“The right to the city is like a shout and a demand”, wrote Henri Lefebvre in the 1960s.
The exhibition “Hands-On Urbanism. How to Make A Difference” is devoted to a history of ideas of appropriating land in urban space and reveals potential for initiatives by citizens willing to take action in crisis situations. The presentation is based upon a critical history of ideas about the politics of space. Urban development from below leads to an informal and self-organized production of city, which, however never operates outside the system. Self-organization has always been both a reaction to and an incentive for urban planning.
On the occasion of the exhibition, the symposium “Hands-On Urbanism. How to Make a Difference” brings together activists, architects, artists and landscape planners. In times of crises, austerity measures, and increasing spatial and social injustice, new alignments have to be forged. This different history of urban transformation and the city raises pressing questions about the responsibility of architects and planners and about how we use resources.
The symposium is conceived of as both an exchange of ideas and case studies and a collaborative working towards the production knowledge. A keynote lecture by Elke Krasny on Friday, 02.28.2014, will give a historiographic overview on Hands-On Urbanism since the mid-19th century. Practitioners, architects, curators and community organizers, will share their work from a practical standpoint and talk about challenges they are currently facing which require them to think outside the box and to enter into new, and at times unexpected, alignments and collaborations.
A symposium will take place on Saturday, 03.01.2014. Participants include Adrian Blackwell [Waterloo], Anan Lololi [Afri-can FoodBasket, Toronto], Lucia Babina [Milan & Ibiza] and the community of Brant, Brigitte Shim [Toronto], Arturo Ortiz Struck [Mexico City], Elke Krasny [Vienna], Mark Poddubiuk [Montreal], and Aziza Chaouni [Toronto]. The first discussion will be dedicated to the issues of “The Right to Green”, the second discussion will focus on “Hands-On Strategies”.
Curator: Elke Krasny
Exhibition graphic design: Alexander Schuh
Hear an interview with Elke Krasny regarding Hands-On Urbanism on Space and Place with Amery Calvelli, CJSW 90.9fm, Calgary. Airs Tuesday March 4th 8pm MST (10pm EST). Available for download here.