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Participatory City Making

Polycentric governance and human-centred, inclusive urban design

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Meinolf Spiekermann, Marc Steinlin

01 January 2022

Urban Age


uKESA Librarian 3



This technical report, published by Addis Ababa Urban Age Task Force, identifies and reviews approaches and practices applied in Africa, which could inspire future urban development in Addis Ababa to be rooted in the local communities through participatory processes, especially human-centred design approaches, co-creative consultation practices and the application of polycentric (multi-stakeholder) and bottom-up governance. It shows in practical terms how human-centred design can be implemented through inclusive co-creation of urban projects and involving concerned local communities.


It also demonstrates the systemic linkages between co-creative design and models of cooperative and, as a logical consequence, localised and polycentric governance that can ensure the adequacy, feasibility and implementation and thus, the sustainability of projects.


The Addis Ababa Urban Age Task Force (AAUATF) supports the City of Addis Ababa in advancing its strategic development agenda. This paper as well as other technical reports and policy briefs are accessible from the menu bar PUBLICATIONS option on their website.


Abstract based on source.


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