Debate 76: Co-producing Neighbourhood Resilience, Sheffield

Thursday, November 24th, 2016 | Uncategorized

bri-neighbourhood-resilienceHow can cities become more resilient?

A key challenge is creating resilience at the neighbourhood level - an often overlooked scale. Resilience strategies can enable local communities to thrive in response to rapid climate change and deal with uncertainty and disruption. However, the current emphasis of resilience planning remains relatively top down, with local authorities still producing strategies for local neighbourhoods rather than with them. With increasing resource constraints in the UK, local government can increase its leverage and impact by moving from the role of provider to enabler. At the same time, built environment professionals will need to develop new capacities to mediate between these authorities and their local communities.

The co-production approach shifts the power relationships involving built environment services and production. This helps to address the underlying social injustice and inequitable urban environments. To achieve resilience at the neighbourhood level, the co-production process seeks a genuine partnership between parties. Such a bottom-up approach allows local communities to engage directly with other stakeholders and also creates new resilience capacities within those communities. This emerging area was explored in the recent special issue, ‘Co- producing Neighbourhood Resilience’ in Building Research & Information, which examined numerous cases of co- production from an interdisciplinary perspective. It demonstrates the viability and benefits that arise from the co-production process.

This debate explored some implications and challenges of what co-production means for local government and professionals. Several questions were specifically raised:
• For built environment professionals - how can their role alter to accommodate the facilitation between governing bodies and local communities?
• Where are the specific challenges in co-production at the community level? How can they be overcome?
• What lessons can be learned for developing capacities, and demonstrator models?
• What are the politico-ecological dynamics that operate in this process? How is this used to empower communities through the production of resilient neighbourhoods?
• What are the research, practice and policy implications of neighbourhood co-produced resilience strategies?

These questions were discussed in relation to current practice and new initiatives with contributions from the invited panel and afterwards from the audience.


Chair: Janet Sharpe, Director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services, Sheffield City Council

Introduction: Professors Fionn Stevenson and Doina Petrescu (The University of Sheffield, School of Architecture) What is co-production and what have we learned?

Policy Speaker: Barra MacRuari, Director of Place, Bristol
Co-production and Resilience in the planning process / what can local authorities do?
Research speaker: TBC
Co-production with researchers / what can higher education contribute?
Practice speaker: Dr. Dorte -Rich Jorgensen, Sustainability consultant engineer, Aitkins Global
Co-production and teamwork / how does it work in practice?
Research speaker: Dr. Meike Shalk, KTH University, Stockholm, Sweden
Co-production on the Ground / how to set it up?
Client Speaker: Nigel Ingram, Director, Aurora Estates; previously Development Director at Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust
Co-production and the client/ what is the client role?

Venue: Room 13.18, Floor 13, The Arts Tower, The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN

The debate is being run in conjunction with the University of Sheffield and Building Research & Information

Edge-University of Sheffield Debate Invitation

Boyle D. and Harris M. (2009) The challenge of co-production: How equal partnerships between professionals and the public are crucial to improving public services. London: Nesta.
Maguire, B. and Cartwright S. (2008) ‘Assessing a community’s capacity to manage change: A resilience approach to social assessment’.
Petrescu D. and Petcou C. (2015) ‘R-Urban or how to co-produce a resilient city’ in Ephemera: theory and politics in organisation, vol. 15/1
Stevenson, F. and Petrescu, D. - guest editors (2016) Co-producing Neighbourhood Resilience. Special issue of Building Research & Information.

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