Implementation of the New Urban Agenda on a local level: An effective methodology for human-centred urban design

In 2018 David Sellars and I, along with Planz Town Planning, Milford Planning, Cairns Regional Council, Townsville City Council, Richard Briggs, and Chuck Wolfe, as our Fulbright expert, organised and hosted an Urban Thinkers Campus, a UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign initiative (I wrote about it here and here).

We recently reported our engagement method in a publication in the Journal of Urbanism, as per abstract below.

The full article is available here.


This paper explores multi-method community engagement activities used to quickly and effectively produce an action plan based on city stakeholders’ perceptions and wishes. A UN-Habitat Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC), focused on promoting urban liveability, adopted a methodology aimed to effectively engage participants through the completion of urban diaries prior to the event. Engagement with participants was further enhanced through urban labs and discussions culminating in a Design Sprint, producing meaningful action statements. The methodology was aimed at capturing impressions, concerns and roles of each stakeholder group in producing human-centred urban environments. Results suggest the adopted methodology was successful in producing a clear set of tangible action statements, identified as potentially generating high impact and requiring low effort to be implemented. These readily applicable actions were compiled by the end of a single but intense workday.

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