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'Open Source' Place-making

'Open Source' Place-making

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Published by David Barrie
Essay arguing for a new approach to the development of real estate, informed by the rise of non-profit enterprise, the internet economy and sustainable development. Commissioned by UK agencies Architecture + Design Scotland and the Scottish Centre for Regeneration, as part of the Sustainable Communities Initiative of the Scottish Government.
Essay arguing for a new approach to the development of real estate, informed by the rise of non-profit enterprise, the internet economy and sustainable development. Commissioned by UK agencies Architecture + Design Scotland and the Scottish Centre for Regeneration, as part of the Sustainable Communities Initiative of the Scottish Government.

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Published by: David Barrie on Nov 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/19/2014

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‘Open source’ place-making
There is a growing appetite in industrialised countries orenterprises that merge proft-making with morality and a dramaticrise in the use o digital online technology or social networking.The two trends highlight an increasing attachment to social valuein business and thirst or a new social layer to everyday lie. They mark a change in the way in which we choose to organize and live ourlives, with implications or or-proft and non-proft businesses alike.The two trends recommend a new emphasis in urban policy andplanning towards embracing ‘citizen demand’, aggregating andusing it to make places that unold over time, through programmeso low-cost capital investment.They suggest that there’s value in taking a more interactiveapproach to the design and development o our cities, one gearedto multiple groups, relationships, entrepreneurial networks andmodular use o sites.Think o it as ‘venture urbanism’. Call it ‘open source’ place-making.
THE RISE OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
Throughout the world, social enterprise is on the rise. Dubbed the new ‘ourth sector’, thishybrid orm o or-proft/non-proft business is orecast to have a global value o over £300bn-a-year within 5-10 years.
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Specialist social enterprise fnancial institutions like Charity Bankand Triodos report levels o lending in the frst hal o 2010 equivalent to all o 2009.
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This isagainst a backdrop o investment by Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Funds in the UK:an estimated £764bn.
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 The political message o the new Coalition Government in the UK is
to put more power andopportunity into people’s hands
, in part by supporting co-operatives, charities and social enter-prises; and by Autumn 2010, a ramework has emerged or this that eatures the rolling back o regional government, ormation o a Big Society Bank, unding support or community organ-izing and promotion o the idea o Open Source Planning.
4
 Upward trends in obesity, chronic disease and demographic ageing in the industrial countrieshave long drawn attention to the act that the biggest sectors o Western economies by 2020, both by value and employment, will not be cars, ships, steel, computer manuacturing orpersonal fnance but the social sectors o health, education and care.
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 The rise o social investment, the policy programme known as ‘Big Society’ and cuts in expend-iture on public management seek to enhance the role o social business in the provision o these services in the UK.
 ‘OPEN SOURCE’ PLACE-MAKING
A COLLECTIVE APPROACH TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CITIES INAN AGE OF BIG SOCIETY, DIGITAL MEDIA AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
Author — David BarrieSeptember 2010
 David Barrie & Associatesdavidbarrie.typepad.com
project design & delivery creative/economic planningpublic involvementsocial ventures
This essay wascommissioned by 
, Scotland’snational championor good architecture,design and planning inthe built environment.
 
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‘Open source’ place-making
 When linked with the rise o the internet as a model or doing business, a modal shit in demandto localism in response to climate change and increasing awareness o the value o community to sustainable development, a orm o business that promotes people, moral resource and alter-native orms o shareholder value starts to look way more than just ‘avour o the month’.I social enterprise is to assume a greater role in the supply o public goods and services, howmight it change the way in which we deliver a key public service: the built environment?
AN ARMY OF NEW ENTREPRENEURS
As social enterprise has grown around the world, an army o new entrepreneurs has amassed inthe shadows o the ‘creative class’ o proessionals, knowledge workers and ‘Bobos’ championed by real estate developers and city administrators in their bid to turn around post-industrial cities.
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 This is an army that is committed to what Jerr Boschee, President and CEO o the Social Enter-prise Alliance in the United States calls
merging the prot motive and moral imperative
– and they are oot-soldiers to a cause that is an hybrid o capitalism and ethics, rather than economicclustering, Richard Florida’s ‘Gay Index’ or the capacity o culture, principally the visual artsand the excess capital that ollows it, to re-purpose redundant urban environment.
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 According to Boschee, an early explosion o activity took place across the United States in the1970s and 1980s,
as entrepreneurs, small businesses and major corporations discovered social marketsand started social enterprises
, and they were inspired by isolated incidents o private sectorcorporations addressing social need:
They began to run adult day-care centres; educational programs for small children, high-school drop-outs, and adult students; low-cost housing projects; vocational training and job-placement efforts;home-care services for the disabled and elderly; hospice care; outpatient mental-health and rehabilita-tion services; prisons; wind farms; psychiatric and substance-abuse centres; and dozens of other busi-nesses that delivered products and services previously provided by non-prots or government agencies.
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The response o agencies in the United States at the time was to push more o the responsibil-ity or meeting social needs on to the non-proft sector, while simultaneously slashing ederaland state unding or human services.In the UK, a country with a powerul tradition o mutualism and state provision but weak cul-ture o philanthropy, a similar but less rapid and individuated trend has taken place. In recenttimes, it has witnessed the trebling in value o the charities sector, the rise o developmenttrusts to support regeneration and renewal – or example, the Royds Community Association– social enterprise provision o social care – or example, Turning Point – the birth o social businesses such as the Big Issue, ethical attractions such as the Eden Project and the osteringo devolved neighbourhood and community schemes by municipal authorities.
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Social entrepreneurs such as John Bird, ounder o the Big Issue and Jamie Oliver, co-oundero the Fiteen chain o training restaurants have become lions o popular culture – with anemphasis upon them as charismatics, rather than CEOs like Georey Canada o HarlemChildren’s Zone in the United States.
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 Ideas or social business grown in the UK have been successully exported abroad – with versions o the Big Issue now available in nine countries around the world and The Hub,
a multi-sited incubator for social innovation
, in twelve.
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 If social enterprise isto assume a greater role in the supplyof public goodsand services, howmight it change theway in which wedeliver a key publicservice: the builtenvironment?
 
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‘Open source’ place-making
In parallel with growing numbers o new social businesses in the UK, there has been agrowing inuence o ‘citizen-driven partnership’ as an alternative to the central designand delivery o governmental services.
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 Certain policy thinkers have had a key inuence upon this, such as Proessor StephenGoldsmith at Harvard Kennedy School, sociologist Amitai Etzioni, economist Richard Thaler,David Halpern o the Institute or Government, Geo Mulgan o the Young Foundation and writer Charles Leadbeater.
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Initiatives that emphasise community involvement have captured the public imagination,such as Time Banking UK and The Big Lunch.
14
 Public institutions and Government have been impressed by the participation o people inthe social sector in initiatives such as the Balsall Heath Forum, Southwark Circle, Teach First,NHS Choices and the St Giles Trust.
15
 With a persistent lack o trust in politics, social problems, inequality and unprecedentedchallenges to public fnance, these initiatives and others have impressed strategists inpublic policy and emphasised the value o user-driven and user-ocussed involvement asorces or change.This has been accompanied by an ideological shit in political culture away rom socialsecurity to ‘social productivity’: a trend emphasised by the new Coalition Government andits proposals to limit benefts, implement ‘open source’ planning, introduce ‘social income bonds’, support public sector co-operatives, boost volunteering and turn the ‘civil service’in to the ‘civic service’.
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 The rise o social enterprise and ‘social productivity’ has important implications orregeneration and renewal in the UK. They prioritise human relationships, transactions o social, not just commercial value and shit the narrative o renewal rom the provision o space to services, with sites acting as places that enable change, rather than dictate them via a masterplan.
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 The rise o social enterprise and ‘social productivity’ presses or a new narrative in urbandevelopment; but beore opening up this story, there’s a parallel phenomenon in contemporary culture that needs to be considered.
THE INTERNET AND RISE OF THE‘RELATIONSHIP ECONOMY’
The appetite is insatiable just now or using the internet or social networking and as a toolor creating ertile communities and new entrepreneurial networks.At present, there are 51m users o the internet in the UK – 82% o the population. One in every our and a hal minutes spent by people online is on social networks and blog sites. In July 2010, the social networking website Facebook passed its 500 millionth user – 24.2m in the UK Five o the ten astest-growing online brands over the last year in the UK, in terms o uniqueaudience, relate to social and proessional networking. A new member joins the business-orientated site LinkedIn approximately every second.
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The rise of socialenterprise and‘social productiv-ity’ has importantimplications for regeneration andrenewal in the UK 

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