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Home TopicsWhich places to live in for tomorrow?

Which places to live in for tomorrow?

We addressed various topics in the framework of our study among the world youth and the panel of 100 personalities. Here are some examples of questions we discussed:

Over 50% of the world population lives in urban areas. Cities are driving forces for development, but also create new environmental, economic and social issues.

How can the urban reality of the contemporary world and the imperative for sustainable development be reconciled?

Which urban planning, which architecture, which places to live in are able to ensure a peaceful co-existence and a certain quality of life in urban areas which are always more populated? Beyond the classical opposition between urban and rural areas, what is the future of hybrid spaces?

Some interview excerpts linked to this topic:

  • Urbanization is great news: cities are concentration of opportunities so they are powerful vehicles to create wealth and at the same time shortcuts towards equality. But the 3 "S" of the process - scale, speed and scarcity - will require the coordination of academic knowledge, public policy framework, socioeconomic and cultural constraints, market implementation and a core professional chain to make urbanization sustainable. As any complex issue, the capacity to go beyond mere diagnosis and mobilize all available energies in the form of smart proposals will come from the power of synthesis. This will be the challenge and the potential contribution of strategic design.
    Alejandro Aravena (Chile), Architect, member of the Pritzker Prize jury and laureate of the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2008.

  • In order for cities to reconcile urban realities with the need for sustainable development, intergenerational participatory planning should be integrated into design processes. As urban areas grow and cities are planned, incorporating youth voices would invigorate decision-making, through interdisciplinary and intergenerational teams. Greater connectivity among young people has resulted in an increased ability to organize and mobilize around issues that matter to them. Enhanced civic participation is key to reconnect the science of sustainability with daily realities.
    Jennifer Corriero (Canada), Co-Founder and Executive Director of TakingITGlobal.

  • We must use our imagination to push forward a new lifestyle. How do we convince the Northern countries to reduce their consumption? How do we tell Southern countries that they can’t have the same wasteful consumption pattern prevailing in the U.S.? In this case, the role played by youth is fundamental. The valorization of free time and of a lifestyle which is slower, healthier and more respectful towards nature is growing among the youth, even in developing countries like Brazil.
    Emilio Lèbre La Rovere (Brazil), Professor of Energy and Environmental Planning and Coordinator of the Environmental sciences Laboratory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

  • What would an alternative city look like if its natural forces are respectfully used and not controlled? Vegetable and food would be produced on the streets or in the parks, floods would come and go to the benefits of the city, waste would be absorbed and cleansed by the natural processes, birds and native species would cohabit the city with human beings and the beauty of nature would be appreciated in its authenticity, not tamed nor heavily maintained. Ecological urbanism doesn’t rely on grey infrastructures, but on green infrastructure to deliver the goods and services needed by the city.
    Kongjian Yu (China), Professor and Dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Peking University and President of the design institute Turenscape.

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