create inclusive cities it is important to seek involvement from people who will be affected by design decisions, strategic thinking and processes of ‘regeneration’. This has lead to community consultation becoming central to the development of urban projects.
However, as new business models have arisen around community consultation have we now reached a point of saturation whereby engagement, consultation and participation is used to produce activity, without producing change?
What are the key power dynamics currently at play, and how can we better support the agency of communities?
Does design through collective or consensual decision making undermine the design process? Can we no longer trust the instinct of design professionals? Are these things mutually exclusive?
What is the quality and utility of knowledge obtained through consultation and engagement? Do these processes extract resource (time, energy, commitment) from local communities – instead of empower them?