Participatory City

Participatory City

What was the nature of their innovation and how did it contribute to humankind? Participatory City is building a large scale participatory ecosystem in Barking and Dagenham, East London, which aims to create a new economy in the borough with people and their talents at its heart. The economy that will be created through this approach differs from market-only economies by systematically building a vast network of projects, people and collaborative businesses across the borough through which learning and latent existing resources can travel and connect. The resulting economy aims to be radically inclusive and environmentally circular in how it produces economic improvement for residents through peer-to-peer co-creation. Participation is the key building block for co-creating an inclusive economy, and the ecosystem design has many opportunities and points of entry, allowing for people to get involved from the earliest point of interest, through to creating collaborative businesses, built into the fabric of everyday life. The method of building this new economy is through a system-based approach, constructing both the supporting platform at the same time as co-creating the participatory network with residents. While there are smaller examples which have provided inspiration and technical knowhow, Participatory Cities stands out through the scale at which it is working, greatly accelerating the development of this large living prototype. It aims to have 25,000 participants, 250 projects and dozens of collaborative business created over the 5 year period which has been funded with a collective of innovative funders. Participatory Cities are a major design challenge for our generation: how to design and build the physical, technical, economic and social infrastructure that enables us to co-create a sustainable future, with our own two hands, and with everyone? What is a participatory city and why is it so important can be watched here >


What a fantastic project

I am nominating Participatory City for the Not-the-Nobel Prize in Economics because they are going to the core of human agency to build a new economy - not the selfish, homo economicus core beloved by neoclassical economists, but the community-minded, caring core of human agency which practices reciprocal altruism on a daily basis in the community. They are doing this not in theory or textbooks but in practice, in Dagenham and Barking. The result will be a green, cooperative, democratic economy.

Find out more about them in this interview with Tessy Briton

Back to group

This content is created by the open source Your Priorities citizen engagement platform designed by the non profit Citizens Foundation

Your Priorities on GitHub

Check out the Citizens Foundation website for more information