What does it mean when people come together and self-organise to do something for their community?
What is their role as participants in a complex, ever-changing city, and in helping to create better, more responsive urban environments?
Co-creating Urban Solutions: Community Initiatives in Singapore
This research project at the Singapore University of Technology and Design is focused on how cities are co-created through the voluntary participation of its residents. We explore initiatives that are self-formed and self-organised with the intent to provide a social benefit for a broader community – or in other words, people who identify an unmet need in their city and come up with their own playbook to do something about it. This can be as simple as organising a neighbourhood clean up, to something more complex, like creating a nationwide movement to change environmental policy. In Singapore, this is an emerging space, and seemingly everyone is trying to navigate the boundaries, potentials, conflicts and needs; to learn how to negotiate the space between a ground-up initiative and a traditionally top-down system; and to understand one another’s roles and capabilities.
Through conversations with initiative leaders, a survey of initiative participants, participatory workshops and secondary research, we consider:
- What are the challenges and processes that people face in starting and sustaining their initiative?
- How well are initiatives able to embed in a broader institutional and environmental context?
- What is their potential to contribute to more responsive, adaptive cities?
- What are the needs and tools that would build the capacity of community initiatives and help them become more impactful?