In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, local SDI groups have played a critical role in making participatory planning a reality.
Dialogue on Shelter, the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation, together with staff and students from the National University for Science and technology, and the Bulawayo city council have come together to map, plan and deliver improvements in 12 informal settlements.
They created this short video, outlining the process and experiences of participatory planning in action:
Dialogue on Shelter and the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation are part of a GDI research project exploring scaling up participation in urban planning, led by Professor Diana Mitlin.
The project has recently published a new working paper ‘Knowledge matters: the potential contribution of the co-production of research to urban transformation’.
It argues that academics are insufficiently self-critical about the power dynamics involved in knowledge production with social movements, but that long-term relations enable understandings to be built and tensions to be alleviated.