- January 24, 2018
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
On January 24 renowned American sociologist Richard Sennett will visit De Dépendance for a lecture on the ethics of the open, porous city. His lecture will be followed by replies from Arna Mackic (Studio L A), Ania Molenda (Amateur Cities), and Tina Rahimy (political philosopher Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences).
>>> Something has gone radically wrong in our conception of what a city should be. The cities everyone wants to live in should be clean and safe, possess efficient public services, be supported by a dynamic economy, provide cultural stimulation, and also do their best to heal society’s divisions of race, class, and ethnicity. But these are not the cities we live in. The ‘closed city’ – segregated, regimented, and controlled – has spread from the global North to the exploding urban agglomerations of the global South. Dominant forms or urban growth have become mono-functional, isolated in space, and sealed off from their surroundings. The most popular form of residential housing, world-wide, is the gated community.
To look at cities in a more embracing way, renowned American sociologist Richard Sennett argues for an ‘open’ and ‘porous’ city, where citizens actively hash out their differences and planners experiment with urban forms that make it easier for residents to cope. His vision is far from the functional, efficient, conflict-free city, but instead a physical environment that is incomplete, mixed and intense, with spaces that allow the identities of its inhabitants to be as fluid and complex as the city itself. In such a city, whatever virtues of efficiency, safety, or sociability people achieve, they achieve by virtue of their own agency. <<<
Richard Sennett is the author of The Craftsman, The Fall of Public Man, and The Corrosion of Character. He teaches urban studies at the London School of Economics and at Harvard University, and is a senior fellow in Columbia University’s Center for Capitalism and Society. For thirty years, he has directed projects under the auspices of the UN that aim to guide urban development in the twenty-first century. His new book Building and Dwellings – Ethics for the City will be published in spring 2018
~De Dépendance is Rotterdam’s nomadic platform for city culture and public debate, focussing on the big urban issues of our time.www.dedependance.eu