SOCIAL SCIENCES

Speculative Futures: Design Approaches To Navigate Change, Foster Resilience, and Co-Create the Cities We Need

North Atlantic Oct. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9781623177362. pap. $19.95. SOC SCI
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Urban planning should be driven by the question What is possible??, argues urbanist Hoffman (cofounder of Design for Adaptation). Her book offers best practices for engaging in the planning process, with professionals and the general public acting as co-creators. The importance of employing imagination through play is stressed, and multiple examples illustrate how to do that and what to avoid. The book advocates planning that incorporates not only words but sounds, images, and even smells of what the future could bring. In addition, it describes how social cohesion and resilience can grow when efforts to reimagine cities grow out of and build upon diverse perspectives. Rather than relying on failed past practices in urban renewal or succumbing to the dystopian view that only the worst will happen in the future, this book offers a positive alternative. It shows that starting with ideas about what people most want to happen in the future, then coming back to the present and building connections to those expressed desires can chart a better course for planning.
VERDICT Recommended for all big-city libraries.
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