Space, people and technology: Reclaiming the narrative on cities is an open-access book published by AOSIS Scholarly Books.
In this book, there is a call on built environment professionals to reflect on the role of narrative in shaping space, influencing people and making decisions about technology. It is argued that by changing the narrative and methods of representations, new imaginaries can be generated and the scope of what is possible is significantly broadened. Contextualized narratives, vocabularies and metaphors can evoke new thinking and new practice. This book looks for examples where professionals and communities have jointly worked together from the precinct to the site level. The authors are especially inspired by concepts that encourage experimentation and engagement with real-life contexts, learning through doing, policy change through evolutionary processes and a hands-on approach.
This book aims to elevate our understanding of the concepts of people-centred participation and co-production/co-creation by shifting the debate from the esoteric to the applied and contextual. We believe that practice can only be transformed by transforming thinking. Through the development of our own philosophies, emerging from and rooted in context, we may shift thinking and practice towards people, community and care.
The Built Environment in Emerging Economies (BEinEE): Cities, Space and Transformation Book Series focuses on the connection between the built environment and economic development in the Global South, aiming to present unique perspectives and develop alternative theoretical frameworks for the study of the built environment better suited to the respective contexts. In so doing, it aims to contribute to advancing knowledge and skills that lead to producing equitable, dignified and functional human settlements through a collection of writings from non-traditional perspectives and actors. Volume 2 explores how changing the lenses and methods of representation can enable the generation of new imaginaries and significantly broaden the scope of what is possible for prosperous and contextual urban futures. The book gently departs from the typical theoretical and technocratic focus on the form and image of the techno-city, moving on to engage in a deep and textured way with the contextualised stories, intelligence and processes of urban places. With authors from Africa, Asia and Europe, the book draws inspiration and perspectives from a diverse range of disciplines, texts and experiences. Yet, even in this diversity, the book represents a scholarly discourse, as it is a book written by scholars for scholars, indicating new tributaries for thought, conversation and practice.