“How much does a city trust its citizens?” asks Chiara Camponeschi in the introduction of her publication The Enabling City – an idea-packed toolkit for urban-based social innovation & sustainability. She developed the work as a means to demonstrate the “potential of participatory governance and co-design in moving cities and communities towards a more sustainable future.” It’s packed full of creative thinking regarding active citizenship. One of her most discussed ideas is seeding local communities with a “Social Innovation Mayor” to drive long-term structural change through open leadership.
“Enabling City” is a new way of thinking about communities and change. Guided by collaboration, innovation and participation, the pioneering initiatives featured in “Enabling City” attest to the power of a community in stimulating the innovative thinking needed to tackle complex issues ranging from participatory citizenship to urban livability.
We know that markets are no longer the only sources of innovation, and that citizens are capable of more than just voting during election time. We have entered an era when interactive technologies and a renewed idea of citizenship are enabling us to experiment with alternative notions of sustainability and accessibility. We now see artists working alongside policy makers; policy makers collaborating with citizens; and citizens helping cities diagnose their problems more accurately. What emerges, then, is a community that gives local resources and know-how wider legitimacy as meaningful problem-solving tools. Here, innovation is intended as a catalyst for social change — a collaborative process through which residents can be directly involved in shaping the way a project, policy, or service is created and delivered. A shift from control to enablement turns cities into platforms for community empowerment — holistic, living spaces where people make their voices heard and draw from their everyday experiences to affect change.
Web site: http://enablingcity.com/