In countries and regions across the Pacific Rim, participatory community design has become an increasingly important component of the urban planning and design process. From advocacy planning and citizen participation developed in the United States, models of participatory community design now can also be found in Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, specifically in forms of the Machizukuri Movement in Japan, Community Building Movement in Taiwan, and an emerging challenge to the top-down urban planning and redevelopment process in Hong Kong.
The Pacific Rim Community Design Network was launched following a working conference at University of California, Berkeley in 1998. Titled “Coastal Echoes: Democratic Design in the Pacific Rim,” the conference brought together leading community design scholars and practitioners from Japan, Taiwan and United States. The purpose of the conference was to provide the practitioners and scholars working in the field of participatory design and planning across the Pacific Rim region with an opportunity to share and compare each other’s experiences and advance their practice and research.
Through conferences and joint projects, the network has provided a vehicle for collaboration and mutual support, as well as a forum for comparative understanding of community design in the fast changing political and social context of the Pacific Rim. Network members now span from Asia to North America, in countries including Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.