Nabeel Hamdi - The Placemaker's Guide to building Community

A PublicForum Book Talk - Friday, 28 May 2010, 13:00 Eastern/17:00 GMT
(60 min audio conference)

Free. A Circle Club members-only event.*

Join our next PublicForum Book Talk with noted author Nabeel Hamdi. Nabeel's newest book, The Placemaker's Guide to Building Community (Earthscan, 2010), is packed with practical skills and tools that engagement practitioners, planners, urban designers and other built environment specialists need to engage effectively with development work in any context.

Drawing on four decades of practical and teaching experience, Hamdi offers fresh insight into the complexities faced by development practitioners when working to improve the communities, lives and livelihoods of people the world over. The book shows how these complexities are a context for, rather than a barrier to, creative work. The book also critiques the single-vision top-down approach to design and planning. Using examples of successful professional practice across Europe, the US, Africa, Latin America and post-tsunami Asia, Hamdi demonstrates how good policy can derive from good practices when reasoned backwards, as well as how plans can emerge in practice without a preponderance of planning.

Reasoning backwards is shown to be a more effective and inclusive way of planning forwards with significant improvements to the quality of process and place. The book also offers a variety of methods and tools for analyzing the issues, engaging with communities and other stakeholders for design and settlement planning and for improving the skills of all involved in placemaking.

Don't miss this insightful discussion that will focus on practical tools and approaches to engaging people for the purpose of placemaking!

About Nabeel Hamdi

Nabeel Hamdi qualified as an architect at the Architectural Association in London 1968. He worked for the Greater London Council between 1969 and 1978, where his award-winning housing projects established his reputation in participatory design and planning. From 1981 to 1990 he was Assistant, then Associate Professor of Housing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was later awarded a Ford International Career Development Professorship.

In 1997 Nabeel won the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour for his work on Community Action Planning. He founded the Masters course in Development Practice at Oxford Brookes University in 1992 which was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2001. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2008. He is currently Professor Emeritus at Oxford Brookes University and teaching fellow at The Development Planning Unit, University College, London. He was until recently an Arup Fellow at the University of Cape Town and an adjunct professor at the National University of Technology, Trondhiem, Norway .

Nabeel has consulted on participatory action planning and upgrading of slums in cities to all major international development agencies, and to charities and NGOs worldwide. He is the author of Small Change (Earthscan, 2004), Housing Without Houses (IT Publications, 1995), co-author of Making Micro Plans (IT Publications 1988) and Action Planning for Cities (John Wiley and Sons, 1997), and editor of the collected volumes Educating for Real (IT Publications 1996) and Urban Futures (IT Publications 2005).


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