Our work has been systematized in the framework of collective experimentation in the city and the territory. New possibilities are born from the adaptation of graphic facilitation and process mediation applied to urban planning. There is a clear need for a new key figure, that of the creative professional halfway between the urban mediator and the graphic facilitator. Someone who, using drawing as the main tool, provides the means by which everyone should be able to produce, express and communicate ideas in order to participate in urban decision making.
Different types of services are associated to graphic facilitation: graphic report, videoscribing, visual thinking, etc. However, applied to the realm of participatory urban planning, other aspects should be taken into account in order to be able to assess in processes of collective construction of the city:
• Mediation. Applying graphic facilitation techniques to urban transformation processes is an opportunity to transform and ease the task of an urban mediator.
• Urban expertise. The graphic facilitator has to be an expert not only on negotiation and participative processes but also on urban planning and urban dynamics.
• Collaborative work. Ideas should be produced, negotiated and appropriated by the community
• City. Graphic facilitation techniques should be adapted when applied to innovation and urban transformations. Design is not neutral, and it should be committed to social change when dealing with the stakeholders involved in a process.
• Glocal dimension. Transformation processes can be a global matter locally built in their context through open-source strategies. Digital media and virtual dimension management may provide the possibility to open this processes to wider participation.
• Verification. Not everything can be measured in numbers but it’s important to compare, verify and evaluate if the objectives of a project are achieved, especially when demonstrating the impact and transformation capacity before public or private institutions.
On this basis, Improvistos has developed CPH methodology based on three key ideas: creativity, participation, hybridization. Although it is still in beta phase, it has already been applied in several projects in France and Spain with remarkable results.
CPH is a methodology for urban mediation that includes collaborative design, graphic reinterpretation of ideas and audiovisual report in real time. It combines collective reflection processes and creative production into a verifiable, rigorous system, counting on the expert collaboration of sociologists, architects, artists, cultural managers and computer engineers. Taking advantage of information and communication technologies (ICT) and digital devices in combination with traditional graphic tools, it aims to involve civic society and engage public institutions in urban innovation.