003 Joanne Cheung – Cities Book of Play

Cities are sites of aspirations and identities, and ‘play’ can be a means for fostering community engagement. Architect and urbanist Joanne Cheung critiques the prevailing forms of community engagement, suggesting that they are often paternalistic and fail to adequately consider the agency of individuals and communities. Joanne further discuss the implications of power imbalances, the need for co-creation, and how play can act as a ‘scaffolding’ for discussing democratic representation. Play has often become commodified causing an unequal power dynamics in society. Joanne suggests the Cities for Play is but a scaffold in tackling very hard problems democratically, and calls for meaningful engagement through more community-oriented spaces for collective action and creativity.




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“Why would you want to be engaged for engagement’s sake? It makes no sense. You can only be engaged when you’re doing something meaningful.”

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