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Inaugural lecture Ms Prof L.G. Horlings: Transformative Planning: enabling resourceful communities

When:Tu 13-06-2017 at 16:15
Where:Aula Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Transformative socio-spatial planning: enabling resourceful communities

I will elaborate on two questions during my speech: 1) What is the aim of socio-spatial planning? And: 2) Why should citizens, engage in spatial transformation?

The history of spatial planning shows a shift in values from a rationalist approach, to collaborative and communicative approaches and complexity planning. Understanding society doesn’t provide a direct answer to the normative issue what kind of places ‘we’ want in the future. The ‘we’ is becoming all the more relevant in the ‘do-it-yourself democracy’ or the ‘participative society’, where citizens initiatives and collectives want to take matters in their own hand.

The aim of a transformative socio-spatial planning is to enable resourceful communities in spaces, co-producing ‘better’ places. Resourcefulness refers to the capacity of a community to change the way they use their resources. This place- and practice based approach contributes to community resilience and fosters socio-spatial change through collective action.

A key condition for resourcefulness is the co-production between social, economic and governmental actors. Co-production shifts the balance of power, responsibility and resources to individuals and collectives, engaged in shaping their own places. This is not a simple performance: it is a dance between collective intentions and emergence. This requires a value-based perspective, being community-sensitive and imaginative, and the skills to mediate between varied opinions.

In our ‘fluid’ society people are dealing with uncertainty in a rapidly changing world, while they have to build their own narratives. Social navigation offers a key concept to understand the practices and tactics of people in situations in motion. My research agenda is a ‘three-leaf clover’ and includes the analysis of 1) values in Place 2) place-shaping practices and 3) new Institutional arrangements.

More information

  • Inaugural lecture: Ms Prof L.G. Horlings
  • Title: Transformative Planning: enabling resourceful communities
  • Faculty: Spatial Sciences
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