Rethinking community engagement

***Following strong interest in our Rethinking Community Engagement programme in 2022/23, we’re doing a follow-up project called Putting Co-Production into Practice. Find out more here. ***

The aim of our 2022/23 programme was to explore how built environment practitioners could engage with local communities in a more meaningful way. At our launch event in June 2022, lots of issues were raised that we could have explored in more detail but in response to interest from our network, and the resources that were already widely available, we decided to focus on co-production.

Broadly, co-production refers to the joint delivery of projects and services between community members and decision-makers. In recent years the concept has started to gain traction in the built environment sector. Future of London first wrote about co-production in our 2019 programme, Foundations for Community-led Housing. But, three years on, questions remained about what co-production means, and involves, in the context of the built environment.

Our initial research illustrated that the sector would benefit from a deeper understanding of what co-production means in this context, how we should be doing it and what are the barriers that are preventing it from becoming a more widespread practice. Key to this programme was involving community representatives in the same way as we worked with professionals: as speakers at our events, participants in our workshops and as critical friends.

Our report, Making the case for co-production, presents the key findings from our Rethinking Community Engagement programme and introduces FoL’s Co-production Principles, which explain what co-production is and how it should be done in the built environment.

Thumbnail of front cover of the Rethinking Community Engagement report. Cover shows a group of people hugging in a communal space next to some housing. The heading is

Download the report

Download the summary insights

Past events

Read the write-up of our Rethinking Community Engagement launch event in June 2022 and watch the video.

Read the key insights from our Co-production workshops held in August and October 2022.

Read the thought-piece about our November 2022 co-production event, What is co-production and how can it work in the built environment?

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