Placemakers Guide coverSensory Trust recommends: The Placemaker’s Guide to Building Community

Nabeel Hamdi

From the author of Small Change comes this engaging guide to placemaking, packed with practical skills and tools that architects, planners, urban designers and other built environment specialists need in order to engage effectively with development work in any context.

Drawing on four decades of practical and teaching experience worldwide, the author offers fresh insight into the complexities faced by practitioners when working to improve the lives and livelihoods of people the world over. The book shows how these complexities are a context for, rather than a barrier to, creative work. The book also critiques the ‘single vision’ top down approach to design and planning. It demonstrates through examples and profiles of successful professional practice drawn from across Europe, the US, Africa, Latin America and post-tsunami Asia, how good policy can derive from good practices when ‘reasoned backwards,’ as well as how plans can emerge in practice without a preponderance of planning. Reasoning backwards is shown to be a more effective and inclusive way of planning forwards with significant improvements to the quality of process and place.

The book also offers a variety of methods and tools for analysing the issues, engaging with communities and other stakeholders for design and settlement planning and for improving the skills of all involved in placemaking.

Ultimately the book serves as an inspiring guide, and a distillation of decades of practical wisdom and experience into a practical handbook for all involved in doing, learning about practice and teaching placemaking and urban development world-wide.

Paperback price £19.99 (£16.00 with voucher)
ISBN: 9781844078035
224 pages

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1. The Evolution of Development and the Placemakers’ Tools - A Short Introduction
Part I: Place, Time and Clutter - Learning from Practice
Reflection: Listening to Communicate
2. The Bad, the Good, the Ugly
3. Profiling Vulnerability
Part II: Placemaking and the Architecture of Opportunity
Reflection: Getting answers to questions you don’t ask
4. Toolkits
5. Knowledge
6. Participation in Practice
7. Interventions: Site Plans and House plans, Buffaloes and Mushrooms
Part III: Placemakers - Responsible Practice and the Question of Scale
Reflection: The Invisible Stakeholder
8. PEAS: about sociable practice
9. Reasoning to Scale
10. Targeting Constraints
11. Learning and Communication
12. Reducing Dependency, Cultivating Ownership
13. Building Livelihoods
Part IV: Teaching
Reflection: The Mess of Practice
14. The Intervention Studio
15. The Placemakers Code
Notes and References

Nabeel Hamdi qualified as an architect at the Architectural Association in London in 1968. He worked for the Greater London Council between 1969 and 1978, where his award-winning housing projects established his reputation in participatory design and planning. From 1981 to 1990 he was Associate Professor of Housing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was later awarded a Ford International Career Development Professorship.

In 1997 Nabeel won the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour for his work on Community Action Planning, and the Masters course in Development Practice that he founded at Oxford Brookes University in 1992 was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2001. He is currently Professor Emmeritus at Oxford Brookes University.

He is the author of Housing without Houses (IT Publications, 1995), co-author of Making Micro Plans (IT Publications, 1988) and Action Planning for Cities (John Wiley and Sons, 1997) and editor of the collected volume Educating for Real (IT Publications 1996), and Urban Futures (Practical Action Publications 2005).

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