Participatory 3D modelling (P3DM) is one of the most remarkable innovations of the late 20th century. It is remarkable because it brings together three elements that many would consider incompatible – local spatial and natural resource knowledge, geographic information systems (GIS) and physical modelling.
As the inspiring accounts in this volume show, it can do this in many environments, of varied sizes and involving many people, sometimes more than a hundred and inclusively, both young and old. When well prepared and facilitated, as so amply illustrated here, the process gives rise to a progressive creative synergy. This empowers communities, by enabling them to share and express in lasting visual form the rich detail of what they know and by providing them with a tool for analysis, decision-making, advocacy, action and monitoring.
This volume bears testimony to the multiple uses and values of P3DM. In the examples described, the uses to which communities have put their models include natural resource planning and management; land and ocean rehabilitation; mapping their ancestral territories and establishing their rights; planning for conservation; disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change and variability; educating children in schools about their history and cultural heritage; bringing together community members with differences; and negotiating with officials and influencing policy.
Foreword by Robert Chambers.