URBZ is an experimental urban research and action collective.
URBZ organizes collaborative workshops, facilitates hands-on research projects, creates urban forms and concepts, and develops web content about urban space and places.
URBZ believes that residents are experts in their neighborhoods. Their everyday experience of the places where they live and work constitute an essential knowledge for planning and urban development.
For policy-makers, urban planners, architects and real-estate developers, accessing this knowledge is the best possible way to enhance the quality and impact of their work. Understanding a locality from the point of view of those who inhabit it improves the chances of success of a project at several levels:
. It identifies local actors
. It opens multiple communication channels
. It generates new ideas and solutions
. It provides a deep assessment of the ground-level situation
. It improves social impact and environmental sustainability
. It lifts up the image of the project and increases support
URBZ is engaged in communities in various parts of the world. We support individual expression, grassroots involvement and ground up development and are committed to information sharing, open access and public participation.
URBZ believes that – notwithstanding the digital divide – the Web remains one of the best medium to archive and spread knowledge and information on localities.
URBZ regularly organizes participatory workshops that last 2 to 7 days where local residents work in small teams with guests from various fields to produce documentation in the form of surveys, designs, multimedia products, or documented action.
The URBZ workshops are resolutely open and inclusive. We believe that play and fun are natural paths to knowledge and innovation. The success of our workshops is based on the motivation and creativity of the participants.
URBZ is also interested in other forms of engagements with localities. Thanks to the variety of expertise represented by our team we are as likely to work on architectural projects, as getting involved in artistic or pedagogical initiatives. We have notably organized several conferences, seminars, studios and exhibitions.
URBZ’s main strength is its team, which is composed of extremely motivated and creative members from diverse fields including planning, architecture, design, anthropology, economy and information technology. URBZ has offices in Mumbai and Goa (India) and a team in Latin America (Sao Paulo+Santiago). URBZ’s collaborators are spread around the world and include constant influx of bright volunteers and young researchers that join the team to learn from URBZ’s projects and approach.