Welcome to My City InVisible
Hidden, forgotten, overlooked, or perhaps invisible – there are parts of the city that only a ‘local’ can ever know and appreciate. These are the ‘private domains’, side streets, and ignored neighbourhoods that seem to hold little attraction to the visitor, or remain ‘off-limits’ and ‘off-grid’. Equally, locals can become somewhat blinkered to the familiar and everyday, overlooking the novel, intriguing, and successful aspects of the environment they shape through their everyday lives. ‘Fresh eyes’ and a new perspective can spot these phenomena and identify what makes them special. The My City InVisible project set out to consider multiple understandings of ‘good’ and liveable cities.
Spatial practices in cities of the Global South are complex and varied; often viewed as challenging and problematic in planning and design discourses. In the context of established planning orthodoxy in the Global North, facing unprecedented functional and environmental challenges in a post-pandemic Climate Emergency, cities of the Global South can offer an interesting lens for re-imagining city environments. The rich everyday socio-spatial narratives that characterise Global South urbanism demonstrate opportunities for adaptation, negotiation and transformation of diverse societies, and can inform social innovations, imaginaries, and the development of new policies addressing environmental and economic inequalities in cities not only in the Global South but in the Global North as well.
Existing city planning, policy and design discourses often overlook the heterogeneous needs, aspirations, perceptions, commitments, preferences, identities and capabilities of citizens in favour of generic top-down initiatives. The My City InVisible project moves beyond the dominant ‘western’ framings of ‘what is a good city’, and renders visible the invisible characteristics of successful communities.
The My City InVisible project was supported by the British Academy through Virtual Sandpits Follow-on Funding.
Istiakh Ahmed International Centre for Climate Change and Development
Ipshita Basu University of Westminster
Allotey Bruce-Konuah Accra Lomi
Kevin Fellingham University of Cape Town
Mohammed Firoz National Institute of Technology Calicut
Ricardo Safra de Campos University of Exeter
Iain Jackson University of Liverpool
Ranald Lawrence University of Liverpool
Nirmani Liyanage Colombo, Sri Lanka
Firi Rahman Colombo, Sri Lanka
Lakshmi Priya Rajendran UCL
Mahmudol Hasan Rocky Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, Bangladesh
Hanna Ruszczyk Durham University
Exhibition / Website design
Martin Winchester University of Liverpool