The city as canvas for change: Grassroots organisations’ creative playing with Bogota
Parra Agudelo, Leonardo, Choi, Jaz Hee-jeong, & Foth, Marcus (2017) The city as canvas for change: Grassroots organisations’ creative playing with Bogota. In Nijholt, Anton (Ed.) Playable Cities: The City as a Digital Playground. Springer, Singapore, pp. 189-210.
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In this paper we look at people as makers of their cities. We examine the case of Bogota where many underserved communities face daily struggles to survive. By building on Lefebvre’s notion of the right to the city, we explore how civic agency, play and creativity offer fertile grounds to work towards the creative management of conflict for building active citizenship. The paper presents the results and insights of our work with two grassroots organisations in Bogota, which include four themes that bring to light how their work empowers by developing creativity and trust, the ways in which they find common ground for collaboration with other city constituents, the approach to street-based strategies that they use for bringing about social change, and the ways in which they work towards together and envision their future and that of the city. Finally, we discuss how conflict and difference can be leveraged to move grassroots agendas forward, and how civic agency, play and creativity are central to defining how cities are shaped by bottom-up work
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