Creative and Inclusive Strategies for Urban Transformation by Alice Cabaret
Every month, the GPMA invites an industry expert to present on the work they are doing to improve their neighbourhoods.
- Alice started her career in Johannesburg more than 10 years ago working for Propertuity which developed the Maboneng Precinct.
- Alice is an Urban Strategist, founder of The Street Society, an urban strategy agency based in Paris. Their mission is to transform underused spaces; buildings, neighbourhoods, public spaces turn them into attractive, inclusive, mixed use destinations.
- To achieve their mission, The Street Society is built around a global, collaborative eco system which gathers designers, illustrators, architects, engineers, researchers who all contribute towards transforming neighbourhoods.
- Alice is also the co-founder of [S]City which looks at the intersection between neurosciences, cognitive sciences and urbanism to create cities that have a positive impact on mental and physical health.
- Services offered by Street Society
1) Strategic Advisory for the adaptive reuse of historical and industrial buildings and neighbourhoods. Clients are property developers, property owners, city officials, NGO’s.
2) Research and Urban Trends Report. Challenges facing cities eg impact of sound pollution.
3) Temporary Installations and Activations. Workshops, street art, activations which bring new energy into spaces.
- City Improvement Districts do not exist in France, but these sorts of organisations (Voluntary Management Initiatives) are typically made of the type of peope that The Street Society would work with.
- Working in the neighbourhood scale is so important for the positive transformation of cities; real impact on social infrastructure.
- For more on the importance of Social Infrastructure read: Palaces for the People by Eric Klinenberg.
There are a number of YouTube videos relating to Klineburg’s research as a social scientist looking at the value of Social Infrastructure.
- Social links help neighbourhoods to be resilient during a social, health, climate crisis.
- Four Steps for Inclusive Urban Transformation:
Find creative, meaningful ways to engage with the local community. Traditional workshops can exclude a large portion of the population.
Alternative ways to engage are Photoshoot, Sound Map and Sensorial and Emotional Diagnostic survey (developed by [S]City.)
Encourage participatory design and co-construction processes.
Eg. Dream Street, Toronto https://www.the-street-society.com/dream-street-toronto
Eg. Urban design thinking card game http://www.the-street-society.com/urbandesignthinking
Eg. Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 http://www.the-street-society.com/venice-biennale
Give space, give time. Use meanwhile urbanism as a way to test concepts.
Eg. Hospital Saint Vincent de Paul (Paris) https://www.the-street-society.com/svdp-socles
Eg. Grind Cities Lab (Johannesburg) http://www.the-street-society.com/grind
Document the process, quantify the impact, adjust when necessary.
NB step that often gets left out!
Eg. Up/Side/Down/Town http://www.the-street-society.com/upsidedowntown
Impact analysis produced data to prove when you like a place, you are more willing to protect it.