Europe is going through a period of great crisis, which may turn into an opportunity, by accelerating the necessary adjustments to the new economic, social and cultural reality.
There is a common ground at least in Europe: sustainable development requires different models, deploying innovative ways of thinking, synergies that branch in multiple directions and alternative initiatives, supported by great structural changes.
Architecture and urban planning are the spatial expression of Europe’s political project. City is a field of experimentation for new models for democracy, economy and social justice. Field that the crisis has made urgent.
But the nowadays budget cuts affect the potential of architecture to make Europe fit for the future, as well as they cause irreversible damages on Heritage. The upcoming European policies on urban field do not mention culture, do not give allowance for spatial design and experimentation. Neither do they recognize the remarkable impact on the cultural dimension, as well as on the economy, social cohesion, environment and competitiveness of cities. Architecture is much more than erection of buildings.
The European Union has included Cities on its upcoming Agenda. As a public actor, the European Union could represent an important incentive for European City development, beyond norms and standards. It could contribute to social innovation and stimulate democracy. It could turn economic challenges into opportunity.
Therefore, few decades after the “Venice Charter” (1964)*, this Manifesto aims to give space to the contribution of architectural thinking to the contemporary debate.
Considering that it is up to public authorities to establish clear regulations to limit the excesses of the market, to adopt exemplary behaviour, to encourage groundbreaking initiatives, diversity, and intelligent design,
- The urgency of positioning architecture in the new European and National public policies as a driver for spatial design
- The crucial need of innovative visions for dealing with existing building stock, trivialization and urban sprawl
- The urgency to give space to alternative models and experimentations in spatial development/city making,
By signing this manifesto:
I would like to draw the attention of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Institutions, the European Member States and other relevant Public Authorities, in accordance with the European Council Conclusions on architecture and sustainable development* adopted in 2008:
1. To acknowledge the crucial role of architecture and advanced urban development as a driver of diversity and sustainability in designing Europe’s urban future,
2. To consider the key role of architecture in all policies that have an impact on urban development, including economic, energy efficiency, social, cultural, and environmental conditions,
3. To use regulatory capacity to defend the above-mentioned role of architecture and to guarantee favourable conditions for urban and architectural experimentation design and quality.
Sign on: www.eucitymanifesto.eu