Interactive urbanism is an online platform which focuses on the advancement of understanding of complex processes of articulation and implementation of urban policies, which are used for spatial transformation and as such influence the quality of life of the people who occupy that space.
The complexity of these processes is caused by increasingly faster changes of the development process and the existence of different and fluid discourses and often conflicting interests. Conflicting interests are a normal consequence of democratization in society, whose level of development is measured by the finesse of the mechanism which enables a group of people to express and defend their interests. However, although the conflicts of interest present a key characteristic of modern society, they can be destructive for the community, so instruments which disable their escalation must be developed.
Confronted with ever more complex developmental problems, urban and spatial planning in Serbia, as an instrument of developmental governance, shows an increasing powerlessness reflected in the growing number of escalated conflicts. The position and the role of urbanists in the governance processes of spatial development are still significant in formal procedures, but their real impact on decision-making is decreasing. A lack of support from the government for the development of capacities of urbanist institutions and professional competences, contributes to a continual decrease of urbanists’ self-confidence and their retreat from working in the public sphere. The reputation and respect for the profession, in all various aspects of practice, significantly decreases in the eyes of politics and the wider public.
The platform Interactive urbanism offers professional support for the professional, but also for the wider community by providing access to information of importance for understanding the process of planning and governing spatial development. Its aim is to empower active, constructive and continuous participation of all involved, as well as those in charge of implementing the process. It’s an interactive effort, which can be used to build new understanding and institutional capacities in the hopes that we will once again be able to establish a minimum of mutual values together, which can serve as a basis for building a mutual idea about the purpose and the concept of developing a society/city in which we want to live.
The platform Interactive urbanism contributes to a renewal of a forgotten culture of communication and strengthening of the public sphere, which is a key instrument in the fight against various types of visible and invisible powers dominating the public discourse. The goal of the platform is to provide an access to reliable information and seeing the relations between different parallel processes and procedures, and so provide informed opinions, solid argumentation and increase the capacity for critical reflection for all interested individuals and groups. The plan is for the platform to become interactive in the future, and enable two-way communication and mutual interaction, or rather to provide additional information, an exchange of ideas and raising new topics of discussion.
The platform Interactive urbanism contributes to the building of the public sphere which has dramatically collapsed in the past several years with the collapsing of the media as the most powerful instrument for the support of society to articulate public good and public interest in public discussions, in the name of which individual and personal interests must be withdrawn, and whose protection and promotion will be worked on by public institutions. The platform was developed in accordance with the understanding that public and individual (legitimate) interests
are not opposing, but are two mutually inseparable components of the same phenomena, and that only by establishing the personal and the discussion about the relationship with the public can there be a development in society.
The platform Interactive urbanism aims to encourage free research of an informed opinion and ideas and argumenta discussions in order to reevaluate and rebuild new, better add pated and more efficient rules, procedures and methodological steps which a society uses to govern development. It is a contribution to the understanding that they must be continually critically reflected on and changed in accordance with reality.