Process design for social empowerment under the inequitable phenomenon of conurbation: new links between Academia and communities
This study aims to improve the welfare of local rurban communities by reducing their vulnerability, thereby empowering them through new strategic partnerships with Academia in order to address the inequitable phenomenon of conurbation, and reappraise the rurban landscape as a cultural capital. The willingness to meet specific demands from members of rurban localities is the driving force for creating an inclusive design process, which consists of three areas: the local community, as well as students and researchers from the Faculty interacting assertively with and in such a context. The design process is focused on providing viable options for communities to relate the physical and social structure systems that make up the habitat to the objective of leveraging their capacity for resilience, as well as strengthening their identity. The creation of new links between Academia and communities at-risk encourages the participation of the three areas that make up the design process. Through communities' experience and cultural capital, a dialogue can be instated between the uncertainty and empowerment of the parties involved. Coexistence between rural and urban landscapes requires a system and structure, which actively promotes the preservation of natural resources and social cohesion. The task of each of the participants encounters its true meaning when practical actions arising from and for the adaptation of the local cultural landscape become a reality. How does one begin if not by opening a dialogue between researchers and student members of vulnerable communities?
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