Recoded City: Co-Creating Urban Futures

“I realized that basically the way that cities are being developed is a little broken.” — Thomas Ugo Ermacora, founder, Clear Village   Recoded City examines alternative urban design, planning and architecture for the other 90%: namely the practice of participatory placemaking, a burgeoning practice that co-author Thomas Ermacora terms ‘recoding’. In combining bottom-up and top-down means [...]

Thoughts about Clear Village’s future – by Thomas Ermacora

As 2015 draws to a close, I would like to share a number of reflections on how I see Clear Village developing in the years ahead. The first theme I would like to touch on is the relationship between participatory design and technology. Until now Clear Village has been viewed primarily as a participatory placemaking [...]

Best practice in supporting bottom-up placemaking – by Robin Houterman

In July we wrote about our view on the key messages from the Future of Places conferences in Stockholm. We talked about the emergence of new models of delivering public space in which newly emerging actors play a key role. With new technologies that facilitate these models becoming accessible to more and more people, we [...]

Focus on impact with +Acumen – by Robin Houterman

In my previous post I wrote about the increasing importance of measuring impact and how new technologies could support this. This post goes back to the practice of measuring impact and the methodologies for doing so. Five members of the CLEAR VILLAGE team, myself included, just completed the +Acumen “Making Sense of Social Impact” course. [...]

Experimentation and Prototyping in Community Building – by Marie James

Experimentation and prototyping, two design practices, can be powerful drivers to build trusting relationships with the local communities Clear Village works with.  As we have experienced, building prototypes of the projects and involving the local communities early in the process helps in building meaningful relationships with the members of those communities, as well as generating [...]

Measuring impact real-time: How new data technologies could help us demonstrate our impact – by Robin Houterman

As described in a recent Working Paper by the Third Sector Research Centre, third sector organisations are making more and more of an effort to measure their impact on individuals, communities and society as a whole. Presumably, as is suggested in the Working Paper, this is a result of an (perceived) increased pressure to demonstrate [...]

Three concepts for resilience – by Thomas Ermacora

To launch the Voices series, I would like to discuss three concepts which lie at the heart of what we’re trying to achieve at Clear Village. They are, in a sense, the DNA of our organisation. I believe that they are also part of a wider trend in placemaking and point the way towards how [...]

Is the human brain operating at the village scale? – by Alice Holmberg

Human evolution does not roll itself out at fibre-optic speed. Quite on the contrary, we humans evolve extremely slowly with unrecognisable differences from generation to generation. Indeed many scientists across the board classify our neural structures still as a “stone-age brain”. What if it’s not so much that we are still club-swinging, lust-driven and grunting, [...]

Paint as a tool of change – by Teresa García Alcaraz

Alongside my work at Clear Village, I am a member of the LPU collective, Liga de la Partida Urbana. At LPU, we carry out urban interventions that aim to rediscover and re-invent the public space in the barrios of Caracas through multiple and diverse artistic interactions. They are intended to be expressive and perceptive, transforming [...]