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New open-access book “Inclusive Urbanism” addresses the key issues of urban development

More than half of the world’s population is agglomerated in cities. According to a UN projection, approx. two thirds of the global population will be city dwellers by 2050. As urbanisation progresses, social aspects in urban development become ever more critical. Alongside TU Delft, Department of Urbanism, and the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development Dresden (IÖR), TU Dresden has now published the open access publication “Inclusive Urbanism”, which is dedicated to the major issues of urban development – both at local level and in a global context. The publication is a result of a collaboration between TU Dresden and TU Delft and edited by Wolfgang Wende, Steffen Nijhuis, Angela Mensing-de Jong and Melanie Humann.

“The focus of urban development today is no longer on individual, spectacular buildings. Rather, it addresses social interaction and participation”, states co-editor Wolfgang Wende, Professor at the chair of Urban Development at TU Dresden and head of the research area Landscape Change and Management at the IÖR. “Designing cities and settlements in an inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable manner is not only one of the most important tasks of the United Nations, it is also a goal for sustainable development. The question of how cities can, on the one hand, adapt to the consequences of climate change and, on the other hand, develop in a more sustainable and socially balanced way in the interests of climate protection, is paramount”.

Social issues and participation – both at home and all over the world

From Dresden-Hellerau to Sao Paulo: The Brazilian scientist Alexandra Aguiar Pedro investigated the intercultural urban gardening project Golgi-Park in the Dresden district of Hellerau. Under the right conditions, such initiatives can be conducive to integration and encourage social engagement. The researcher and urban planner is now using the findings to set up a similar urban gardening project in several favelas in her home city of Sao Paulo.

This topic is only one of the many contributions to the new book that are geared towards practical application. Several articles deal with the participation of the population in planning processes and outline alternatives to a “top down” form of urban development. The scenarios range from a small German town, in which the willingness of young people to participate is put to the test, to the new African conurbations, where joint workshops with planners and residents are to ensure more inclusiveness in the sense of equitable participation. So-called informal settlements, which are no longer restricted to the Global South in the form of huge, squalid slums, have no longer merely negative connotations. Rather, planners recognise the opportunities offered by spontaneous urbanisation processes and search for ways to support people in their self-organisation.

Open Access – More participation in scientific knowledge

Urban development itself is becoming more inclusive and participatory, as is science. For this reason, the publisher deemed it pivotal to make the book freely available in Open Access. Download link: DOI:

“Inclusive Urbanism” is published in the Research in Urbanism Series (RiUS; RiUS is an open access, peer reviewed publication series, hosted by TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture and The Built Environment, and indexed by Scopus, Google Scholar, and others. This volume contains selected contributions from the international conference “Urban Studies in Education and Research”, which took place at TU Dresden at the end of 2018.

Wende, W.; Nijhuis, S.; Mensing-de Jong, A.; Humann, M. (Eds.) (2020). Inclusive Urbanism. Advances in research, education and practice (Research in Urbanism Series, Vol. 6). Delft, TU Delft Open. Pages 328 // Full colour // ISBN 978-9463663175


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