ENTRY #457

CivicWise Space by Domenico di Siena, Pablo Sendra, Fausto Llopis, Orsola di Marco, Line Algoed

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The CivicWise community proposes to create a co-design process for prototyping a civic space. This space should be defined through a collaborative process that generates sense of ownership on the community. It should be a production space, where people can gather together to work and debate with the neighbours from around the park. It should be a space to imagine how to configure a new park that needs to be conquered by the citizens.

The CivicWise space will be a space that allows the neighbours to become from users of the park to managers of the park. For getting the citizens involved, Carers will stroll around the park on weekends to introduce the project to the neighbours and invite them to take part on it.

CivicWise is a community of prosumer citizens, i.e. users and producers of the city, people that care about the quality of the urban landscape and that take action to transform it. The civicwisers’ work to improve the neighbourhood can be either remunerated or voluntary. The novelty of this project is that the fact that the platform/community has distributed governance avoids the situation in which big consultants get paid for promoting civic engagement and it is the community itself the one that can be commissioned a process of civic engagement.

CivicWise has its own legal structure, which makes possible making formal agreements with local authorities. This allows the project to have a legal form and at the same time allows the community to have autonomous and distributed governance.

CivicWise is an open and decentralised community. All the work is done as open code, so every member is free to reuse and modify the developed projects. Its glocal dimension and its open DNA avoids that some people can capitalise the work of the community.

CivicWise is a growing community of over 300 civiwisers. Each location and each project has a group a “carers” that coordinate the project. These are the five carers for this project:

Domenico di Siena: Civic designer, consultant and researcher who designs and develop process and tools to help communities and organizations collaborate and learn for social good. He is regularly invited by universities for urban policy meetings, in Europe and South America to lecture or coordinate workshops on urban innovation and collaborative processes. He will be in charge of coordinating CivicWise Global Network.

Pablo Sendra: Urban Designer, PhD in Architecture. He teaches urban design and neighbourhood planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL. He is also Research Associate at the University of Seville and founder of Lugadero. His main interests are public space and neighbourhoods. In the CivicWise space, he will coordinate the co-design process.

Fausto Llopis: Community Organizer. Working with target groups as disabled, immigrants and subsistence farmers, he has developed people skills that he puts in practice as a Community Organiser in Southwark. In the CivicWise space, he will build capacity within locals to help them regain their power and create communities that serve their own residents.

Orsola di Marco: Placemaker. She has a supported numerous community-led projects working with the national charity Glass-House Community-Led Design, the Design Against Crime Institute and the civic crowdfunding platform Spacehive. Orsola brings to Civicwise her experience in community engagement to help people develop their project ideas and knowledge in project management to support them delivering the project.

Line Algoed: Urban Anthropologist. Interested in people-led urbanism, cities and social relations. She has experience working with youth groups and volunteers. In the CivicWise space, she will be in charge of coordinating the debates and the people that arrive to the civic space.

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