Abstract: This article argues that a citizen science and participatory planning approach to infrastructure can lead to significant outcomes for improving quality of life, as well as building pathways to shared prosperity in diverse urban environments. Drawing on examples from Lebanon—a country that is heavily impacted by displacement from neighbouring Syria—the article argues that the practice of co-design creates opportunities for social inclusion and engagement that are often missing from top-down infrastructural development projects. This point is illustrated through the case studies of Ziad Kalthoum’s (2018) film Taste of Cement and a participatory spatial intervention organised by a British Academy-funded project in which the authors took part. Focussing specifically on the dimension of subjectivity, the article claims that participatory planning that engages both hosts and refugees can encourage collective aspirations and affirmation of difference rather than the social divisions and negative stereotyping that often result from infrastructural exclusions.
Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 7, supplementary issue 2 (Cities and Infrastructure in the Global South).
Recent research shows that Lebanon could witness an increase of 1.2 to 3.2 degrees in temperatures in areas that are already very arid and suffer from water shortage. An increase in temperature and a decrease in precipitation will have particular impact on the electricity sector - a higher cooling demand in summer and increased consumption for electricity. Rising sea levels and water scarcity in Lebanon could lead to internal climate migration and mass displacement from rural to coastal regions affecting agricultural output, jobs and livelihoods. The economic situation in the cities that are already prone to poverty, illiteracy and unemployment could become worse.Read More
At the IGP we fundamentally believe that citizens and communities should be at the centre of efforts to reimagine prosperity and to define what matters to them for a good quality of life. We do not assume what matters; we ask people to tell us what matters to them.Read More