Aqui!Here! it’s the result of a fruitful collaboration between Cine Clube de Avanca (one of the oldest amateur filmmaking club of Portugal) and Amigosd’Avenida (en facebook; city civic group from Aveiro, Portugal), and the idea is to produce the argument of ten short films that will be developed in ten cities from the five continents based on the Manifesto for the Public Space’s (pdf) ten principles developed by Aveiro’s city civic movement.

We are lauching now a film synopsis contest and the DEADLINE is June 11th 2011!

Join the official Synopsis Contest for the movie Aqui/Here and picture YOUR STORY in YOUR CITY as a future part of this film project!

Choose one of the 10 Manifesto for the Public Space points and write a synopsis idea for a short-film script with YOUR CITY as the background for your story.

10 Winners in each of the 10 short-films will win a first prize and work with the scriptwriter in the final scripts development!

Archinect: Venice #10: Street Training
London-based artist Lottie Child led a group of people, mostly children, who live and work around Via Garibaldi in Venice, in a Street Training session for architects and planners. Inverting educational hierarchies, with adult professionals being trained by children in imaginative responses to the built environment, the session explored the relations between the built infrastructure and the social infrastructure in terms of safety and joy.With less than 5 playgrounds in Venice, the children occupy the streets. Lottie initially embarked on her research by asking the questions, “How do you feel safe in the streets?” and “How do you feel joyful in the streets?” Many people had answers to the first question, as fear mediated their experiences, but only the children had ideas on strategies for joy. Lottie decided to apprentice herself to the children, and here she brings to us some of her research: joyfulness in the streets of Venice…

Archinect: Venice #10: Street Training

London-based artist Lottie Child led a group of people, mostly children, who live and work around Via Garibaldi in Venice, in a Street Training session for architects and planners. Inverting educational hierarchies, with adult professionals being trained by children in imaginative responses to the built environment, the session explored the relations between the built infrastructure and the social infrastructure in terms of safety and joy.

With less than 5 playgrounds in Venice, the children occupy the streets. Lottie initially embarked on her research by asking the questions, “How do you feel safe in the streets?” and “How do you feel joyful in the streets?” Many people had answers to the first question, as fear mediated their experiences, but only the children had ideas on strategies for joy. Lottie decided to apprentice herself to the children, and here she brings to us some of her research: joyfulness in the streets of Venice…

… el bazar, la quintaesencia del mercado, siempre fue eso. En el bazar, en el foro, los hombres buenos hacen arbitrios, los filósofos se encuentran con sus discípulos, se mantiene el culto religioso, vuelan las noticias, se hace política y, claro está, también se regatea, se vende y se compra. La visión unidimensional, protestante, del mercado que pretende reducir las complejas interacciones culturales del bazar a una mera serie de transacciones monetarias, nunca habló de la realidad, sino de un deber ser de teología bárbara. Vindiquemos el mercado, la plaza como se le llama todavía en muchos sitios, el bazar, el foro.
Espacios públicos informales, Coruña (Google Maps)
Tarde de domingo. Inmigrantes latinoamericanos y algunos locales (principalmente hombres) jugando al voleibol. Instalan redes en un campo de fútbol del Parque de Eirís. Se accede por una rotura de la red que evita la salida de balones.
Charla, principalmente mujeres (acompañadas de niños pequeños), en el césped próximo (una pequeña franja entre el campo y la acera).
Los niños juegan al fútbol en la zona de las porterías.
A veces, desde algún coche aparcado y con las puertas abiertas se pone música.
Todo empieza a las 3 o 4 de la tarde y dura prácticamente hasta el anochecer.

Espacios públicos informales, Coruña (Google Maps)

Tarde de domingo. Inmigrantes latinoamericanos y algunos locales (principalmente hombres) jugando al voleibol. Instalan redes en un campo de fútbol del Parque de Eirís. Se accede por una rotura de la red que evita la salida de balones.

Charla, principalmente mujeres (acompañadas de niños pequeños), en el césped próximo (una pequeña franja entre el campo y la acera).

Los niños juegan al fútbol en la zona de las porterías.

A veces, desde algún coche aparcado y con las puertas abiertas se pone música.

Todo empieza a las 3 o 4 de la tarde y dura prácticamente hasta el anochecer.

… The commodification of urban space has come on in leaps and bounds since Lefebvre’s day. The same deregulation that relieved the banks of any compunction to behave responsibly has also been changing the visible face of the city. The free-market agenda is what makes public spaces in so many cities nothing more than places to shop at chain stores or drink at Costa Coffee, often under the supervision of private security guards. The privatisation of public space, like that of public services, is one way that governments can avoid their democratic accountability.

The brand consultant is the éminence grise of the modern city. Sometimes it’s the mayor, and sometimes it falls to cult designers of Joy Division covers such as Peter Saville, who a few years ago was appointed creative director of Manchester. Or take the Canadian design guru Bruce Mau, who is called up with requests such as: “Can you provide a vision for the future of Mecca?” This has come to be known as “design thinking”, and it is ever more important to cities in a competitive global environment where lucrative awards such as the Olympics, European Capital of Culture and World Design City are on offer. Cities, the engines of the world’s wealth, are sometimes more important than the countries they are located in.

The question is this: how do we create cities that are not just containers for tightly-packed populations, but pleasant and equitable places to live? Someone once described the identical high-rises that ring so many capitals as the easyJet of urban living, because they offer everyone affordable access to the city; but they’re not what you could call idealistic. The segregation and social polarisation of cities is getting so extreme that a violent future may be inevitable. The UN report has said as much. Now that city-making has become a priority, politicians need to have faith in designers. Because if there’s one lesson to be learned from the last quarter of a century, it’s that we need to shift our focus away from liberty and the free market, and move towards equality.

Situated Technologies Pamphlet 6: MicroPublicPlaces
Spring 2010

Marc Böhlen and Hans Frei

In response to two strong global vectors: the rise of pervasive information technologies and the privatization of the public sphere, Marc Böhlen and Hans Frei propose hybrid architectural programs called Micro Public Places (MMPs). MPPs combine insights from ambient intelligence, human computing, architecture, social engineering and urbanism to initiate ways to re- animate public life in contemporary societies. They offer access to things that are or should be available to all: air, water, medicine, books, etc. and combine machine learning procedures with subjective human intuition to make the public realm a contested space again.

Supermodernism: a term I first encountered in architecture, coined by Hans Ibelings, used to describe buildings constructed without context or integral information. Airports are supermodern spaces. Just pipes and sockets, there to pass through or plug into. Places to facilitate swarms and flow. An outsider’s view of LA. Which, I’d remind people, is exactly what Jones’ view is. He’s not looking at LA like a native, a committed long-term resident, or even someone who likes the place much.

no de los resultados de esta duda es nuestra incapacidad para reconocer la vida en otro lugar que no sea el centro de las ciudades. Esta duda ha condenado a los barrios, a pertenecer a una condición obligatoriamente secundaria, sin otorgarles ninguna capacidad para vivir y ser felices. Al mismo tiempo nos sentimos incapaces de reconocer que los proyectos de los años sesenta, setenta y ochenta son portadores de valores. Es una incapacidad para valorar nuestro pasado reciente, que ha sido condenado a una amnesia inmediata. Esta duda es algo que nos cuesta muy caro. Nos cuesta el placer de las ciudades. Nos cuesta también el placer de lo desconocido y de la aventura, que puede que sea lo esencial de la ciudad.


Yo me siento como el mensajero de otro mundo, que dice que existen otros fenómenos, pero la relación se ha convertido en una especie de diálogo de sordos. Han preferido de una manera un poco simplista, creer que era yo el que estimulaba el mercado, el shopping, la tecnología de la manipulación. Que era yo el que amaba la ciudad como laberinto comercial, cuando, al contrario, solo he tenido la curiosidad de ver si era posible vivir en una situación así. Se me ve como el Señor Anti-contexto, pero este nombramiento es ambiguo, porque también se dice lo contrario, como si fuéramos unos fetichistas del contexto, como todos los demás.

Nuestra incapacidad para modernizar nuestro propio concepto de lo urbano nos ha conducido a un urbanismo loco, que aparece por todos lados, que nos rodea, con su mediocridad, con un simbolismo sostenible de la peor calaña, con un cinismo verde, una nulidad del espacio público que se ha convertido en un espacio de exclusión cada vez más radical. Nuestra agencia ha intentado escapar de todo esto. Por eso es por lo que hemos lanzado hace algún tiempo la idea de una arquitectura genérica, inspirada en Erasmo, Lutero y Calvino, asumiendo así nuestro calvinismo.

O COAG da Coruña vai a realizar unha serie de reunións e conferencias sobre o funcionamiento dos barrios da cidade e os procesos de mellora urba nística das urbes contemporáneas. Para iso contará cun equipo de arquitectos, sociólogos, enxeñeiros e xeógrafos que, baixo a dirección do Estudio MMASA e coa colaboración nesta primeira fase dos colectivos Ergosfera e Desescribir, traballarán en contacto directo cos veciños e tratarán de establecer novos mapas e diagramas de funcionamento da cidade.

Here are the five stories that appeared in the special “Digital Cities” feature of Wired UK’s November issue.

Words on the street
by Adam Greenfield
Ubiquitous, networked information will reshape our cities.

‘Sense-able’ urban design
by Carlo Ratti
Digital elements blanket our environment: transforming our cities, informing their citizens and improving economic, social and environmental sustainability.

London after the great 2047 flu outbreak
by Geoff Manaugh
After the Dutch flu outbreak of 2047 decimated greater London, the politics of the city began to change: everything turned medical.

Your neighbourhood is now Facebook Live
by Andrew Blum
When it comes to technology and cities, today’s thrilling development is that social networking is enhancing urban places [and this is] significant for the future of our cities.

The transport of tomorrow is already here
by Joe Simpson
The main impact on city planning will be mediated through transport infrastructures, freeing up road space as it does so.