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PANEL DISCUSSION: SHARE Creative City

Modérateurs: Frédérique Villemur & Marion Moustey (ENSAM KAAU)

Participants: Oliver Broadbent (useful Simple Project KAAU) // Africa Sabé (Santa & Cole KAAU) // Nicolas Lebunetel (ENSAM) // Anthony Duquerroy, Maëva Gasulla & Jordan Sharp (Etudiants MDS ENSAM).

Since the seventies, the notion of the « creative city » has been widely used and has many interpretations. According to Richard Florida, the “creative city “is a city which is able to attract “creative people”, that is to say, people earning money so as to resolve complex problems.  In the eighties, Jane Jacobs described it as a “city opens through innovation, diversity and spontaneous exchange”. More recently, Elsa Vivant suggested that “ rather than to design a creative city, the challenge of the town planner is to create the conditions of the serendipity and the creativity (…) by accepting that appear non-authorized practices in the cities, while making possible the unforeseen and improbable meetings ”. Cradle of the ‘avant-garde’ by definition, the city, although it is not always the investigator, will nonetheless be a sensitive receptacle of social changes. The Virtual issue is inseparable from contemporary society – an additional layer applied to an already complex urban system which affects our society that we need to cross with creativity, that it is of political, deprived and citizen origin. Adding a new layer to the city’s reality itself, new technologies offer new means of expression. They offer the possibility to read the city in a different way, according to our preferences, our desires or our needs. On a  conventional level the sharing is seen as an exchange between citizens in a physical way. At the time of the advent of new technologies this sharing (of data) takes the form of data exchange, whether through social networks, or by “traces” left by the technological tools which we use everyday. The concept of division is upset through these new means as well as the statute of the body citizen evolves. This is why this division of data becomes a tool of reflection for many town planners, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and artists.  The question of the urban renewal by the means of this practice must be done by being aware of the impact which our interventions will have on flows, the organization and the feasibility of the city. This information offers a sum of data usable for an almost infinite number of interventions according to the path one takes across the city. Can one then wonder towards what we do want that the city changes? By making it pass from the statute of spectator to that of actor in the city, how does culture modify the role of the citizen in the city? And finally, how can culture influence this division in the city?

New forms of urbanism induced by new technologies influences cultural change in the city. What form does culture(s) have in todays society? How do they currently fit to our lifestyle? Culture is intimately linked to history…and history is dynamic because it evolves with every passing day.

The history of the city is the foundation for certain practices and a shared collective identity.

The history of citizens and the different key players is particular to each of them, and enriches both their culture and that of the city.

So culture has to be shared, it’s its sens.

But the terroir of culture is not, or is no longer, simply at the level of the city, it now plays out at the level of its entire territory.

The question of sharing thus needs to be situated in a new dimension, a dynamic dimension composed of exchanges  that necessarily has an influence on the dimension of the city’s territory  and how it is used.

These ten last years new technologies completely invaded our daily life, and have also to change our perception and our apprehension of the city. New technologies install us in the era of instantaneity. All is faster, more transitory and more instantaneous. The culture had to adapt to that. And that results in forms of more event-driven cultures, but also more interactive and dematerialized. Whereas new technologies propose to the man an experiment at one exact moment then passes to another without returning on the preceding one, the culture develops also this transitory aspect by temporary interventions, increasingly many. That always creates a culture in action, always renewed, and increasingly more

We are witnessing the multiplication of events and the modification of different temporalities in our cities. What reasons can be given that would push the city to become «eventful»?

Cities have always organized events, ever since their beginnings with markets, fairs, circuses, festivals, etc. It’s a question of identity, role and territorial strategy within a country. Today, there is fierce competition between cities, fighting for their very existence at the national and international levels, trying to attract new populations and economic key players, etc.

But is it necessarily in harmony with, and a corollary to, growth, in the sense of quantitative development.

Furthermore, the question of sharing and the socialisation of urban areas as the vector for a cultural identity is too often associated with the privatisation of the practices and uses of city urbanspaces (for events, urban policy, etc.)

And by this way limits the capacity for innovation and spontaneity in those uses.

Cities and urban spaces can not be daily used as an exhibitionhall or a shoppingmall or a modernart life museum , it’s a place to live for family, for old and younger….it’s a place for business, for leisures.

Actualy Europeans cities are losing their identity as heart of a territory. So we have to be more progressive about innovation and timeshared urbanspaces. But technological innovation must nevertheless go beyond the mere merchandisation of urban space.

How the city can adapt to the new rhythm induced by new technologies? Did the question of information and its treatment, date them is the key of the division?

The city can adapt to new rythm while being also anchored in this phenomenon of instantaneity induced by new technologies. It is a question of building the city in the moment, by thinking that the next one will be different. That is already set up by all the cultural transitory demonstrations or not increasingly developed. The architecture which builds the city also tend to settle in a form of instantaneity, with more and more of architecture transitory, like the pop-up blinds. I think that yes, information is the key of the division. Since we are in the era of the instantaneous one, that all goes very quickly and that all is transitory, information places ourselves like the channel between the event and its public. It is the key of the division because it only, with the chance with the capacity of attractivity.

It is necessary to dissociate the new urbanities induced by the development of new neighborhoods or even cities from the «historic city» status. What impact does heritage have on the «strength» of the events in the city? How should we reveal these «hidden» places and or give them new uses?

The Historic city is both  the strength and weakness of the territories that today make up city areas.It is a strength / through the heritage and identity it presents, its scale (human), its materiality, its beauty, its plurality and richness in diversity (even though this trend has decreased in the last few years)

Its also a strength in this ability to show that it knows how to adapt whilst retaining a strong urban pattern, and its attractiveness, which remains a major vector…

It is a weakness because of the difficulties that it shows, that is, knowing how to adapt its program  structure (which shops pattern , which uses…), knowing how to be something other than a place for consumers, knowing how to be connected and yet function with its territories even though it appears to be very restricted by its historical limits,

Knowing how to offer everyone a contemporary way of life and urban practices,

The cost of adapting /helping the historic to evolve, which is not mutualized from a sharing point of view by all the territory in question is also a weakness

New technologies are an opportunity to revitalize the historic city, but can only be a tool… not a strategy or policy in their own right. They will certainly make it easier to open up the question of the territory of the city, but will also give rise to the question of the commercialization of time and urban living areas… We must thus be cautious.

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