Sense the City. The future city in transition
Most cities today are characterized by the past, culture, heterogeneity, planning or non-planning, political systems, financial possibilities, and above all the people that live and work there. Cities are subject to permanent change, sometimes easy to influence, sometimes not.
This change interests us. We call for an open city along the lines suggested by Richard Sennets, a city in which change is seen as enriching (without negating the past), in which incompleteness and openness is welcome (in order to open room for maneuver), contradictions are allowed, and diversity is desired (without disconcerting people).
In order to positively influence and shape change, it is essential to have close cooperation between planners and residents. Open discussion is lived democracy; it creates trust, identity, and ultimately a homeland. A homeland in a changing, complex society, which is capable of resisting populism and dictatorship.
We won’t claim that it’s easy. A watchful eye, a good nose, an instinctive and delicate touch, an open ear, and a high degree of communication are all required to shape a city with all the senses. That’s what we should work on.