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Accepted Contribution:

Putting agonistic planning into practice with Drama labs: comparing four experiences with theatre-based transdisciplinary collaboration in urban planning.  
Barbara Koole (Tilburg University) Lisa de Roeck (University of Antwerp) Krzysztof Janas Cecilie Sachs Olsen

Short abstract:

An empirical paper comparing four experiences with theatre-based participatory processes in Drama Labs. In each case. We explore how theatre might help us understand the role of different, potentially conflicting perspectives in transdisciplinary collaborations for urban transformations.

Long abstract:

This paper addresses the prevailing critique on consensus-seeking approaches in urban development and planning, and the traction gained by proponents of a so-called agonistic urban planning. This approach to planning might better accommodate differences and disagreements to ensure a more inclusive participatory politics and transdisciplinary collaborations (see Fainstein, 2010; Healey, 2003; Hillier, 2003; Metzger, 2017; Huxley & Yiftachel, 2000; Legacy et al. 2014; Pløger, 2022). Agonistic planning is, however, critiqued for a large gap between its practice and its theoretical approaches, and there is little work done that practically and empirically addresses how the nature of the conflict between different social actors can be identified, expressed, and negotiated in participatory planning processes. In response, this paper explores how drama labs, by means of theatre-based methods, can put agonistic planning into practice.

We compare experiences from four drama labs: participatory processes that were developed through art-research collaborations using theatre-based methods around urban climate-related conflicts. These drama labs were executed in Drammen (Norway), Gdynia (Poland), Tilburg (the Netherlands) and Genk (Belgium) – each with a unique approach and set-up, based on intensive research in the respective areas. In this paper we explore how developing such drama labs can be understood as institutionalizing arenas for productive conflict. We investigate whether drama labs can increase the transformative capacity of cities, by providing participatory processes that better accommodate and handle the presence of conflicts. This paper demonstrates how theatre might help us understand the role of different, potentially conflicting perspectives in transdisciplinary collaborations for inclusive urban transformations.

Combined Format Open Panel P268
Creative partners? Repositioning the arts in transdisciplinary collaborations
  Session 2 Wednesday 17 July, 2024, -