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Designing Sustainable Cities: What About the People?

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Highlighting the need for a socially-aware planning process when building resilient cities.

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Designing Sustainable Cities: What About the People?

  1. 1. Photo Credit: Yala Garden City Project/HIA Division, Department of Health, Thailand DESIGNING SUSTAINABLE CITIES: WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE? Robin King and Cathy Baldwin
  2. 2. WHY WE WROTE THIS BOOK Pressure from rapid urbanization Policy, planning, and design neglects the importance of “social” dimensions Highlight the need for work across disciplines
  3. 3. SPEAKERS Robin King is the Director of Knowledge Capture and Collaboration at WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. In this role, she promotes collaboration across WRI’s international network to better integrate urban planning, land use, and sustainable transportation using her experience working in policy matters in the Americas and Asia. Cathy Baldwin is an Applied Social Scientist and Public Health Consultant specializing in the social and health aspects of urban development, climate change, and energy. She is an Affiliate Researcher at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and University of Oxford, and independent consultant on UK government international development programs.
  4. 4. OUTLINE OF PRESENTATION • Framework and findings • Case Studies • Policy recommendations • Discussion
  5. 5. RELEVANCE FOR WRI We don’t pay enough attention to the direct impact climate change has on people – especially the most vulnerable. We need to use several approaches to produce recommendations for more environmentally, politically, economically, and socially sustainable communities and cities. Photo Credit: Baldwin and King, 2018: Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What About the People? (Routledge Focus on Environment and Sustainability)
  6. 6. BASIC CONCEPTS Baldwin and King, 2018: Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What About the People? (Routledge Focus on Environment and Sustainability) COMMUNITY “…groups or networks of people who share a common sense of belonging based on shared connections such as geographic proximity, interests, socio-demographic characteristics, experiences, emotional links or other common purposes. Communities may be based on face- to-face interactions or virtual or mental connections that bind them; they can also emerge informally or be formally organized.” NEIGHBORHOOD “A place-based area or district, especially one forming a section of a town or city, that generates neighbourly or identity-based feeling and behaviour, often leading to a sense of community…”
  7. 7. IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY Baldwin and King, 2018: Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What About the People? (Routledge Focus on Environment and Sustainability); Woodcraft 2012: 35; Magis, 2010: 402 SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT COMMUNITY/SOCIAL RESILIENCE
  8. 8. IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY ‘…the viability, health and functioning of “society” itself as a collective entity,’ or at local level, a ‘community’ SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT COMMUNITY/SOCIAL RESILIENCE Baldwin and King, 2018: Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What About the People? (Routledge Focus on Environment and Sustainability); Woodcraft 2012: 35; Magis, 2010: 402
  9. 9. IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY ‘…the viability, health and functioning of “society” itself as a collective entity,’ or at local level, a ‘community’ COMMUNITY/SOCIAL RESILIENCE SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT ‘the extent to which a neighborhood supports individual and collective wellbeing... with a focus on how the people who live in and use a space relate to each other and function as a community’ Baldwin and King, 2018: Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What About the People? (Routledge Focus on Environment and Sustainability); Woodcraft 2012: 35; Magis, 2010: 402
  10. 10. IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY ‘…the viability, health and functioning of “society” itself as a collective entity,’ or at local level, a ‘community’ SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT ‘the extent to which a neighborhood supports individual and collective wellbeing... with a focus on how the people who live in and use a space relate to each other and function as a community’ COMMUNITY/SOCIAL RESILIENCE ‘the existence, development, and engagement of community resources by community members to thrive in an environment characterized by change, uncertainty, unpredictability, and surprise’ Baldwin and King, 2018: Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What About the People? (Routledge Focus on Environment and Sustainability); Woodcraft 2012: 35; Magis, 2010: 402
  11. 11. OVERLAPPING DIMENSIONS OF FRAMEWORKS Social Sustainability (Bramley and Power, 2009) Social/Community Resilience (Zautra, Murray and Hall, 2010) Pride in and attachment to neighborhood Sense of community Social interaction within the neighborhood Regular interaction between neighbours Stability (versus residential turnover) Owning home and residential stability (long-term residence) Participation in collective group/civic activities Proactive in the community and get involved in community affairs
  12. 12. SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT Socially-aware planning is required to enhance communities’ social sustainability. Policy tends to address macro level concerns, but must be linked to the micro level. Urban form, design features, and spaces can influence pro-community behaviors and psychological responses related to social capital and cohesion. Photo from: Baldwin and King, 2018: Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What About the People? (Routledge Focus on Environment and Sustainability)
  13. 13. FOUR STAGES OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT Define a vision– practical, financial and social – that enhances communities’ social resources and strengths 1 Scheme Conception 2 Research & Community Involvement 3 Design Decisions & Implementation 4 Monitoring & Evaluation Uncover the local social and cultural context and community dynamics. Explore the needs, resources and strengths of a community Use social and cultural information to make informed decisions about characteristics of buildings or public spaces, ensuring social input in implementation Monitor and assess social input and impacts
  14. 14. CASE STUDIES SUMMARY Urban Development Projects Promoting Social Sustainability Public open space between housing blocks and at neighborhood level Delhi, India Violence prevention through urban upgrading Cape Town, South Africa Central Railway Station Cape Town, South Africa Ethnically-mixed housing complex Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK Social sustainability of new housing communities England, UK Neighborhood public squares Portland, Oregon, USA Public green spaces Manchester, UK Planned Bus Xchange Christchurch, New Zealand HIA of parks and gardens Yala, Thailand Community Resilience (or lack thereof) and the Built Environment Case Studies Good social capital before and after flooding among middle-class residents Surat, India Coping after episodes of intense heat, rain, flooding events, cyclones and storm surges Khulna, Bangladesh Floods affecting slum dwellers with poor social cohesion Surat, India Good social capital before and after flooding slum (kampung) dwellers Jakarta, Indonesia Sustaining and re-creating social capital in transitional housing after Hurricane Katrina Gulf States, USA Socially sustainable communities pre- earthquakes are more resilient communities post-earthquakes Christchurch, New Zealand
  15. 15. CASE STUDIES: GENERAL FINDINGS Pro-community behaviors and psychological responses indicative of communities which are both socially sustainable and resilient Connections and affective attachments to the neighborhood and community (pride in, sense of, or attachment to place/community; sense of belonging) Social interaction with neighbors and within the neighborhood Feelings of safety and security, and active monitoring (versus risk of crime, antisocial behavior) Residential stability (versus residential turnover) Participation in collective group/civic activities and affairs Social cohesion Social solidarity/community spirit Happiness and wellbeing Voice and influence, and civic empowerment Blue background = in original 1) socially sustainable community & 2) resilient neighborhood community frameworks Green background = in both the social sustainability and community resilience case studies in Baldwin and King (2018)
  16. 16. FINDINGS: SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY CASE STUDIES Enhanced social sustainability Allowing communities to co-design, implement and participate in managing projects Considering communities’ needs, resources and strengths Conducting ongoing monitoring and evaluation Creating off- shoot community and economic development opportunities
  17. 17. FINDINGS: COMMUNITY RESILIENCE CASE STUDIES The built environment shapes resilience (or lack of) through … private spaces and their connections public spaces social networks
  18. 18. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS Urban planning and design can support critical social resources and strengths that communities require Pro-community behaviors and psychological responses are just as important for building the climate resilience of urban communities Communities need infrastructure and spaces that support pro- community behaviors and psychological responses Experts can adopt socially-aware planning processes to guide social sustainability and community resilience plans at the micro- and macro- levels
  19. 19. THANK YOU! Online Resources: • Find the publication online: https://www.routledge.com/Social-Sustainability- Climate-Resilience-and-Community-Based-Urban-Development/Baldwin- King/p/book/9781138478015 • Blog summarizing What about the people?: http://thecityfix.com/blog/what- about-the-people-unlocking-the-key-to-socially-sustainable-and-resilient- communities-cathy-baldwin-robin-king/ • Interview on socially-aware planning: https://www.teaandwater.co/insights/cities/human-urban-planning/

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