The Civic Entrepreneur

Civic Togetherness

There is a dramatic shrinkage of civic centres, especially in areas which are in dire need of them. Drawing inspiration from my personal nostalgia in Zanzibar, this project is a journey to redefine civic togetherness for the revival of community centres. Centre’s decaying over time as they fail to resonate strongly with the community.

Starting in Custom House, I learn to see beyond the statistics, stereotypes, and the built environment. Beyond the architectural jargon and documentary fetishism. Being weary of the design process that disengages with people and the sensitivities of emotion and morality which comes with humanly inhabited environments. It becomes clear that the answer lies with peoples and their visions, not spaces. I therefore, build relationships, learn to listen, become an active member of the extended community and eventually engage in collective design. Translating these visions or civic dreams from members of the community, the redefinition of civic togetherness was achieved.

However, every community is different and therefore every community should have a careful thorough process of engagement before any intervention. When aiming for civic togetherness, we must cherish and replicate the remaining potencies of communities.The project reimagines architectural practice and our role in order to ensure community civic visions trigger the revival of spaces for civic togetherness.

Halima Ali