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urgentcity

Florence, Italy
1 of 5Amateur Cities

‘UrgentCity, Towards a New Vocabulary of Terms’ is a project that investigates how to facilitate better communication and collaboration between disciplines involved in city making. It has been initiated by Amateur Cities (NL) and New Generations (IT) and invites citizens from all around the world Europe to take part in a discussion about contemporary urban challenges centered around four topics of New Ecologies, Urban Assets, Digital Toolkit and New Collective.

Cities as an urban habitat offer a lot of opportunities, but are not free from flaws and threats. They face many challenges on grounds such as the environment, economy, technology, and society. These urban challenges should concern us all, because they can have an enormous impact on the way we live. In the time to come, us – citizens together with governments and NGOs will need to find ways to address them. If we won’t others will do it for us, not necessarily for our benefit. To tackle urgencies, however, we first need to understand them no matter if we are scientists, designers, florists, lawyers, community workers or doctors. We are all city dwellers.

UrgentCity is a research project paired with a program of activities that aim to generate a deeper understanding of contemporary urban challenges by facilitating better collaboration between actors involved in city making. It looks critically at the current state of cross-disciplinary collaboration and acknowledges a need to create common ground to discuss a future urban agenda, which is currently being addressed by the Dutch Presidency to the European Union this year and the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development Habitat III.

The project engages the public in three different ways and at three different moments during the research process. The first one is a currently running “open call” for terms, which aims to crowdsource information about the current state of the vocabulary in use related to the researched topics. Following step takes a deeper look at the possibility of a shared discourse through a series of video interviews with experts from different disciplines and finalize in a conference that will invite everyone to discuss the urban challenges during a public event in Florence in November 2016.

By crowdsourcing ideas from a variety of contributors, Amateur Cities and New Generations aim to co-create a multidisciplinary epistemological framework of existing and new terms related to urban development centered around four main subjects: New Ecologies, Urban Assets, Digital Toolkit, New Collectives. These umbrella topics will fuel the debate and exchange of knowledge between experts, professionals and citizens during the conference and will encourage a variety of speakers to address some of the crucial city urgencies.