Urban Blogger Competition: Win 200 Euros and Our Book! DEADLINE MAY 16TH

Calling all urban bloggers! Join the global discussion–let’s break down boundaries of conventional urban development practices and push for inclusive people-driven progress! We want more voices on the theme of We Own The City. Winner will receive 200 Euros, a fresh copy of our new book, and a spotlight at the Amsterdam book launch, May 27 2014.

It’s time the discourse of We Own The City spreads throughout cities worldwide to stir up urban development practices into a more inclusive mixture. We Own The City, the book, examines 16 case studies of bottom-up initiatives in five major cities of the global north: Amsterdam, Hong Kong, New York City, Moscow and Taipei, alongside interviews with some prestigious architecture firms. More specifically, the book looks at people-driven urban initiatives, but flips the usual discourse and seeks to spotlight how top-down players are enabling community practice in architecture and urban planning. Now we are calling all urban bloggers to feature an article from their local city and enter the chance to WIN 200 EUROS AND OUR NEW BOOK!

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Let’s be honest, we do not own the city. We can, however, take conceptual ownership. And by we, we mean people who are pushing the boundaries of urban development by taking matters into their own collective hands; we are talking about people-driven urban initiatives. The effects of these people-powered initiatives are real and impassioned, with discourse widespread; however, the discourse dominantly emphasizes stories and perspectives from the bottom-up – with circulating new media, blogs, activism and, for instance, tactical urbanism manuals, helping to inform bottom-up players how to act in more knowledgeable and effective fashions.

What was lacking in the discourse was a bridge from the ‘top’ to the ‘bottom’ – recognizing how top-down actors are and can redevelop traditional practices to collaborate and innovative in line with contemporary urban, people-driven processes. We sought to fill this gap with We Own the City the publication, which examines 16 case studies in five major cities in the global north: Amsterdam, New York City, Hong Kong, Moscow and Taipei. In each case, we spotlight which top-down actors play what role. Conclusions then seek to provide new, structured insights advising top-down actors to better enable bottom-up, community practices in urban development and architecture.

As the team of We Own The City continues designing, analyzing and arranging processes to bridge communities with institutions, this competition fits within the framework as it continues to break down boundaries of conventional practices, while spotlighting the innovative potential of bottom-up initiatives waiting be harnessed.

With this initiative, we want your ideas to be heard, catalyzing a global discussion pushing redevelopment of urban ‘ownership’ and practice. The time to explore and implement the institutionalization of the bottom-up movement has come.

THE COMPETITION 

Now we turn to urban bloggers or curious urban explorers worldwide, asking them to share stories of bottom-up initiatives with an emphasis on the role of top-down actors. Participants will answer this question:

How are conventional ‘top-down’ actors enabling bottom-up, community practice in urban development and architecture?

Each story will be unique, focusing on one, local bottom-up initiative and highlighting the role of top-down actors, noting particular strategies that help enable or hinder the initiative. With top down actors we mean local government, Real Estate developers, housing associations, traditional architects and urban development studios: the players that are right now finding difficulties in a adapting to the a new era of urbanization.

Through this competition, we hope to help spread a turn in not only the discourse, but also in the practice of urban development processes – disseminating knowledge and strategic steps top-down actors can take to rethink implementation processes and better work with bottom-up actors in a more collaborative environment.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Participants will be asked to share their submissions on their website or blog and to share within their network. To make it easier for you to find entries during the submission period, you can search the hashtag #WeOwnTheCity on Twitter. Also, we will share articles on our Facebook page and provide a links to submissions once the competition is complete.

The winner will be awarded 200 Euros and a copy of our new book! The winning contribution will be announced at the end of May, as the We Own the City publication is preparing to launch in Amsterdam May 27 at Pakhuis de Zwijger! Spread the word, everyone is welcome to be a part of We Own The City.

INTERESTED?

Are you an urban blogger or run an urban-focused website and are interested in participating? Please feel free to contact projects(at)citiesthemagazine(dot)com for more information and to receive the submission guidelines.

Created on 15 April 2014

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