Small Change: About the Art of Practice and the Limits of Planning in Cities

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What exactly is 'small change'? Build a bus stop in an urban slum and a vibrant community sprouts and grows around it - that is the power of small changes that have huge positive effects. This book is an argument for the wisdom of the street, the ingenuity of the improvisers and the long-term, large-scale effectiveness of immediate, small-scale actions. Written by Nabeel Hamdi, the guru of urban participatory development and the master of the art, Small Change brings over three decades of experience and knowledge to bear on the question 'what is practice'?. Through an easy-to-read narrative style, and using examples from the North and South, the author sheds light on this question and the issues that stem from it - issues relating to political context, the lessons of the 'informal city', and the pursuit of learning that challenges convention. The result is a comprehensive, yet imaginative, guide to the forms of knowledge, competencies and ways of thinking that are fundamental to skilful practice in urban development. This is powerful, informed, critical and inspiring reading for practitioners in the field, students and teachers of urban development, those who manage international aid and everyone looking to build their community.