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RIURBA: Urban Participation in its objects

Making urban projects relevant, in line with the needs and aspirations of the field, this is what the ambition of urban participation is about — at least in theory. How are these ambitions actually achieved? How is the alignment with the field’s needs and aspirations composed and held together? And how could the relevance of participation projects to the field be improved? In this article these two questions are addressed through a lively and complex case, that of the establishment of a large pedestrian zone in the centre of Brussels. More specifically, they are approached from a particular angle, that of objects. What does it mean to report on participation through the prism of the objects they deploy? Objects of planning, objects of communication, everyday objects, critical objects, public things, ... The 'objectal' approach and the concomitant trends of increased attention to materiality, aesthetics and more-than-human entanglements will allow us to outline a programme for participation: take objects into account and make them count, in order to improve our 'accountability' to the field.

Read the article (in French) on RIURBA, an international journal of urban planning.