Let us be honest. We do not own the city. And by we, we mean people who are pushing the boundaries of urban development by taking matters into their own hands – taking collective ownership. We are talking about people-driven urban initiatives that adopt an approach that is becoming an increasingly familiar phenomenon in our cities. Still, many conventional actors, such as institutions, architects, government offices and developers, find themselves out of touch and ill-equipped to effectively implement collaborative approaches that
link the 'bottom-up' with the 'top-down' in development practices. We Own The City aims to bridge this divide. This book reveals the vitality of diverse and dynamic bottom-up initiatives, brought to life in five major cities: Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Moscow, New York City and Taipei.
We Own the City presents a collection of findings that provide insight into how top-down players are rethinking implementation processes in order to enable greater involvement from local communities and civil society. Our recommendations for a people-driven practice target city governments, housing authorities, architects, town planners and real-estate developers in an attempt to provide new foundations for legislation or policy, moving inclusive urban development practices beyond the experimental, temporal phase and setting new standards for the long term.
As this book examines actors both at the 'bottom' and the 'top', We Own the City is not only for professionals, practitioners and experts, but for all city dwellers, students and anyone interested or involved in progressive urban development. While the urban planning discourse faces a generational shift, We Own The City promotes an era of urban ownership.