Urban Thinkers Campus Report: Making Cities Together - The City We Need through Safe, Inclusive and Accessible Public Spaces

                                                              

Urban Thinkers Campus Report: Making Cities Together - The City We Need through Safe, Inclusive and Accessible Public Spaces

Title of the Campus: Making Cities Together: The City We Need through Safe, Inclusive and Accessible Public Spaces
Organizer(s) Names: International New Town Institute (INTI)
Partner Organization(s): UN-Habitat, Project for Public Spaces, Placemakers
Date and Location: Wednesday 3 May to Thursday 4 May 2017, Nairobi / Kenya
Urban Thinkers Campus in figures:
 

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Executive Summary

    

In the ‘Making Cities Together’ Urban Thinkers Campus the development of public space took center stage. High quality public spaces are excellent starting points for improving the standards of urban life for all citizens. They are crucial for well-functioning, inclusive and sustainable cities.

In the Sustainable Development Goals, public spaces have been recognised as a crucial element for attaining sustainable human settlements and by extension, sustainable development. This UTC contributed to target 11.7 that states, by 2030, to provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children and older persons and persons with disabilities. Another pivotal Sustainable Development Goal to implement sustainable public spaces is number 17; revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. Through bringing together the international community focussing on the Global South, we enhanced the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilized and shared knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries - as target 17.16 states.

The UTC contributed to the New Urban Agenda (NUA) mainly on article 37, 41, 53 and 67. In short this articles state that member states commit to promote public spaces and participation. Moreover, Article 100 states that member states support the provision of public spaces. This UTC developed action points for multi-stakeholder groups that have been shared at the Governing Council 26 of UN-Habitat in May 2017, where member states convened.

This UTC ‘Making Cities Together’ focused on how to implement these goals and agenda to promote and provide public spaces to ensure the development of high quality and inclusive public spaces to create the City We Need by using participatory processes, like placemaking. It offered participants the opportunity to actively engage in dialogues, living labs and networking sessions - learn-by-doing. Together we explored action-oriented approaches to the answer question ‘How can you and your organisation contribute to implementation of public space interventions as a tool for regenerating and planning neighbourhoods and cities worldwide.’

Anchored on this, the UTC “Making Cities Together- implementing safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces to create the City We Need” aimed to:

Objective #1: Bring together the international community during an interactive UTC, in order to bring out all voices, create strong linkages and exchange knowledge between all partners and above all, to create engagement and commitment to take actions that are relevant to create good quality public spaces in their cities.

Objective #2: Design together action-oriented frameworks regarding the implementation of the topics and themes of the New Urban Agenda on public spaces and participation. The focus will be on placemaking, up- scaling and replicating, finance, maintenance and governance in public spaces for communities in cities around the globe.

Objective #3: Share the outcomes with the international community. The outcomes will be practical frameworks as input for their national and local action plans to implement the New Urban Agenda regarding public spaces.

Organising this UTC in Nairobi, Kenya at the UN-Habitat Headquarters with partners that have worldwide experience in placemaking, and public spaces was a great opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with an international audience, including the strong Kenyan public space network. We selected 100 participants out of 300 applicants in order to have a comprehensive and well balanced group that was able to engage and commit to action during a two day Campus. 93 delegates (48 females, 45 males) joined the Campus, and represented 22 nationalities from Africa, Asia, Europe, South and North America, of which Africa and Europe were most represented. Seven partner groups were presented: Local and Sub-National Authorities, Grassroots, Business and Industries, Civil Society Organisations, Children and Youth, Professionals, Research and Academia. From Kenya the local authority of Nairobi and a large private sector New Town developer were present. This enabled the UTC to create strong public-private partnerships, which are crucial regarding the development of public spaces for all.

The delegates were warmly welcomed by our team at the UN compound. The UTC was introduced by Christine Auclair, Project leader of the World Urban Campaign and the initiator of the UTC, the International New Town Institute, followed by its key partners Project for Public Spaces, UN-Habitat and Placemakers. They introduced the Campus and shared the role they play in the field of public spaces and placemaking. After the introduction the Urban Thinkers Sessions took off with 2 groups of each 4 Keynote speakers followed by dialogues on placemaking, public space developments in New Towns, small-scale placemaking initiatives and large scale public space transformations.

In the afternoon, the Urban Labs ‘Living Labs’ took place at different locations in or in the surroundings of  Nairobi. The Living Lab method was used to bring different partner groups together in an project context to turn global discussions into practice on-site. The Living Labs were in most cases connected to the activities of the partners that organised this UTC, like the New Town Lab in Tatu City, the Making Cities Together’s Model street project in neighbourhood Dandora and the Nairobi City County’s city-wide public space inventory and placemaking week. The developed Design Thinking tool to integrate research and innovation processes guided the participants. Through a process of analysing Observations, Needs and Ideas for Improvement 8 concrete action points per Lab were developed. The  action points that derived from the labs were related to 6 categories:

  1. Place Governance;
  2. Mapping existing situation & Identity;
  3. Programming of Public spaces;
  4. Financial models & Partnerships;
  5. Capacity Building and Leadership; and
  6. Green Public spaces.

The next day the action points were integrated in an action-oriented framework during Interactive Partner group sessions. This enabled the participants to prioritize the actions points and to analyse the roles, responsibilities, benefits, time-lines that are necessary to take collaborative action. Implementation of public spaces was acknowledged as a collaborative process, therefore it was crucial to define responsibilities ‘who will initiate the process?’ and ‘how can we convince other partner groups to join the process, what is in it for them?’.

The Key outcomes, the prioritized actions, were:

  1. Meeting and work with new partners;
  2. Communication on ‘what is public space’ to enable the conversation;
  3. Create long-term partnerships to create jobs and sustainable (productive) public spaces;
  4. Organise an urban experiment: a small-scale placemaking activity in public space and communicate about it afterwards;
  5. Map the existing context to create new paradigms for New Towns;
  6. Build a toolkit for leadership & community empowerment on public spaces; and
  7. Set up a steering committee on programmes in public spaces on city level;

During the UTC, the participants were very much engaged and realized that it is time to take action, learning-by-doing. Many of them already started to make future plans in groups during the informal sessions. The commitment of participants to implement these actions after the UTC was advanced by the final session: an interactive game where every participant had to select the actions point(s) they are planning to implement. 


Introduction to the Campus

Background

This UTC was grounded on the co-creation and implementation experiences from the public space project Making Cities Together (2014-2017 in Nairobi) of the organising partners and other international public space projects. The Making Cities Together project aims to develop a sustainable, viable, and long term agenda for Nairobi’s public spaces. Making Cities Together (MCT) adopted the Placemakers methodology. This methodology seeks to revive public spaces by understanding the existing context by evaluating the local potential and capitalising on the local assets and ideas. The Urban Thinkers Campus was a crucial step of the roadmap MCT project in order to share knowledge and to develop up-scaling and replicating tools to create more impact.

MCT Roadmap

  1. Demystification of Nairobi’s social-spatial ecosystem (Placemaking inventory)
  2. International Placemaking Design Lab (Placemaking strategies)
  3. Implementation of one of the Placemaking strategies (Showcase Model street)
  4. Platform on public spaces (UTC conference and other international/local events)

Placemaking toolbox for an interactive UTC

In order to bring a diverse group of stakeholders together in an action-oriented Campus, a placemaking toolkit for this event was developed. The different tools stimulated interaction of the participants - with the various locations in Nairobi, and with each other.

First, by using the ‘space for thought signage’ towards the Campus space as a space for thought and discussion provoking questions, such as ‘Have you ever felt excluded in public space’, ‘Where did you have a picnic in the park?’ and ‘If you were in charge, which public space in your city would you improve first?’. This intervention also promoted the UTC event to all other visitors to the UN Compound, and the importance of public spaces.

Second, during the introduction of the UTC an informal plenary questionnaire on public space was held. Each participant was appointed a colour of a certain Partner group and was asked to put up their coloured triangle shape when they, for example, felt safe in their neighborhood, or when they had experience with the design or development of public space. This way, the UTC participants quickly got to know each other's’ backgrounds, worries, hopes and motivations.

Third, on the way in 6 buses to the various Living Labs across the city, each UTC participant was given a ‘public space working card’ to fill in during the bus ride. On the way there, the participants got to know Nairobi’s different faces and they were triggered to look at the city differently with a playful ‘Bus Bingo’. Are there happy people, playing children, elderly or protests in the streets? It invited the participants to start a conversation with their neighbors about why they had come to the conference. It also included information on SDG’s and the NUA in order for people to read more in-depth, while they were stuck in traffic jams. On the way back, the working card requested the participants to share experiences of the Living Labs by means of creative expressions such as quotes and drawings.

Fourth, during the Living Labs, each group was invited to ‘On-site Design Thinking’ towards action with the help of large posters or ‘canvasses’. Starting with the main themes, issues and assets of the location and ending with clear-cut and practical actions to improve the site, each group used this canvas to fill in and formulate their future tasks together.

Fifth, during the final ceremony, all UTC participants were asked to make clear decisions for the action after this Campus, representing their Partner group. Each Partner group was given a ‘box’ to stand in. The participants showed their commitment publicly by stepping out of their Partner group ‘box’ into a ‘box’ titled with a specific action point. This resulted in different groups of people with the same goals for action. The groups were pictured together and the pictures were shared afterwards. This physical commitment in front of all the participants stimulated to Make Cities Together in the future, starting today (during the UTC).

Last but not least, the closing drinks were intervened by students with a ‘truth or dare game’, asking the participants to, for example, find three things they had in common, share their favourite spot in their city or make a ‘selfie’ together. Again, a playful and informal intervention aimed at stimulating interaction between the participants for the future of public space. The effort put into making this Campus particularly interactive proved effective, creating many strong connections among the participants, showed by collaborative action and feedback.     


Summary of all session

  1. Urban Thinkers Session 1 and 2 (keynotes)

In each two sessions, four Keynote speakers were invited to hold a 5 minute pitch, followed by an interactive dialogue with the audience.

Session 1

Placemaking
1.   P.K DAS (Architect and activist focused on the establishment of a close relation between people and architecture, Principal, P.K. Das Associates). First, he spoke on the objective of re-envisioning cities through stitching the fragments and sharing land and resources through equal distribution. Secondly, he elaborated on how placemaking can contribute to social change, inclusion and the promotion of culture. And how democracy can take place through inclusion and citizen movements can deepen the democracy. 
2.  ETHAN KENT (Senior Vice President, Project for Public Spaces) works to support Placemaking organisations, projects and leadership around the world to build a global placemaking movement. He reiterated the need for placemaking to be interdisciplinary, and that architecture, planning and sustainability all need to be addressed equally. As learnt by PPS, placemaking encourages place-led urban development and has encouraged use of the power of 10; If you integrate human experiences, while developing places, districts this could have an impact on city wide level.

Public spaces in New Towns

3.   MICHELLE PROVOOST (Architectural historian, Director of the International New Town Institute) She highlighted the rise of the contemporary new towns in the Global South, which are mostly populated by the middle class. Placemaking is slowly becoming a general public endeavour as opposed to one by professionals alone. She specifically mentioned that gated communities discourage diversity and inclusivity hence, the new phenomenon of informal settlements growing near new towns. They are interdependent but spatially separate. As a way forward, INTI believes that there is a need for a shared programme in public spaces benefitting all economic groups and there is a need for diversity of public space in new towns.
4.   NICK LANGFORD (Over 25 years of real estate experience and country head, Tatu City) He stated that the private sector is unable to provide houses for the urban poor and this leads to a need of public intervention. He stressed that the local context must be gained for public space design of new towns. New towns could improve transport links within lower income areas and re-defined commercial centres could become more inclusive.
 

Session 2

Small scale public spaces in developing countries (upscaling/replicating)
7.   TATU GATERE (Architect and Country director in Kenya, Kounkuey Design Initiative). She reiterated that productive public space projects improve physical, social, economic status of project sites as well as a need for more comprehensive multi-stakeholder participation. She stressed that communities should be involved in design, construction and management of public space projects. 
8.   ROBINSON ESIALIMBA (Lawyer and co-founder of Dandora Transformation League). He works together with youth to regenerate public spaces in a low-income neighbourhood in Nairobi. DTL follows 3 main principles: Creating public ownership of a space, connection to livelihood and  gratification of mobilization. (Competition driven). Aiming at co-creation of one Nairobi through a public space network, he is setting up an urban renewal network. DTL is part of the Making Cities Together project.  
 
Large scale urban transformation
5.   BULELWA MAKALIMA NGEWANA (Town planner with extensive experience in managing and coordinating public private partnerships, Cape Town Partnership) She presented on the need for social cohesion through public spaces especially after segregation during apartheid in South Africa. There is a need for a strategy for placemaking and social mapping should be used to investigate existent uses of the space. There should be consultations with a people-centred approach and a proper engagement between stakeholders to foster feelings of co-ownership of the space. Users should naturally come to the public space on their own will good management determines this success and people centred design. And it is important to maintain good relationships with local officials to help progress during shifting political climates.
6.   ROGIER VAN DEN BERG (Architect, Urban Planner and Programme manager of the Urban Planning and Design Lab at UN-habitat) He highlighted a need to differentiate between public and private space from the beginning. There should be a 50/50 % scale and design with a focus on overall urban form. He also stressed the importance of local leadership for large scale urban transformation, rules and legislation.
  1. Urban Labs ‘Living Labs’

The Living Labs took place at 6 locations in or near Nairobi organised together with 6 local partners working on public spaces. During the Living Lab 8 actions points were developed by different partner groups to implement safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces. An On-site Design Thinking ‘canvas’ guided the participants to note down observations, needs, ideas for improvement to finally define the priority for action. The feasibility of the action points was discussed and reported in an action-oriented framework during the Interactive Partner group session on Day 2.

Living Lab 1: Arts and culture as catalysts for public spaces:
Location: Dandora neighbourhood
Hosts: Go Down Art Centre, Centre for Creative and Culture Industries, CAVE Architects.
Expert: Cecilia Andersson, UN-Habitat
 
Summary:
Dandora is the name of the biggest dumpsite in Nairobi and its adjacent residential area. The Making Cities Together project is implemented here with the ‘Model street’. Governance and Local Economic Development (LED) have emerged as strong and dominant themes. Based on the local hosts’ stories, the courtyards in the residential area manifest strong elements encouraging social cohesion. Platforms or forums for relaying key messages to the community were identified e.g.: Mustard Seeds’ blackboard and community gardens that facilitate positive feedback from the community. It had been a challenge to create economic or commercial spaces in the transformed public spaces. However a strong sense of championship and leadership was demonstrated. The main question in regards to Dandora remains: What are long-term strategies that would be adapted to upscaling and maintaining the momentum of social change?
 
Summary of Q & A session:
  • Urban agriculture could contribute to a financial model of the spaces and make the features that generate more viable business;
  • There is a potential for male empowerment to avail more role models i.e. father figures;
  • Hip-hop could be a useful tool to share experiences and empower youth.
Key Outcomes:
To create sustainable LED, there is a need for:
  • Generating a development kit for neighbourhoods to steer growth and development;
  • Up-scaling by using local craft like beadwork and artwork.
There is a need for design:
  • Better street lighting as a strategy for encouraging ‘eyes on the street’;
  • Better drainage and use of retention of stormwater in harvesting;
  • Uniform design for the kiosks;
  • Use of art for community education.
Conclusion and way forward:
  • Use of art performances for key messaging to encourage behaviour change;
  • Create places to stay in and install street furniture to encourage the same;
  • Create productive spaces through which locals can earn their livelihood;
  • Organizations could partner and collaborate to create awareness, train and mutually exchange ideas;
  • Improved productivity of the space e.g. through urban agriculture.

 

Living Lab 2 Safety and upscaling of small public space initiatives:
Location: Dandora neighbourhood
Host: Dandora Transformation League
Expert: Jason Hilgefort, Land + Civilization Compositions
 
Summary:
The Mustard Seed courtyard upgrading is the flagship project that was used to leverage into the Making Cities Together project. It was initiated by only a handful of changemakers and include simple acts such as cleaning of garbage, drainage features and landscaping. Dandora’s ‘Model Street’, and beyond could be used and expended to promote best practices of public engagement and neighbourhood-led projects incentivised through competition.
Main challenges:
  • Maintaining momentum generated through competition;
  • Expanding the reach of initiatives;
  • Connecting spaces and acknowledge different types of community public spaces from the courtyards to the streetscape.
Public participation in Dandora is seen through:
  • Management of courtyards by immediate neighbours to foster ownership. The information of how to manage these spaces spreads to other groups or courtyards by word of mouth. Residents are encouraged to contribute a monthly financial upkeep fee. The spaces can also generate revenue through charges for parking, job creation (e.g.: security guards) etc;
  • Phase 4 of Dandora took a year of providing free services (e.g.: space management and parking) to gain trust of residents and encourage them to pay a monthly security fee (100 Kshs);
  • Some landlords collect the fee through rent and pass it on to DTL (the CBO);
  • Dandora has great opportunities for placemaking because the land is leased;
  • Courtyards are a community-level public spaces open to everyone but predominantly used by adjacent residents;
  • Efforts to make placemaking inclusive for women and children are a challenge as it is currently male dominated. Possibilities are acknowledged in including them in possible urban agriculture in the area;
  • Overcrowding in community play grounds leads to quickly worn out spaces;
  • Improved accessibility by using open gateways instead of locked ones;
  • There is a need to raise awareness of possible benefits of placemaking to steer future development processes.
Summary of Q & A session:
  • The personal responsibility over spaces fosters the motivation to care for them;
  • Strong and sustainable leadership is essential for the success of community–led initiatives.
Key Outcomes:
Dandora has a well planned structure which provides possibility for good public spaces.
There is a need for:
  • Inclusive programming;
  • Sustainable leadership;
  • Larger sense of identity within Nairobi.
Conclusion and way forward:
  • Experience sharing to promote a collective identity;
  • Integrate the financial model in placemaking;
  • Inclusive diverse programming;
  • Use public space in leadership development within communities. Placemaking can be a tool for community empowerment;
  • Community-led organizations to inform a city-wide strategy.
Living Lab 3 Youth and public spaces:
Location: Mathare slum
Hosts: Mathare Environmental Conservation Youth Group and Habitat Youth
Expert: Tatu Gatere, Kounkuey Design Initiative
Summary:
The community in the Mathare slum inspired an initiative that created the only public space in the area, inclusive of a football field that is maintained by local youth. There are diverse uses of the space for social benefits through financial support from private donors. The space is used for political gatherings and youth trainings etc.
 
The challenges include:
  • The public spaces should be made more inclusive;
  • The effects of the changing political climate;
  • There is a lack of follow-up activities by partners;
  • Lack of adequate female participation;
  • Lack of access to long-term founders/sponsors for operational costs and for improving existing projects;
  • There should be a sustainable way of generating income within the community;
  • There is a need for green spaces;
  • There is a need for stability;
  • There is a need for commitments within the members and partners.
Key Outcomes:
  • The youth groups are trying to create programmes that will attract more women into the space;
  • Funding- and partner commitment seems to be key challenges;
  • The initiative has had important guests such as the Secretary General’s who inspired the local member of parliament to promote the area by providing roads;
  • Finding the right donors that are willing to work with youth can be challenging;
  • Money generating endeavours can assist in covering operational costs of the public spaces.
Conclusion and way forward:
The project will require:
  • Capacity building;
  • Mentorship programmes;
  • Income generating projects;
  • Gender diversity;
  • Long-term partnerships for sustainability as it is being a major challenge in the progress of the public spaces available;
  • Initiating new business, social, spiritual and health projects would improve the people’s way of living.

Living Lab 4 Governance and private sector involvement:
Location: Kilimani neighbourhood
Host: Kilimani Project Foundation
Expert: Bulelwa Makalima Ngewana
 
Summary:
Kilimani is an area saturated by middle-upper income residents. It is a diverse area with spaces of culture, economy and ecology. Kilimani has transformed from a low density, residential area to one of commercial purposes, hence mixed land use in the recent past. There is a presence of exclusive gated communities that lack play spaces, however there is a job and housing imbalance and therefore a need for the mapping of spaces to aid development.
 
Summary of Q & A session:
  • There are concerns on the need for diverse economic groups living in Kilimani;
  • The chances of success are improved when residents are included in the process of finding a solution.
Key Outcomes:
  • Mapping is very important to get involvement from the private sector. It can also be used as a tool for private investment;
  • Introducing a variety of stakeholders (especially in the mixed areas) is crucial;
  • There is a potential to add valuable public spaces in already used spaces such as green areas and exercise areas.
Conclusion and way forward:
There is a need for:
  • Recreational spaces;
  • Mapping;
  • Programming;
  • Utilization of road reserves.

Living Lab 5 Planning for public spaces in new towns:
Location: Tatu City
Hosts: Rendeavour
Expert: Bert Smolders, Arcadis Shelter Programme
 
Summary:
Tatu City hosted a session mainly focused on inclusiveness and sustainability. Tatu City shows a new, integrated approach to address uneven development in the city of Nairobi and offers great potential for public space development, social sustainability and relative inclusiveness. One of the major needs is public space that acts as a driving force of integration into the surrounding environment.
Improvement ideas include:
  • Street design;
  • Affordable housing;
  • Vocational training possibilities;
  • Facilities and infrastructure to the disabled;
  • Recycling;
  • Provision of affordable services and amenities;
  • Use of events and festivals to bring inclusiveness and activate the area in an early stage.
The weaknesses include:
  • Top-down planning approach;
  • Gated communities’ exclusivity;
  • Issues of governance.
 
Summary of Q & A session:
There is a need to account for housing for workers in the various industries and the city in general. I.e. low income public housing.
 
Key Outcomes:
There is a need for community participation in the planning;
  • Define public and private while including variation;
  • Connect green spaces into a blue-green network as a water park and water retention;
  • Development of Tatu city as a circular city;
  • There is a need for temporary programming as an instrument to develop a permanent program.
Conclusion and way forward:
  • Involve existing and future communities;
  • Improve public space plans (ownership);
  • Ensure cultural relevance;
  • Improve connectivity through a circular city plan;
  • Prototype temporary programs;
  • Develop a governance model.

 

Living Lab 6 Facilitating public space initiatives:
Location: Nairobi City Hall Annex, Central Business District
Host: Nairobi City County Government
Expert: P.K. Das, P.K. Das Associates
 
Summary:
The local government is supportive towards placemaking and laws that support public spaces and can be quite flexible when it comes to decision making concerning these. There are relatively well-established public spaces within the Central Business District such as Jeevanjee Gardens that are used for recreation and social interaction.
There are many issues on:
  • Safety;
  • Street furniture;
  • Advertisement in public spaces;
  • Public/ street art;
  • Privatisation by corporates;
  • Poor maintenance;
  • Green spaces.
Needs include:
  • Walkability;
  • Bike riding spaces;
  • Good environmental quality;
  • Networks and connectivity;
  • Lines of communication.
 
Summary of Q & A session:
  • There is a need to publish an inventory report and general information regarding public spaces.
  • A need for policing of infractions against public spaces.
 
Key Outcomes:
  • Increase of the number of public spaces;
  • Public spaces serve as an avenue for opportunities for people;
  • A need for better communication;
  • Strategy is very important in creating awareness.
Conclusion and way forward:
  • Using the power of 10 + (see Key note of Ethan Kent, Projects for public spaces);
  • Mapping is essential;
  • Stakeholder engagement is key;
  • Need for necessary and applicable laws;
  • Create communication campaigns.

Second day of the UTC

Roundtable:
This session was held to reflect and discuss the outcomes of the Living Lab in break out sessions with the same group of participants. In a powerpoint template the outcomes were organised into presentations.
Outcomes:
6 Living Lab presentations were shared and discussed in a plenary session
 
Interactive (mixed) Partner group sessions.
The feasibility of the action points was discussed and reported in an action-oriented framework during Interactive Partner group sessions in 6 themes: 
Place Governance
Mapping existing situation & Identity,
Programming of Public spaces,
Financial models & Partnerships,
Capacity Building and Leadership and
Green Public spaces.
Participants from different partner groups were divided in new groups to develop an action-oriented framework which identifies the roles, responsibilities, incentives for stakeholders to take action and possibilities for action on short and long term timelines.
 
 
Plenary session defining roles/commitment
Out of the action-frameworks we have selected the prioritized action points (by the groups) for the participants to commit to. This final session was to stimulate engagement and commitment to take action. A method was used to physically and visibly commit in a game environment. Different zones were demarcated with coloured lines on the floor that each represented a ‘partner group’ and one zone represented the ‘action point’. Participants were all standing in their own ‘partner group’ zone and could commit to one of the 9 selected action points by walking in the ‘action point’ zone. The photo’s of the different groups of participants that had decided to commit to a certain action are the starting point of following up the commitments of the individual participants and collaboration opportunities.
  1. We all have set up a meeting which we did not know before! (over 40 commitments)
  2. All of us will communicate on ‘what is public space’ to enable  the conversation. (over 40 commitments)
  3. We will create long-term partnerships to create jobs and sustainable (productive) public spaces! (27 commitments)
  4. We will organise an urban experiment: a small-scale placemaking activity in public space and tell the story afterwards! (23 commitments)
  5. We will map the existing context to create new paradigms for New Towns! (23 commitments)
  6. We will build a toolkit for leadership & community empowerment on public spaces! (16 commitments)
  7. We will set up a steering committee on programmes in public spaces on city level! (12 commitments)
  8. We came by foot today. (7 examples of public space users!) [footnote: This was the answer to an ice-breaker question. Outcome is part of the list, because the individual action to walk and cycle more in cities will make public spaces more vibrant and cities more sustainable.]

Key outcomes of the UTC

The outcomes Objective 1

International community to engage and commit:
There were over 300 applicants that registered for the Urban Thinkers Campus. In order to stimulate action it is crucial to strengthen existing networks, to create new partnerships, to share knowledge and to link projects. Therefore it was decided to select a maximum of 100 participants, a relative small group of people that is able to engage during a two day campus. The participants were selected based on the criteria: mixed partner groups, different nationalities, good balance of men and women. This formed an excellent group and it resulted in concrete action. A Placemaking toolbox enabled interaction and stimulates collaborative action in the future.
The Technical University of Kenya hosted a pre-conference briefing with three of our Keynote Speakers Ethan Kent, Bulelwa Makalina Ngewana and P.K. Das. The lecture was open for everyone to attend in order to engage more people and to create awareness.
Participants group:
  • 93 participants
  • 22 Nationalities (Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South Ameria)
  • 8 Partner groups (Grassroots, Business and Industries, Civil Society Organisations, Children and Youth, Professionals, UN Agencies, Research and Academia)
  • 48 Women and 45 Men
Concrete action:
  • 9 action points participants committed to take action within the action-oriented frameworks;
  • Participants from different organisations collaborate already on action points, see the outcomes of objective 2.
 
The outcomes Objective 2
Objective #2: Design together action-oriented frameworks regarding to the implementation of the topics and themes of the New Urban Agenda on public spaces and participation. The focus will be on placemaking, up- scaling & replicating, finance, maintenance and governance in public spaces for communities in cities around the globe.
Action-oriented frameworks
Selected focus points:
  1. Place governance,
  2. Mapping existing situation & Identity,
  3. Programming of public spaces,
  4. Financial models & partnerships,
  5. Capacity Building and Leadership and
  6. Green Public spaces.
The Outcomes of the Action-Oriented Framework showed similarities. Most of the action points were described as step-by-step processes, starting with mapping, pilot projects, training, advocacy, designing sustainable interventions, and maintenance. Another outcome showed that a lot of research and piloting has been done, and that there is a need for creating long-term partnerships, including the private sector to create public spaces that can contribute to sustainability in terms of local economic development, social cohesion and environment. Every stakeholder can initiate a placemaking process and is able to start from today or is already in action. The challenge appeared in many groups, to incentivise the local authority and the private sector for long-term (funded) projects. Many of the proposed action points can start soon and some are already taking place. Long-term sustainable public space projects need the commitment of all groups to be realised (SEE ANNEX). 
 
Actions:
Short term actions
  • May 2017: Public space training for regional public space ambassadors for UN-Habitat which created Public space ambassadors at UN-Habitat regional offices (Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan)
  • May 2017: UCLG in Jakarta trained on public spaces and explored public space projects in the region.  October 2017: Placemaking Week in the Netherlands. PPS, Placemakers and other partners will organise small scale placemaking interventions and dialogues.
  • June 2017: The Public Space bill that was released that was discussed by a large group of the UTC Participants and influence was requested.
  • July 2017: Crowd funding Campaign for the Making Cities Together project “UPcycling commUNITY’ included different participants after the UTC.
  • August 2017: Public space project in Vietnam by Placemakers, CCCO DaNang and UN-Habitat
  • November 2017: 2nd Placemaking Week in Nairobi, Kenya. The strengthened network will contribute to Placemaking and activate public spaces by organising placemaking interventions and dialogues.
  • November 2017: New Town Lab in Tatu City with INTI and other participants focusing on  planning and design of public spaces within the framework of green and watermanagement.
Medium term actions
  • Urban Renewal Network in Kenya
  • Safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces developed in Upper Hill, Nairobi
Long term actions 2030
  • Amended public space bill will contribute to long term improvements of public spaces in Nairobi.
  • Building Tatu City aiming at safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces (and 7 other cities are built in Africa by the same real estate company)
 
The outcomes for Objective 3
Sharing the outcomes with the international community. The outcomes can be used as input for the national and local action plans to implement the New Urban Agenda regarding public spaces.
UTC discussed during different events for different audiences:
  • 5 May 2017: Presentation and debate organised by Naipolitans together with our UTC partners in Nairobi to discuss the outcomes of the UTC with urban enthusiasts in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 8 May 2017: Networking and knowledge sharing continued to a greater and different audience (national/ member states) during the 26th Governing Council of UN-Habitat. The outcomes were presented during a well attended side event organised by Arcadis (lead partners WUC) and the WUC. And in the pop-up public space the outcomes of the UTC was presented as well.
  • 9 June 2017: The debate on public spaces in New Towns was continued by INTI at the UTC ‘Education for the City We Need’ organised by the Technical University of Delft (NL) during the Urban Lab session ‘Adaptive planning for African New Towns’. The Design Thinking tool was used again to guide participants to develop concrete action points.
  • June 2017: Meet up Placemaking week in Amsterdam with PPS and Placemakers and other partners on Placemaking.
  • 26 June 2017: Presentation ‘Lessons from the slums’ part of the series on the NUA in Pakhuis de Zwijger, an urban platform in the Netherlands. MCT and the UTC were presented for an audience with professionals and citizens.
UTC documents shared with participants to share within their networks:
The UTC was promoted on our partners’ websites and social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin through an online event, blogposts, tweets and live streamings (1602 views).
Other websites:
Urbangateway
 
Archinect
 

Conclusion & way forward

The Urban Thinkers Campus “Making Cities Together: The City We Need through safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces” was an international interactive conference to create strong collaborations and to develop action-oriented frameworks. The goal was to define actions to implement the New Urban Agenda: promoting and providing public spaces to ensure the development of high quality and inclusive public spaces to create the City We Need by using participatory processes, like placemaking. The UTC contributed to the international action-oriented discussion on public spaces, bringing together different partner groups from civil society organisations, grass roots organisations, children and youth, local and sub-national authorities, business and industries, professionals and research and academia from 22 countries. 

High quality public spaces are excellent starting points for improving the standards of urban life for all citizens. Public spaces are under pressure by rapid urbanization that is taking place, especially in the global South. The Keynote speakers addressed crucial elements on development of public spaces and placemaking processes. Public spaces will function well for a city if they are equally distributed, built up as a network, with linkages between different economic groups, represent the local culture and address the continuum of human to city scale. Placemaking contributes to bring social and economic change, inclusion and to promote culture. Placemaking is needed as an interdisciplinary and participatory design, planning, construction and management process, preferably place-led, involving all stakeholders.

In the Living Labs the discussion on small-scale community initiatives in public spaces focused on using the momentum and leveraging on local leaders’ motivation and good ideas for Local Economic Development and cultural activities. Support is key through leadership trainings and long-term (financial) partnerships, whereas the authorities could use the knowledge, ideas and projects as input for a city wide strategy. Public spaces in New Town development should act as a driving force for integration in the surrounding environment. Community participating in planning and programming to ensure cultural relevance is recommended as well as developing new governance models in New Towns. The discussion at the local authority level focussed on mapping public spaces, engaging stakeholders to challenge the issues on public spaces, like safety, green spaces, privatisation of spaces and maintenance.

The outcomes of the Living Labs was used to develop action-oriented frameworks focussing on the main themes: Place governance, Mapping existing situation & Identity, Programming of public spaces, Financial models & partnerships, Capacity Building and Leadership and Green Public spaces. The Framework enabled the participants to define the roles, responsibilities and incentives for stakeholders to take action on short and long term.

The outcomes of this UTC show a lot of knowledge and ideas on every level are present and the next step is taking action. This UTC enabled the participants to take the first steps with concrete action points and stimulate collaboration by using different placemaking tools.

Concrete action points:

  • All of us will communicate on ‘what is public space’ to enabling the conversation,
  • We will map the existing context to create new paradigms for New Towns,
  • We will organise an urban experiment: a small-scale placemaking activity in public space and tell the story afterwards,
  • We will build a toolkit for leadership & community empowerment on public spaces,
  • We will create long-term partnerships to create jobs and sustainable (productive) public spaces, and
  • We will set up a steering committee on programmes in public spaces on city level.

The UTC also functioned as a podium, highlighting existing projects and active placemakers all over the world. Projects and collaborations were strengthened with knowledge, ideas, inspiration and action plans. Many follow-up activities are being organised by different configurations of participants, like the Placemaking Week, UTC on urban design education, UN-Habitat public spaces ambassadors, Placemaking Network Nairobi and the New Town Lab on public spaces in Tatu City: Making Cities Together. 


Recommendations to National Governments

On the basis of the UTC outcomes, what are your recommendations to National Governments and other Stakeholders, including local and sub national governments, in order to effectively contribute to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda ?

Recommendations include: 
  • creating an inventory on public spaces and publishing information regarding public spaces.
  • Stakeholders engagement for input in the city wide strategies and to build and design public spaces together.
  • Developing a city wide public space strategy.
  • policing of infractions against public spaces.
  • Increasing of the number of public spaces;
  • Using the power of 10 + (Human to city scale)
  • Implementing necessary and applicable laws;
  • Creating communication campaigns.

Monitoring & reporting

How do you intend to monitor the achievements and progress in the implementation of your action plan approved at your Campus(sucess indicators and other measures of achievement should be proposed)?
 
In order to monitor the achievements and progress in the implementation of our action plan we will hold an online survey to measure the following indicators:
  • Amount of meetings with an UTC participant. (over 40 commitments)
    Amount of action that came out of the meeting.
  • Have been communicating on ‘what is public space’. (over 40 commitments)
    How often, how and which platform/network.
  • Amount of intentions or created long-term partnerships (27 commitments)
    With whom are you intending or creating a long term-partnership
  • Amount of planned or happened urban experiments: (23 commitments)
    What was organised and how was the story told afterwards.
  • Amount of participants that mapped the existing situation and stakeholders (23 commitments)
    Was this for new towns? What did you map and which tool was used?
  • Amount of toolkits for leadership & community empowerment on public spaces that were build (16 commitments)
    Was there collaboration between the participants? For which topics toolkits were build?
  • Amount of steering committee on programmes in public spaces were set up. (12 commitments)
    On city level? What are the goals and which stakeholders are involved?
  • Amount of people that go on foot to their work (7 examples of public space users!)
    Do you observe public spaces and the use of them more after the UTC?
Intend to share the results of your action plan with the WUC community and other partners in order to jointly implement the New Urban Agenda: 
  • (short term 1-2 years) 500 words
  • The outcomes of the UTC were shared during the 26 Governing Council of UN-Habitat to reach out to the international community and member states.
  • The debate on public spaces in New Towns was continued by INTI at the UTC ‘Education for the City We Need’ organised by the Technical University of Delft (NL) during the Urban Lab session ‘Adaptive planning for African New Towns’. The Design Thinking tool was used again to guide participants to develop concrete action points.
  • Develop a placemaking interactive toolkit for other UTC conferences to stimulate strong networks.
  • A public space toolkit for leadership & community empowerment on public spaces will be build and shared with the international community and other partners that are implementing the New Urban Agenda.
  • (long term up to 2030 to implement the SDGs, up to 2036 to implement the NewUrbanAgenda) 500 words (naomi)
  • The Placemaking Week will be organised in different cities world-wide supported by Project for Public Spaces and the UTC network will be involved to create awareness and to stimulate culture, design and social activities.
  • Share a report with UN-Habitat on the long term outcomes of the UTC.
On the basis of the UTC outcomes, what are your recommendations to National Governments and other Stakeholders, including local and sub national governments, in order to effectively contribute to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda ?
Recommendations include:
  • creating an inventory on public spaces and publishing information regarding public spaces.
  • Stakeholders engagement for input in the city wide strategies and to build and design public spaces together.
  • Developing a city wide public space strategy.
  • policing of infractions against public spaces.
  • Increasing of the number of public spaces;
  • Using the power of 10 + (Human to city scale)
  • Implementing necessary and applicable laws;
  • Creating communication campaigns. 
 

List of key speakers

  1. P.K. Das, P.K. Das Associates, India, Indian
  2. Ethan Kent, Project for Public Spaces, US, American
  3. Michelle Provoost, International New Town Institute, The Netherlands, Dutch
  4. Nick Langford, Rendeavour, Kenya, English
  5. Tatu Gatere, Kounkuey Design Initiative, Kenya, Kenyan
  6. Robinson Esialimba, Dandora Transformation League, Kenya, Kenyan

List of Participants


List of Partner Groups Represented

  1. Grassroots organisations
  2. Research and academia
  3. Children and Youth
  4. Business and Industries
  5. Local and sub-national authorities
  6. Professionals
  7. Civil Society Organizations

List of organizations represented

  1. Orkidstudio
  2. Independent Cultural Heritage Consultant
  3. Ain Shams University
  4. UN-Habitat
  5. Fojab arkitekter
  6. A City Made by People
  7. Planning Systems Services Ltd.
  8. Medair
  9. Urbar
  10. AICS Nairobi
  11. Avanti Architecture
  12. Kurema Kureba Kwiga
  13. Riziki source
  14. AKU - East African Institute
  15. University of Amsterdam
  16. Kounkuey Design Initiative
  17. Spearhead Africa Limited
  18. PK Das and Associates
  19. Kounkuey Design Initiative
  20. Beyer Blinder Belle
  21. PPS
  22. INTI
  23. Placemakers
  24. KUWA
  25. Architects without Borders
  26. Land + Civilization Compositions
  27. Cape Town Partnership
  28. WUC Project Leader
  29. UN-Habitat
  30. WUC Steering Committee
  31. Arcadis
  32. World Urban Campaign
  33.  Private sector constituency group
  34. Dandora Transformation League
  35. Tatu City
  36. Rendeavour
  37. Nairobi City County Government
  38. Mathare Environmental
  39. Hoperaisers/Korogocho streetscape
  40. Pamoja Road Safety Initiative
  41. Upper Hill District Association
  42. Safer Nairobi Initiative
  43. Kitui Town Administration
  44. Destined For Greatness Kenya
  45. Mazingira Safi Initiative
  46. CKO Design
  47. Kajiado County Government
  48. Urban Design Team - KE
  49. Jiji Plan
  50. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
  51. University of Nairobi
  52. MSc. Candidate
  53. JKUAT
  54. Technical University of Kenya
  55. Centre for Creative and Cultural Industries
  56. Kenyatta University

List of countries represented

  1. Canada
  2. China
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Egypt
  6. Ethiopia
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Honduras
  10. India
  11. Indonesia
  12. Kenya
  13. Lebanon
  14. Montenegro
  15. Portugal
  16. South Africa
  17. Spain
  18. Sweden
  19. Syria
  20. The Netherlands
  21. United Kingdom
  22. United States of America

UTC Photos

      
 
 
 

Social Media

 

UTC Videos

https://vimeo.com/213206204