Festival of Politics - Power to the People

David Page joined the Festival of Politics debate entitled 'Power to the People' focused on community involvement in shaping the environment. The event, held at the Scottish Parliament on Friday afternoon was chaired by the Chief Architect for Scotland Ian Gilzean. The panel of participants joining David Page included Fiona Welch from Collective Architecture, Graham Hogg from Lateral North design agency and Sue John from the Glasgow Women’s Library. The debate explored the evolution of a participatory architectural movement across many strands of the economic, social and political spectrum. From calls for monetising the value of voluntary effort, recognising the potential of ‘sweat equity’, grabbing with all hands the latent potential of digital democracy, energising connectivity and seeding initiatives; a veritable galaxy of experience emerged that could be a platform for a unique Scottish perspective of enabled communities. A multi stranded view emerged in the opened up discussion ranging from a sense that the panel presented a naïve optimism (a Glasgow trait of the origins of the speakers), to a sense that Scotland has pioneered the roots of participatory shaping of the environment from Patrick Geddes on, a legacy which creates a foundation to build on and overcome the dissapointments felt by some.