Public Space for all Nations

Good public spaces enhance community cohesion and promote health, happiness, and wellbeing for all citizens.

It has been with this quote that UN Habitat launched the Global Public Space Programme in an aim to improve the quality of public spaces worldwide. Of course, without doubt, the programme stands for a crucial challenge to make our urbanised world better, but what to do? The ideas on this have been matured and agreements seem to saturate the scope at the recent Habitat III conference held last week in Quito. A list of final set criteria is emerging, but this cannot mean that we’re done… By no means this listing will work if stakeholders do not accept that people gather on a variety of places around the globe, in a variety of cultures, hence not just in those urban spaces which are created by Western idealists’ minds: publicly-owned outdoor space.
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Pritzker Prize

Alejandro Aravena of Chile has been selected as the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. It is promising to see how Pritzker is opening-up to a next generation, by emphasising again social responsibility of designers and the design of human habitat and the city. Mr. Pritzker said today, “Innovative and inspiring, he shows how architecture at its best can improve people’s lives.” With this, the current jury re-acknowledged the importance of “human behavior” in design (as stated before in the jury citation of 1990, with Aldo Rossi as laureate) and “significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture” (cited in 1991, with Robert Venturi as laureate, while jury forgot to award Denise Scott Brown too). …In response to being named the laureate, Mr. Aravena emailed: “No achievement is individual. Architecture is a collective discipline. So we think, with gratitude, of all the people who contributed to give form to a huge diversity of forces at play.” Happy to hear! More to come, for sure…