This year the London Festival of Architecture explores a very inspiring theme: Community. What do we exactly mean with this term and how architecture and urban planning respond to it? In a full month of talks, exhibitions, performances and walking tours we all have the fantastic opportunity to experience the power of communities in making London the great city it is.
The focus on communities is a sign to me that, perhaps, times are now mature to accept a shift in considering communities from “objects” of city planning to “subjects” themselves. In my opinion, the real democratic challenge today is to create new ways to plan and design the city, thinking at communities as resourceful fluid bodies that can help us create great places to live and enjoy. Most importantly, I believe that only through giving voice to minorities and vulnerable groups a fairer and more just society is possible. This month, my mission is to discover what are the tools and the opportunities that architecture offers to create social and political changes towards a more inclusive and integrated society.
The other great challenge is without any doubts the creation of an environmentally sustainable place to live in. Climate change, pollution, the loss of biodiversity are all part of an enormous environmental crisis which we need to address now, and I’m excited to see how communities’ initiatives have taken the lead in pushing for sustainable solutions. What new pathways of development can we imagine for London, respecting the environment and all the diverse cultures and communities that populate our capital?
Immerging myself in amazing performances, inspiring talks and innovative exhibitions I look forward to this busy and exciting month of questioning, thinking, enjoying and living.