AeT works to widen and deepen urban intelligence so that local, national and international stakeholders can engage in more informed urban dialogue, planning and design processes. This work is driven by a curiosity about a particular urban environment and reading that environment in order to better understand how informal workers and others operate within this context. New understandings provide analytical clues about how to improve the environments for users and the community.
Urban intelligence is focused on learning processes, and is fundamentally concerned with:
- discovering the ‘how‘ and ‘why‘ of the urban context;
- making sense of what is not always expressed in the urban environment;
- connecting cause-and-effect for people and space;
- feeding back knowledge into other processes.
Urban intelligence is promoted through engagement with local stakeholders, passive and active research in the urban environment, and creating opportunities to share learnings. AeT uses a specific methodology in urban intelligence gathering that includes:
- curbside knowledge
- focus groups
- formal and informal discussions
These tools help provide a diagnostic for how an environment should be co-shaped, to celebrate and render more functional the environment for informal workers and the participating community.
- Informal Economy Monitoring Study
- Inner-City Cardboard Recycling
- Besters (eThekwini) and Malendela Road