The term livability tends to sum up what we associate with the welfare of a city, its architecture, and broader urban development. Livability suggests that quality of life is the holy grail of city competitiveness but current definitions create a clear hierarchy where architecture and design is at the top.
Making cities for people, starts with talking to people and allowing local people to define what livability means for them. To get a picture of human needs and engage more diverse people in differing contexts you must layer methods throughout the process. You must go out to the people. When working with livability at the crux of our scope, we know that we (as consultants) aren’t always the best people to talk to community members because they will not necessarily feel trusting of us as outsiders. So, in that case we will partner with other local groups that embody the community where we’re working and have them do the asking.