Urban planners, privatisation and surveillance systems are besieging urban public spaces. Our streets are becoming more and more alike, while life, character and diversity are slowly pushed out of the cities. What can be done? Is it possible to conceive the public sphere as a flexible space capable of adapting to changes? Disorder can be designed. Fifty years ago Richard Sennett wrote his revolutionary work The Uses of Disorder, in which he argued that the ideal of planned and ordered cities was imperfect, producing a fragile and restrictive urban environment. Today he returns to similar ideas and, together with Pablo Sendra, the activist and architect, he imagines the conception and ethics of an alternative, the "open city": a provocative proposal for reorganising the way we think and plan life in urban contexts. The authors propose "infrastructures for disorder" which combine architecture, politics, urbanism and activism, in order to create places that feed rather than stifle, unite rather than divide, and prefer to change rather than remain the same. The result is a radical and transformative manifesto for the future of 21st century cities.
Number of pages: 192
Date of publication: February 24, 2022.
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