Working in community engagement in urban planning myself, I will be the first person to promote the benefits of dialogue in making positive change in neighbourhoods and urban areas. In fact, the organisation that sparked my love of taking what the local community says to the heart of collaboratively moving things forward is make:good, who work to achieve socially-engaged design solutions.
What I love about make:good’s work is the central role of creative engagement and consultation, using tools and methods which both put people at ease and get them excited to share their views and ideas. The process then empowers people to make change and make good.
One of the inspired things make:good has done is to set up a sister project, What’s Brewin’?, which harnesses the role of dialogue in enabling change and drawing people together. Within a structure of monthly get-togethers over cups of tea, the project provides a collaborative space and platform to bring together ideas for positive changemaking in important social issues.
One micro-campaign is #KnowYoureSkilled, which aims to get people thinking about what their unique skills are in order to counteract low confidence, especially in jobseekers in our suffering economic climate. City living is complex; it can often be confusing and intimidating. The #KnowYoureSkilled campaign uses dialogue as the first step in engaging people to think more positively about their role in their society, neighbourhood or family. Building confidence helps build community.
Last week the lovely people at make:good and What’s Brewin’ published a guest blog post from me, all about the City’s Clock – how the urban landscape transforms between day and night and the impact time has on our urban experience. I really enjoyed writing the blog so I hope you will check it out, and contribute your thoughts and images on Twitter with the hashtag #MyCitysClock… and say hi to @thinkingcity, @_whatsbrewin and @wemakegood too!