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Building Resilience within communities


Macroscopia Labs is currently finishing an action research project entitled “Ideas towards water sensitive settlements” with 20 members of the Sitjwetla informal settlement in Alexandra, Johannesburg. Informal settlements are associated with the lack of urban socioeconomic integration and their growth are increasingly recognised as a dominant planning and design challenge. The challenges faced extend beyond water-related issues and require wider perspectives to designs and deeper involvement of communities for better use and applicability in the future.

This transdisciplinary action research project used a mixed method approach ranging from the use of applied theatre to community mapping as facilitation tools for dialogue. It harnessed the community’s knowledge, experiences and their proven adaptive capacity to promote and actively engage various knowledge communities in collective dialogue and action. The process designed engage communities in knowledge integration in a reflexive manner and to promote collective actions. Outcomes of this research proposes new opportunities for sustainable designs approaches, building community resilience and promoting human development more broadly.