Participatory Design and Planning for Developing Cities, with Special Reference to Latin America

Participatory Design and Planning for Developing Cities, with Special Reference to Latin America.ObjectivesThe objective of the module is to acquire the basic concepts, tools and techniques for participatory planning and design, at different scales: housing, public facilities, neighborhood and districts, citywide, and supra municipal. By the end of the module, the students should have a basic knowledge of current practices and issues and should have strengthened their abilities to design and develop, in a critical way, appropriate participatory approaches. Profiles of studentsThe module is primarily directed to students from various disciplines and backgrounds, from urban design, architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and social sciences interested in working in developing countries or in poor neighborhoods of developed countries.Key aspectsEach of the sessions will be based on case studies documenting actual experiences. Most of the experiences presented have been realized into approved plans and buildings. These illustrative cases from developing countries, and particularly from Brazil, will introduce design tools and planning instruments that have been effective for almost every situation and scale.One central aspect is that housing and the production of both neighborhoods and the city will be considered as a process, one that involves the participation of a large number of actors. At the same time special attention will be devoted to the \”physical products\” that have resulted from these processes. The hypothesis that underlies the whole module is that participatory processes, under specific conditions, professional approaches, and using adapted tools, produce a better-quality built environment, one that is able to closely approximate people\’s expectations. At the same time it generates a greater sense of appropriateness that will impact the good quality of the maintenance, especially in poor communities. Therefore, each of the sessions will address participatory dimensions and tools, while also looking at the quality of design and aesthetics of the buildings, neighborhoods, or plans that result from these participatory processes. The module will address the role of professionals as catalysts and mediators, working with communities and both the public and private sectors. The sessions will address the complete cycle of planning, design, implementation, and maintenance of the built environment, and will present and discuss how participation takes place during each of these phases. Simultaneously this cycle will examine different scales and types of projects where participation takes place. The sessions will progressively cover participatory planning and design for homes, for small public facilities, the neighborhood and district scales, and will end with the city scale and micro regions. Module requirementsAttendanceAttendance at the one weekly session, on Tuesdays from 9:00AM to 12:00PM.Active participation in group discussion and critical analysis of cases and methods presented. Half of the classes are case discussion. Reading assignmentStudents are expected to complete two hours of research work and reading in preparation for each session. Reading assignments include technical reports, references, books, and articles from a list of references provided.ExercisesInterim exercise: commentated reading, chosen from international literature on participatory methods and tools. The paper will be presented during one of the sessions. Technical brief (not more than five pages) on one of the participatory method presented, reflecting on its key aspects and its limits and suggesting possible improvements GradingClass participation: 30%Presentation of exercise 1: 30 %Presentation of exercise 2: 40 %