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Imagineering Urban Places: Enhancing the Urban Design Process with a Futures-Driven Approach to Design for Spatial Equity

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Architecture & Planning, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Tatiana Efremenko, Gosia Grzesikowska, and Honorata Grzesikowska

Imagineering of cities, or the process of translation of creative and imaginative ideas into a real input to be designed in urban places, is a task to be tackled. Yet another question, whose imagination it is, and how exactly it is produced? Modern urban design has been highly professionalised, as well as largely following the logic of normative and predictive path of city visioning. Following the normative approach to urban design implies using available data for planning, which is based on big sets of data and knowledge available. Contemporary challenges of urban transition require us both to rethink the ways we think about urban places and inhabitants, as well as adopt new methods of engagement in city visioning. Design and futures studies have the potential to aid the design of urban places to become more exploratory and imaginative. At the same time, there is a necessity to find how to “engineer” and put into practice the imaginary and visioning output. On the other hand, there is a need to ensure that cities are designed to accommodate the needs of diverse groups of living beings – human or non-human. Design discipline can provide an opportunity to face both challenges and give a direction of a futures-driven and more-than-human perspective to the design of urban places. The objective of the article is to explore how a design futures-driven approach can inform urban design methodologies to create more inclusive urban futures. It describes the development of the methodology and its implementation in five pilot studies on different spatial scales. The process of the participatory methodology consists of creating, immersing, and developing ideas in various scenarios and mapping them on the masterplans with the help of three sets of cards – (i) What-If questions cards, (ii) Agent cards, (iii) Design cards. Finally, it discusses the main results and benefits that a futures-driven design approach can bring to urban design.

KEYWORDS: urban design, futures studies, spatial equity, design foresight, participatory design

RSD TOPIC(S): Architecture & Planning, Case Studies & Practice, Methods & Methodology

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Citation Data

Author(s): Tatiana Efremenko, Gosia Grzesikowska, and Honorata Grzesikowska
Year: 2023
Title: Imagineering Urban Places: Enhancing the Urban Design Process with a Futures-Driven Approach to Design for Spatial Equity
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/urban-design-process-futures-driven
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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