Panel Paper: Participatory Action Research for Urban Connectivity. Bridging Inequality in Metropolitan Monterrey

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Building 3, Room 209 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Patricia A. Wilson1, Leon G. Staines1 and Carlos E. Aparicio2, (1)University of Texas, Austin, (2)Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León

The central proposition of this paper is that participatory action research as a form of human centric design thinking can offer a more potent approach to addressing urban connectivity than government= or expert-led design. To this end the paper offers two innovations: 1. Methodologcially the paper integrates systems awareness, collaborative learning, presencing, design thinking, and rapid prototyping in an action research context, and 2. Substantively the paper offers a multi- dimensional approach to connectivity that integrates social, economic, physical, and cultural axes. The paper grounds the approach by applying this methodology and framework to a densely populated, socially polarized urban area in Metropolitan Monterrey in which the juxtaposition of opposites belies connectivity. We apply dynamic systems thinking to identify patterns (fractals) of causality exhibited in previous connectivity initiatives. The paper then proposes a 3-step process for engaging community and government stakeholders: 1.First, collaborative sense-making of these patterns, i.e. collaborative learning from the past, 2. collaborative identification of current conditions andneeds, and identification of emergent patterns regarding connectivity, and 3. collaborative action going forward, built on rapid prototyping—i.e. learning from doing, together. The paper concludes by proposing a new scalable template for governance and civic engagement, created locally by local actors for local conditions, to enhance connectivity on multiple dimensions.

Full Paper: