Leave No One Behind when we make cities for people

I think many of you heard or read about “Leave No One Behind”. It’s from the adoption of Agenda 2030, 193 United Nations Member States pledged to ensure “no one will be left behind”.

As urban planners, designers, and architects, we have a lot to do with these words. One example can be during a community engagement activity (in Swedish medborgare dialog).

When I and my AFRY team are doing community engagement activities e.g. public dialogues, I love to look behind & out of our gathering area where we have presentation materials & maps.

I love to find all people who are sitting on the edges and watching what is happening in the middle. For me, these people are so important to be involved in.

⚠️ From my experience, these are some reasons that might put people behind and make them not get involved during a community engagement activity:
– Can’t speak Swedish.
(I try to speak other languages)

– Don’t understand what is going on, why there is a big gathering?
(Try to explain to them in a very pedagogical way & welcome them)

– Are tired of just talking without seeing any action from their city
(Try to explain to them the reasons. But also, sometimes there is not so much to do because their city is really not doing something!)

-They are not used to being part of a public dialogue.
(Try to explain to them in a very pedagogical way & welcome them)

My takeaway to you is, Leave No One Behind, and try to see, listen and talk with people who are not in the center but at the edge.

📷 In the picture, me talking to a senior who was sitting and watching us talking to people! I went to him and welcomed him to join our gathering. It turned out that this person has been living in the area for so long time and had so many stories to tell and values to add. A true treasure!
This was during a fantastic placemaking project together with Stockholmshem in Sweden.

Keep up the good work
Keep loving cities

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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