Research Brief

October 14, 2022

Applying a Decolonized Approach as the Foundation to Creating Accessible Smart City Design

two people view city from lookout point

By Evergreen

for the Community Solutions Network

A starting point to challenge and empower individuals to consider their own decolonial journey.

This brief explores how colonization shows up in design processes and how using decolonized approaches can create space for meaningful Indigenous inclusion and move toward a more equitable approach that benefits the meaningful inclusion of all groups. We explore the definitions of colonization and decolonization to encourage readers to think about how colonization currently shows up in their processes.

We also explore two specific examples of decolonized and Indigenized approaches and how they can be used in the design process to impact communities. Acknowledging that ‘one-size fits all’ will not work for all cities across Canada, we hope that readers will use this brief to consider their approaches to designing processes and how a shift in mind frames to notice colonial practices and intentionally engage in decolonized approaches can change systems.

Decolonization is as much a process as a goal. It requires a profound recentering on Indigenous worldviews. Decolonization is a dramatic reimagining of relationships with land, people and the state. Much of this requires study. It requires conversation. It is a practice; it is an unlearning.

Syed Hussan

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