How is a city made today? In his new book, Citymakers: The Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism, Cassim Shepard argues that it’s not just the top-down planners, architects and elected officials and bottom-up community groups that shape our cities, but the large and unheralded group in between. Shepard offers a cross-disciplinary approach to understanding the contemporary city that focuses on emerging principles practiced by a diverse group of “citymakers” including landscape designers, housing advocates, hackers, architects, ecologists, community organizers, activists, artists, and more.
Citymakers takes stock of these diverse examples from New York City to suggest a series of ethical imperatives for how we think about and produce public space, infrastructure, information technology, and housing worldwide. Panellists Holly Lewis, architect and co-founder of We Made That and Sven Mündner, an independent consultant for bespoke Public Realm strategy and delivery, drew on their experience to highlight similar London and UK based projects. Chaired by Julia King, the speaker and panel discussed more broadly the possibilities and necessity of new methods of engagement for a more equitable and sustainable future for cities.