EADI: Opinion Paper "Shifting Away from Binaries: The Entanglement of Insurgent Urbanism, Formal Participation and State Action"

This paper explores the radical approaches that are adopted by civil society outside of formal processes to ensure inclusive participation in decision making about urban futures. When marginalized or poor people participate in urban planning and feel they are not being heard, they move to create what are known as ‘invented spaces’ of participation, where they set the rules of the game of how, where and on what terms participation will occur. This includes staging protests in the streets of their neighbourhoods where they bring the state into their spaces, rather than moving to the formal spaces of government offices or meetings, where they believe their needs are not heard or addressed. This form of participation is known as insurgent urbanism as it challenges the mainstream approach of constructing and solving problems and establishing power. It is the response by the urban poor in defying policies and planning which are imposed upon them. It challenges the state, and the invited spaces of participation that the state creates, by developing inventive, imaginative and often spontaneous forms of action and citizenship
By Catherine Sutherland

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