University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Martin Centre Research Seminar Series - 40th Annual Series of Lunchtime Lectures > A placemaker’s guide to building community

A placemaker’s guide to building community

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Abstract: Drawing on four decades of practical and teaching experience worldwide, Nabeel Hamdi offers fresh insight into the complexities faced by practitioners when working to improve the lives and livelihoods of people the world over. The presentation draws from Hamdiʼs upcoming book of the same title, showing how these complexities are a context for, rather than a barrier to, creative work. Hamdi critiques the ʻsingle visionʼ top down approach to design and planning. The presentation will demonstrate through examples and profiles of successful professional practice drawn from across Europe, the US, Africa, Latin America and post- tsunami Asia, how good policy can derive from good practices when ʻreasoned backwards,ʼ 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.

Biography: Nabeel Hamdi qualified as an architect at the Architectural Association in London in 1968. He worked for the Grater London Council between 1969 and 1978, where his award-winning housing projects established his reputation in participatory design and planning. From 1981-1990 he was Associate Professor of Housing at 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, and the Masters course in Development Practice that he founded at Oxford Brookes University in 1992 was awarded the Queenʼs Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2001.

This talk is part of the Martin Centre Research Seminar Series - 40th Annual Series of Lunchtime Lectures series.

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