“Absolute definitions are illusionary.” – Rebekka Kiesewetter
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.
Barbara Asselbergs, Tiziano Bonini, Rebekka Kiesewetter, Miloš Kosec, Judith Lekkerkerker, Diego Luna, Fiona Shipwright
convivial urban tools, expressing immaterial value, citizen, use, access, people, modernism, movement, mediation, placemaking, emotion, subjective experience, error, collision, nostalgia, ambiguity
During several workshop sessions spread over 2 days and two thematic sections (words & stories) groups of participants collectively reflected on the changes in contemporary vocabulary, the ways in which they influence the discourse on the creation of value in the urban environment, and explored possibilities of actively shaping both the way we communicate and live.
Taking as a starting point the shortlist of terms submitted through the open call the workshop focused on refining that list and defining core terms and concepts, which were used in the following two workshop sessions: 'terms on trial' and 'narratives'. The selection process and discussion within the group and between the groups was the starting point to exchange different readings and pick most interesting terms to be discussed in detail in the following sessions.
Terms on trial workshop focused on debating layered meanings and associations of terms that are used and abused in contemporary urban discourse. The New Ecologies team selected terms: hybrid space and metabolism. Those were passed on to two independent groups who respectively prosecuted and defended the terms as if they were on trial. The public vote determined which arguments were more convincing.
What is the lived experience of a ‘smart-city’? How is ‘symbiosis’ experienced in the central square of our future city? What kind of character and what kind of story could illustrate that? We asked the workshop participants to paint an imaginary picture of how these terms could be experienced as tangible outcomes. How can they shape the world we live in? Each group worked with 4 terms (one per each category: New Ecologies, Urban Assets, Digital Toolkit and New Collectives) in 4 cycles of collective writing.