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Who Has the Right to the City? City for All!


Who Has the Right to the City? City for All!

Osamu Okamura, reSITE, Czech Republic

Population reduction is a natural process and affects extensive Central European regions, as well as whole countries. What was until recently clearly recognizable as a city, is now losing its boundaries and with them its identity, everything is relativized. Need for autonomy in all areas of individual life becomes the highest value in the chain. Phenomena that strongly advanced after the fall of communism are social differentiation and segregation. There is a risk of an increasing concentration of poor citizens in the housing estates, especially in the cities struggling with high unemployment and social exclusion. We struggle now when we try to think what cities should be, in a situation when preservation becomes a political issue and heritage a right – and like all rights, susceptible to political correctness.
Still only cities can provide a sufficient environment for creating formal as well as informal networks, including the necessary cultural climate – the need to experiment and cross boundaries. Important is to re-connect professional planning processes with everyday life. A city is the place of availabilities. Contradictions can co-exist.
But why is our city so sparse and yet we lack public space? Similarly today cars are generally recognized as a cause of many intractable problems of urban life. How to resuscitate the city as a domain of the public realm?
Urban planning must promote ideas that many people will not only support but ideally even directly implement themselves. Not only planning but also the role of the planner has significantly changed.

  • Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Artget Gallery, The Republic Square 5

  • Friday, 16 May 2014
    7.00 – 7.45 pm