City Democracy: Retrieving Citizenship

Teresa Hoskyns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


This book contributes to the field of architectural theory by arguing for a more considered approach to architectural participation. It asks if a participative approach might lead to new spatial conditions and new types of architectural practices; in particular, it investigates the way that the user has been included in the design process. As government policies throughout the world call for more involvement by people in the making of their environment, the issue of participation has become of central concern to architects and has become mandatory in many public projects. Participation is therefore a widely expanding new area of architectural practice. Hoskyns’s chapter appears in the first section, which explores the politics of participation and aims to think through the book’s central question via an examination of participation theoretically, through political philosophy, and in political practice, seeking to show ways in which the two may be linked. The chapter’s structure offers a theoretical history of the link between cities and democratic models by examining as case studies London and Porto Alegre, Brazil, with their very different, and in some ways fundamentally opposed, representative and participatory democratic structures. Through joint examination of political structures and urban development, the chapter examines how political structures reflect on the two cities’ urban fabric. Research methods combine practice-oriented participatory methods, including contributing to the World Social Forum, Brazil (2003), with literary research and architectural practice. Related events to this chapter, organised by Hoskyns with Jane Rendell and Michael Edwards, are The Right to the City, Urban Forum, The Bartlett, UCL 2004, and the Urban Forum at City Hall, London 2005 organised with the London Green Party. These events explored participation through discussion of urban issues and democracy within the democratic public arena.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchitecture and Participation
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)0415317460
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Architectural theory
  • World Social Forum


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