Conceptualizing Sustainable Neighbourhoods through Collaborative Placemaking

Ayomikun S. Adewumi, Husam Al Waer, Vincent Onyango

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Neighbourhood planning which dates back to the closing decades of the nineteenth century has metamorphosed under various movements in an attempt to evolve places that are socially responsive, economically viable, and environmentally friendly. With the constraints of rapid urbanization, climate change, financial instability coupled with significant demographic and social changes, the ability of the contemporary approaches to neighbourhood planning have been questioned, as to if it can lead to delivery of sustainable settlements. In addition, the potential of a single-specialist profession thinking as the 'messiah' to resolve the dynamic urban problems has been challenged. This paper proposes how placemaking, which promotes citizens' involvement and engagement in the plans and polices that shape the places where they live through an inclusive, collaborative, and design-led initiatives can provide a basis of a suitable approach for sustainable neighbourhood planning. The paper examines the nature of contemporary approaches in neighbourhood planning in the context of both developed and developing nations. While some degree of progress have been recorded by applying some of these initiatives across the various context, findings show that there is an urgent need to respond to the obvious shortcomings associated with the sectoral and individual attempts to tackle the problems that confronts the 21st century neighbourhoods. In proposing the transdisciplinary and collaborative placemaking approach, its salient key features and processes are highlighted in this paper and how it could be the game changer in delivering sustainable neighbourhoods. The paper concludes with recommendations on how collaborative placemaking can further be enhanced in practice, academia, and in policy making.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings of World Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2017 Hong Kong
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventWorld Sustainable Built Environment Conference, 2017: Transforming our Built Environment through Innovation and Integration: Putting Ideas into Action - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 5 Jun 20177 Jun 2017


ConferenceWorld Sustainable Built Environment Conference, 2017
Abbreviated titleWSBE 2017
Country/TerritoryHong Kong


  • collaborative placemaking
  • neighbourhood
  • sustainable


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