This section considers forms of collaboration in situated and community projects embedded in important spatial transformation processes in New Zealand cities. It aims to shed light on specific combinations of material and semantic aspects characterising the relation between people and their environment. Contributions focus on participative urban transformations. The essays that follow concentrate on the dynamics of territorial production of associations between multiple actors belonging both to civil society and constituted authority. Their authors were directly engaged in the processes that are reported and conceptualised, thereby offering evidence gained through direct hands-on experience. Some of the investigations use case studies that are conspicuous examples of the recent post-traumatic urban development stemming from the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010-2011. More precisely, these cases belong to the early phases of the programmes of the Christchurch recovery or the Wellington seismic prevention. The relevance of these experiences for the scope of this study lies in the unprecedented height of public engagement at local, national and international levels, a commitment reached also due to the high impact, both emotional and concrete, that affected the entire society.
This article is an introduction to contents of Chapter III.