Learning from HIC-AL School of grassroots urbanism
Keywords:Generative pedagogies, grassroots urbanism, Habitat International Coalition in Latin America
Re-thinking dominant epistemological assumptions of the urban in the global South implies recognising the role of grassroots networks in challenging epistemic injustices through the co-production of multiple saberes and haceres for more just and inclusive cities. This paper examines the pedagogies of such networks by focusing on the experiences nurtured within Habitat International Coalition in Latin America (HIC-AL), identified as a ‘School of Grassroots Urbanism’ (Escuela de Urbanismo Popular). Although HIC-AL follows foremost activist rather than educational objectives, members of HIC-AL identify and value their practices as a ‘School’, whose diverse pedagogic logics and epistemological arguments are examined in this paper. The analysis builds upon a series of in-depth interviews, document reviews and participant observation with HIC-AL member organisations and allied grassroots networks. The discussion explores how the values and principles emanating from a long history of popular education and popular urbanism in the region are articulated through situated pedagogies of resistance and transformation, which in turn enable generative learning from and for the social production of habitat.