Social innovation systems for building resilient communities

  • Donagh Horgan

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


A global investigation into social innovation systems for building resilient communities, this doctoral thesis introduces a hypothesis that social innovation in the built environment occurs over phases of network, framework and architecture. The literature review links social innovation to sustainability and resilience science, and looks at the emergence of social innovation in response to social, economic and environmental challenges. Case studies and ethnographic methods are used to probe the barriers and enablers of social innovation in each of the above phases. The case studies were selected as examples of networked approaches to urban design. Tools that enable participation in planning are examined, alongside more bottom up tactics that promote community self-management of common resources.;The final phase of research looks at housing in particular as a way to promote inclusive growth and spatial equality for communities, facing the effects of neoliberal policy and planning. The study represents a new approach to research in architecture that takes an international perspective in the analysis of phenomena such as transdisciplinarity, insurgent activism and politics in space. Findings suggest that new narratives - platforms and spaces - in architecture are required to support open decision-making and the creation of public value in communities. Above all, this means leaning on new knowledge from diverse disciplines such as anthropology, system sciences and technology to further a deeper understanding of the dynamics that allow social innovation to thrive in an ecology for cities.
Date of Award28 Jul 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorBranka Dimitrijevic (Supervisor) & Robert Rogerson (Supervisor)

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