We Own the City
If the 1800 was the century of the Empires, the 1900 was the one of the Nations, it seems that the 2000 is the century of the Cities. However, this book portraits the time of the Neighborhood, where urban dwellers, formerly only ‘clients’ of urban development, are taking ownership of their urban surroundings.
Bottom-up initiatives are raising in several urban environments, while institutions, governmental offices and developers sometimes find themselves inadequately organized to enable this trend. In the project We Own The City we acknowledge that this international trend deserves a broader perspective of analysis. Through five cases in five cities this book analyzes different dynamics and intensities of citizens’ driven urban redevelopment process in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Moscow, New York and Taipei. Our quest started by wondering how these traditional ‘top-down’ cities are adapting and approaching the civil society, with the aim to provide new recommendations based on the need to carefully construct our cities through interactive processes that respond to community needs and people’s aspirations.
This book is made by professionals for professionals, but also for experts and students that are involved in the act of creating new urban topographies. In today’s urbanity, the role of the city maker is under constant pressure and the authors feel the need to explore the relationship between civil society and government. In particular, our recommendations will target public governments, housing authority, architects, town planners and real estate developers in order to provide new foundations for legislation (or practices) in which inclusive urban development plans are not only experimental, but will set the standards for the current evolution.