UrgentCity event took place on November 11 & 12, 2016 at La Palazzina Reale in Florence, Italy. For two days invited guests from various disciplines took part in a series of workshops and discussions structured around four main categories: New Ecologies, Urban Assets, Digital Toolkit and New Collectives. Each day built on a workshop session that led to public round-table debate in the evening. Take a look at their results per category below.

CATEGORY

NEW ECOLOGIES

roundtable, workshop words & stories

In the wake of the environmental crisis we look for new ways to protect biodiversity in and outside of cities. Looking for new possibilities for nature and cities to coexist, we have already found: biodegradable materials, new ways of remediation, renewable energy sources and urban farming. At the same time, the progression of human interference in natural processes seems to make us lose faith in the very existence of nature, proclaiming our time as anthropocene or capitalocene.

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CATEGORY

URBAN ASSETS

roundtable, workshop words & stories,

Urban assets are the hardware of the city: houses, offices, shops, cinemas, roads, bridges, embankments and all other physical structures that form it. While European cities shrink and suffer from an abundance of vacant buildings, in other parts of the globe, there is a shortage of housing and infrastructure. Regardless of location, the availability and management of urban resources, including buildings, public space, infrastructure and land, pose many challenges that are yet to be addressed.

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CATEGORY

DIGITAL TOOLKIT

roundtable, workshop words & stories

New technologies and media relate to digital governance, e-learning, information, automation, hacking, artificial intelligence, algorithms and the way we spend free time. To understand their impact we need to take a closer look at the growing hybridisation of urban space and digital media, and its effect on mobility, information access, data management, empowerment, privacy and surveillance.

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CATEGORY

NEW COLLECTIVES

roundtable, workshop words & stories

Cities not only become denser, but also more multicultural and more complex. Bigger agglomerations provide bigger opportunities, but at the same time alienation, exclusion and isolation remain in striking contrast to the emerging sentiment for community, new forms of cooperation, communication and their potential to change the traditional way of shaping our cities.

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To participate in the event Amateur Cities and New Generations invited 30 professionals from different European countries representing a diverse number of disciplines. They included architects, artists, urban planners, philosophers, writers, cultural producers, academics, policy makers, curators and many others. All participants collaborated in mixed groups during the workshop sessions ‘Words’ and ‘Stories’ and each took part as a speaker in one of the round-table discussions. Take a look at whom they were.

RESEARCHER, TEACHER
CHRIS LUTH

Chris Luth brings together content and audiences regarding architecture and the city. He organizes debates and workshops worldwide and teaches at TU Delft, Rotterdam University and Piet Zwart Institute. 
 

EVENT PARTICIPANTS

ARCHITECT
ESAÚ ACOSTA PEÉREZ / ES

Esaú Acosta is a co-founder of Estudio SIC – a multidisciplinary architectural practice based in Madrid. He is interested in all aspects related to informal city processes & developments, building processes and design and urban studies. 

 

SOCIOLOGIST
STEFAN AUE / DE

Stefan Aue is project coordinator of The Dictionary of Now program at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin. He develops cross-disciplinary events and exhibition projects at the interface between art and science for cultural and scientific institutions. 

DESIGNER & TEACHER
BARBARA ASSELBERGS / NL

Barbara Asselbergs is Course Leader of Graphic and Spatial Design at AKV|St.Joost Art Academy, partner at design studio DesignArbeid, focusing on the maintenance and improvement of living conditions within our cities. 

 

MEDIA THEORIST
TIZIANO BONINI / IT

Tiziano Bonini holds a PhD in Media, Communication and Public Sphere and is a lecturer in Media Studies. He has published extensively on radio and new media, worked as radio producer and is currently researching the intersection of radio, internet and social media with social and political issues. 

WRITER
CHRISTOPHER BEANLAND

Christopher Beanland lives in London and writes about architecture, culture and the arts for newspapers including The Independent, Guardian, Telegraph and various magazines around the world. He's also written two novels.

DESIGNER
YULYA BESPLEMENNOVA

Yulya Besplemennova is an independent multidisciplinary designer with a specific interest in the topic of hybrid space - social spaces existing in both the physical/digital, real/fictional realms - and intersecting fields of urban design, community engagement and interactions with technology.

ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
MARCO BRIZZI / IT

Marco Brizzi is an architecture professor, critic and curator. He is the founder of a number of companies promoting media knowledge in architecture to enhance the design discourse including Image, Beyond Media and The Architecture Player. 

PHILOSOPHER
MATHIJS DE BRUIN / NL

Mathijs has background in philosophy, physics and IT. He currently researches how societal decentralization and increasing ecological and cultural diversity might allow our species, and our planet, to survive the collapse of our natural environments and socioeconomic structures. / dsrp.eu

ARCHITECTURE RESEARCHER
ALICE BUOLI / IT

Alice Buoli is an architect and post-doctoral researcher at the Estonian Academy of Arts (Tallinn) participating in the ADAPT-r Marie Curie ITN Program focused on Creative Practice Research. She is also assistant curator for the coming Tallinn Architecture Biennale.
adapt-r.eu tab.ee

DIGITAL FABRICATION ACTIVIST
ALEX FABREGAS / ES

Alex Fabregas is the founder of La Builders House, as well as co-founder of Made in Madrid and Hertz Lovers - projects which addresses distributed manufacturing as a vehicle for social change.
wearebuilders.netmadeinmadrid.cchertzlovers.com 

DIGITAL CULTURE RESEARCHER
INTE GLOERICH / NL

Inte Gloerich works on projects related to digital technology and society at the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam. She studied graphic design, media studies and new media & digital Culture. She was a researcher at Winter Schools of the Digital Methods Initiative and the PublishingLab.

POET
FRANK KEIZER / NL

Frank Keizer is a poet, essayist and editor based in Amsterdam. He is the author of two chapbooks and one volume of poetry titled ‘Onder normale omstandigheden’. He works as an editor for a Flemish literary journal nY, and as a publisher of contemporary innovative poetry at Perdu. 

EDITOR & CURATOR
REBEKKA KIESEWETTER / CH/DE

Rebekka Kiesewetter studied art history, economy and modern history, worked as a journalist and managing editor for Lars Müller Publishers. She currently co-directs Depot Basel,  works as a visiting lecturer, a freelance contributor and a managing editor of Spector Books. 

ARCHITECT & EDITOR
MILOŠ KOSEC / SI

Miloš Kosec is an architect, editor and publicist. His Master’s thesis ‘Ruin as an Architectural Object’ received the Plečnik & Prešeren awards and was published as a book in 2013. Miloš is an editor of Praznine, Art and Spatial Culture, and Outsider Magazine. 

URBAN RESEARCHER
JUDITH LEKKERKERKER / NL

Judith is a writer, program manager and researcher at RUIMTEVOLK. She specializes in the field of economics, technological innovation and environmental policy. She translates trends into practical perspectives and policies, creates future scenarios and analyses spatial impacts of technological development.

CURATOR & EDITOR
ZOE DE LUCA / IT

Zoe is a writer, curator and lecturer based in Milan. She is a founder and editor-in-chief of Diorama Editions, a multidisciplinary editorial project (2011) and a curator and editor at Siliqoon, an art label dedicated to the production and promotion of art. 

URBAN PLANNER & EDITOR
DIEGO LUNA / CO

Diego is a designer and urban planner with a sharp eye for the politics of space. He began his career as an architect moving quickly into urbanism to explore how democracy manifests in space. Diego edits the Brussels Newsroom and works as a designer and planner at BUUR.

CULTURAL MANAGER
ELENA MALARA / IT

Elena is an independent professional in the fields of cultural management and curatorship, specializing in design, planning and management of cultural projects for community engagement and development. She also works as a researcher and freelance journalist reflecting on contemporary philosophy and culture. 

STARTUP FACILITATOR
JACOPO MARELLO / IT

Jacopo Marello is co-founder of Nana Bianca – a center for ideas based in Florence, focusing on testing new digital services and products. Nana Bianca has founded Innovation Hub, a network for Italian startups in three locations across Italy with over one hundred and fifty people dedicated to the development of new companies. 

URBAN REGENERATION RESEARCHER
ELENA OSTANEL / IT

Elena Ostanel is a Research Fellow at the UNESCO Chair at IUAV on Social and Spatial Inclusion of International Migrants, where she also works as a teacher and coordinator. She is a project manager of LAB+ in Padua focusing on urban regeneration, local and international cooperation and development. 

DESIGN ENGINEER
PIERRE PASLIER / FR

Pierre is a London-based Innovation Design Engineer. He is a co-founder of Skipping Rocks Lab – researching possibilities for an edible water bottle, and Gravity Sketch – providing accessible 3D design tools. When he’s not working on these startups he builds 3D printers, drones and street art tools for activism. 

POLITICIAN & ACTIVIST
GIANNOZZO PUCCI / IT

Giannozzo Pucci is an essayist of Florentine culture and architecture with a Ph.D. in Political Science, former president of the Town Planning Commission of Florence (1990-96), founding member of the environmental and anti-nuclear movement in Italy and a pioneer of the national movement for organic agriculture.

ARCHITECT
ANGELO RENNA / IT

Angelo Renna is an architect currently based in Amsterdam. He collaborated with different offices such as Stefano Boeri in Milan, Bureau A in Geneva and Topotek1 in Berlin. In 2013, he was awarded first prize for the Europan-12 competition in Norway and a finalist in the Yap Program 2016 in Rome. 

WRITER & EDITOR
FIONA SHIPWRIGHT / UK

Fiona Shipwright is a freelance writer and editor based in Berlin. She has background in art and philosophy, and a keen interest in science, technology and urbanism. She worked for Phaidon Press, Uncube and was part of the Make City architecture and urbanism festival in Berlin. 

CULTURAL PRODUCER
TIM TERPSTRA / NL

Tim Terpstra is a freelance curator, creative project manager and producer, currently engaged as a project leader and editor-in-chief at We Are Public in The Hague. Previously he worked at TodaysArt, co-initiated the Hyphae music platform and co-founded the Teletekst is dood collective. 

ARTIST
JOSHUA TIES / US

Joshua Thies is an artist focusing on the master planning of cities, such as Dubai, which he uses as inspirational material to be addressed in sound, music and sculptural installation works. He studied fine arts at the San Francisco Art Institute and Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. 

NEW MEDIA RESEARCHER
KATÍA TRUIJEN / NL

Katía Truijen is a researcher, writer, singer and cultural initiator, currently working at the R&D department of Het Nieuwe Instituut. Katía teaches new media and online storytelling at the University of Amsterdam and the Dutch Film Academy, and lectures at the IMAL Urban Media Lab Symposium in Brussels.