Cities for Change
Change the world, start with the city!
Smooth City, And How To Turn The Tide
Cities around the world are turning into smooth, homogeneous places, wiped clean of anomalies and frayed edges: 'smooth cities'. All kinds of developments make public space increasingly predictable and controlled. Amsterdam is no exception to this process of smoothing. How accessible is a smooth city still, and can we make design and policy proposals that offer space for the unpredictable, the different, and thus for a democratic city?
View here the live stream (or join the online conference room below):
These questions will be the focus of this event on the 27th of May, part of the Cities for Change Forum. In the run-up to the event, the speakers - thinkers, designers and architects - will each publish an 'imagination': a proposal for 'desmoothening' and the democratization of public space. Curator of the event, researcher and urban critic René Boer tries to frame the concept of the 'smooth city' in this blog.
How do we ensure that people feel the freedom to follow their own path and deviate from the prescribed use of public space? How do we make room for new generations of Amsterdammers, like previous generations, to add their ideas to the city, not just to peripheral areas? What does a city look like that rejects homogeneity and welcomes non-normative bodies, identities and lifestyles?
On 27 May we will be tackling these questions. We will do so together with a number of interesting speakers - thinkers, designers, architects and city makers:
• René Boer is curator of this program, queer organizer, researcher and critic with a focus on spatial justice, urban imagination and radical heritage. He is based between Amsterdam and Cairo.
• Lada Hrsak is an artist-architect and founder of Bureau LADA (Landscape, Architecture, Design, Action), where she tests the social capacity of architecture through actions, performative and built interventions.
• Jeffrey Bolhuis is an architect and co-founder of Bureau AP+E, which focuses on the socio-cultural value of architecture. Jeffrey is currently investigating collaborative public space in Dublin.
• Wouter Pocornie is an architect and city maker in Amsterdam. Currently Wouter spends a lot of time and work on bottom-up organization and building a local movement of multidisciplinary creatives in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost.
• Fenna Haakma Wagenaar is Design Lead Ruimte & Duurzaamheid at the Municipality of Amsterdam.
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