Neither an architect nor a planner, Jacobs was an unflinching trouble-maker. Shrewd and sensitive in her observations, her prescience about the direction of urban development has become more apparent with the passage of time.
What motivated her writing, more than anything, was the centrality of community to the health and resilience of cities; dense, diverse, slow-changing, well-connected neighbourhoods, and the citizen participation they facilitate, are the essential components upon which the success of the city depends.
Township is based on those same principles. It has come from anxieties similar to those that propelled Jacobs, more than 60 years ago, to wade uninvited into a conversation usually had behind closed doors, about what – and who – our city is for.
As I write this, we’re little over a week old – a nascent group of academics, professionals, activists, city-dwellers, friends, who want to do something. A snap Assembly Election was the motivation we needed.
Right now, our focus is squarely on our AE17 campaign. We want to clarify candidates’ position on a range of crucial built environment issues, and make the information publicly available and easy to understand. There’ll be more about that soon.
Our bigger ambition, after 2nd March 2017, is to galvanise a public movement around issues that impact us in all kinds of profound ways. We hear, on social media, from friends and family, a lot of anger and frustration around things like affordable housing, the destruction of built heritage, or just the feeling of having no say in the changes that happen to our towns and cities. We think the first step in changing that is defining the issues, and giving our elected representatives the opportunity to take a firm stance.
Township is a movement for placemaking in Northern Ireland; composed of professionals, academics, & activists, campaigning for greater transparency and participation in how our towns & cities get shaped.
Launched February 2017