Socially Restorative Urbanism
The theory, process and practice of Experiemics
Routledge – 2014 – 246 pages
The need for a human-orientated approach to urbanism is well understood, and yet all too often this dimension remains lacking in urban design. In this book the authors argue for and develop socially restorative urbanism – a new conceptual framework laying the foundations for innovative ways of thinking about the relationship between the urban spatial structure and social processes to re-introduce a more explicit people-centred element into urban place-making and its adaptation.
Focusing on this interplay between humans and the built environment, two new concepts are developed: the transitional edge – a socio-spatial concept of the urban realm; and Experiemics – a participative process that acts to redress imbalances in territorial relationships, defined in terms of the awareness of mine, theirs, ours and yours (MTOY).
In this way, Socially Restorative Urbanism shows how professional practice and community understanding can be brought together in a mutually interdependent and practical way. Its theoretical and practical principles are applicable across a wide range of contexts concerning human benefit through urban environmental change and experience, and it will be of interest to readers in the social sciences and environmental psychology, as well as the spatial planning and design disciplines.
Part 1: Beyond Boundaries: developing the concept of Socially Restorative Urbanism 1. New Age-ing Cities: in search of a new discipline for socially oriented urban design 2. Balance of Control at the Margins 3. The Socially Restorative Urban Environment Part 2: In Search of the Edge 4. The Edge as Socio-spatial Concept 5. Transitional Edge Anatomy: laterality, extent and locality Part 3: Experiemics 6. The Need for Participative Processes 7. Experiemics Development Conclusions
Kevin Thwaites teaches and researches socially responsive landscape architecture and urban design at the University of Sheffield. Research interests centre of the development of Experiential Landscape, the theory and philosophy of urban landscape design and particularly how spatial and experiential dimensions of urban life converge to influence human psychological health and well-being.
Alice Mathers is Innovation Manager at the Tinder Foundation and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield, UK. Her work is driven by an interdisciplinary approach to people-environment interactions, which straddles the academic boundaries of landscape architecture, planning, sociology, disability studies, human geography and environmental psychology. Her doctoral and post-doctoral research with disabled people seeks to challenge current professional and societal constraints that inhibit the involvement of under-represented communities in environmental planning and design, and has received considerable attention from policy-makers and the international academic community.
Ian Simkins is a freelance lecturer, a Chartered Landscape Architect and the managing director of Experiemics Ltd, the consultancy of Experiential Landscape, whose overall strategy is to develop and apply an integrated approach to teaching, research and practice. The work has developed theoretical principles and practical methodologies focused on socially inclusive approaches to landscape and urban design, participative practices and experiential mapping methodologies.