co-creating! start from step 0

Mustafa Sherif placemaking

By reading online, networking on Linkedin, and interviewing people on podcasts, I see that we as urban practitioners and policymakers start to complicate our community participation methods and processes.

We do that by adding many many many steps which might look good on our documentation and diagrams. Some methods and handbooks are just getting bigger and bigger and bigger!

I am not against adding steps. Of course, some steps are very necessary for giving rights to people to participate, and better quality and quantity of community engagement process. But let’s not complicate things and try to keep it clear, efficient, sustainable, and realistic to engage people and give them a real opportunity to co-create with us.

Let’s not be robots that only follow steps for the sake of collecting data without really understanding and considering people’s needs & dreams.

Also, before step Nr. 1,2,3,… 10 …, let’s make sure that we have STEP 0 in all our urban development processes.
Step 0 is about being a human! It’s about listing, understanding, and involving people. Robots are very good & smart at being robots, we as humans should be very good at being human.

So make sure that you have step 0, and check if you really need all the different steps that you have in your process or not. Do your process steps make it easier for you and for the community to co-create?

I highly recommend you listen to Nazem Tahvilzadeh‘s talk about Issues of power, democracy, and policy, moving from monolog to dialogue. Available on Urbanistica Podcast – Cities for People

Keep up the good work
Keep loving #citiesforpeople

Published by Mustafa Sherif

Child Friendly Urban Planner at AFRY | TEDxStockholm | Public Speaker | Urbanistica Podcast Host | H22 City EXPO Ambassador | Placemaking Europe Leader

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