SaHA Planning Studio beileves that planning has an ethical obligation to invest in reparative praxis.
re·par·a·tive | \ ri-ˈper-ə-tiv | serving to make amends
prax·is | \ ˈprak-səs | practical application of a theory
The ethical practice of planning requires an approach that seeks to understand and remedy physical, economic, social, and cultural devastation in communities. We seek to do this through reparative praxis. In community with others interested in promoting justice and ethics, we define reparative praxis as the practical application of theories that seek to redress past harms, attack inequitable power structures, and honor community voice.
We apply the following organizing principles to our work, realizing that they will shift and evolve as we grow. A reparative spatial praxis:
- Seeks life affirming policies, practices, and processes.
- Fosters an ethics of care that promotes human dignity and justice.
- Activates comprehensive, flexible, and equitable approaches and interventions of remedy.
SaHA Planning Studio believes in a theory-informed community-based planning process.
Good planning involves expansive, iterative, and nonlinear phases of research, analysis, and invention. Each phase informs the other to gain holistic insight. Our approach integrates theoretical frameworks that are grounded in the lived experiences of communities and centers community knowledge. We practice co-designed and collaborative planning processes that are informed by theory and contribute to grounded theory-building.
In our approach, we acknowledge the complexities of how places hurt and aim to redress this hurt through reparative planning processes. This involves understanding places through a historical lens that situates places within societal structures. In doing so, we practice an ethic of care that seeks to improve communities’ collective well-being. While our planning processes typically cycle through research, analysis, and invention phases, the community is the foundation that directs these phases, and reparative praxis defines them.
SaHA Planning Studio envisions places where historically targeted communities achieve collective well-being.
We define collective well-being as the ability for a group of people in a specific geographical location to assess:
- Mobility | the ability to move through and to spaces and places freely without fear
- Life | the opportunity to thrive and realize aspiration, dreams, and purpose without structural barriers
- Breath | surrounded by quality air, water, and land that promotes the fullness of breath without toxicity
- Dignity | living in a physical, political, social, and cultural environment that promotes life-affirming dignity without discrimination
We aim to advance a culture of health through spatial and health advocacy that prioritizes collective well-being. We analyzed the environmental aspects of community health (access, infrastructure, proximities, and physical characteristics) and the psycho-socio-cultural aspects of the community (spatial histories, sociopolitical context, and local culture). In our work, we ask why are we here? And how did we get here? In doing so, we seek to uproot unhealthy plans, processes, and policies that keep communities from achieving collective well-being.