The people-centred city

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How can architects and planners help to create cities fit for the future? This presentation, created for the international conference on Cities, People and Places organised by the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka in October 2013, argues that people-centred policies that encourage sociability and civic participation are needed in response to global issues such as climate change and urbanisation.

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The people-centred city

  1. 1. The people-centred city How can architects and planners create cities fit for the future? Julian Dobson, director, Urban Pollinators
  2. 2. One version of the story... ‘Man, by reason of his very nature, practices order; his actions and his thoughts are dictated by the straight line and the right angle...’ Le Corbusier, The City of Tomorrow and its Planning, 1929
  3. 3. Introduction: the world beyond the silo 1 The precarious city 2 The puzzled city 3 The people-centred city
  4. 4. THE PRECARIOUS CITY IN A RAPIDLY URBANISING PLANET, NORMS OF CITY LIFE ARE BEING TESTED TO DESTRUCTION
  5. 5. THE CONSTRAINED CITY CLIMATE CHANGE AND RESOURCE SHORTAGES ARE CHALLENGING OUR RESILIENCE
  6. 6. THE CORPORATE CITY WHAT IS ‘SUCCESS’ AND WHO BENEFITS FROM IT?
  7. 7. THE CIVILIZED CITY? WIDENING INEQUALITIES PUT PRESSURE ON THE ETHICS AND VALUES OF SOCIAL LIFE
  8. 8. Twenty-four percent of the world’s ‘extreme poor’ now live in urban areas, up from 18 percent in 1990. World Bank, Global Monitoring Report, 2013
  9. 9. THE PUZZLED CITY THE 21ST CENTURY CITY IS A PLACE OF UNRESOLVED DILEMMAS
  10. 10. GROWTH OR WELLBEING? HOW FAR CAN WE STRETCH THE RESOURCES OF A FINITE PLANET, AND AT WHAT COST?
  11. 11. COMPETITION OR INCLUSION? IS POVERTY AND DESTITUTION A NECESSARY EVIL OR A CIVIC SHAME?
  12. 12. CONTROL OR FREEDOM? CAN A SUCCESSFUL CITY ONLY BE ACHIEVED AT THE EXPENSE OF PERSONAL LIBERTY?
  13. 13. ‘There is little evidence that competitive urban policy necessarily leads to long-term economic growth or to just and sustainable development equally beneficial to different groups in the city.’ Blaz Kriznik, Selling Global Seoul, 2011
  14. 14. THE PEOPLE-CENTRED CITY THREE WAYS FORWARD: PURPOSE, PLACE AND PARTICIPATION
  15. 15. THE CHALLENGE OF PURPOSE CAN THERE BE SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT?
  16. 16. THE CHALLENGE OF PLACE A NEW TOPOS: SHARED STORIES, INDIVIDUALLY TOLD - PLANNING AS CONVERSATION
  17. 17. THE CHALLENGE OF PARTICIPATION FROM HELPFUL TECHNOLOGY TO THE REMOVAL OF WALLS
  18. 18. A different version of the story... ‘It is through the performance of creative acts, in art, in thought, in personal relationships, that the city can be identified as something more than a purely functional organisation of factories and warehouses, barracks, courts, prisons and control centres.’ Lewis Mumford, The City in History, 1961
  19. 19. THE RIGHT ANGLE OR THE WEB? A CHOICE OF ORDERS: FRAGILE NETWORKS OR UNIFORM BOXES
  20. 20. ‘The habits of urban dwellers will largely determine the health of our ecosystems and the survival of biodiversity.’ Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, executive secretary, UN Convention on Biological Diversity, 2013
  21. 21. thank you www.urbanpollinators.co.uk Twitter: @juliandobson

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