- The city as infrastructure: A city should enable all of its inhabitants to work and live in it as they wish and to facilitate this as smoothly and conveniently as possible.
But! A city is not just an economic machine!
The processes of work and life create frictions, conflicts, contests between the city's inhabitants and these conflicts are played out over every aspect of the city.
A city should give room for these societal processes and conflicts to play themselves out.
A city has the responsibility of a referee to maintain a level playing ground among its inhabitants in shaping the city.
A city should channel constructively the forces and energies that the work and life processes of its inhabitants generates.
A city should bring people together, foster a city-society and community across all lines of conflict.
A city needs to force all of its inhabitants to confront each other (in the form of acknowledging each other's existence) and to recognise each other as equal members of the same society.
The city belongs to everyone who wants to participate in it! Those who do not want to participate in it don't own the city.
- The inspiring city
A city should inspire its inhabitants and non-inhabitants to see it as more than an economic machine and to see themselves as more than economic agents. The city should inspire its inhabitants to constantly seek to develop themselves as individuals and to develop their community and society.
The reflective city
- The city is a diamond - it gives you an infinite number of reflections of yourself and the world around you with every turn. The city allows you to know yourself and the world around you like nothing else can.
- A city should be reflective - looking at itself in all its realities and making its inhabitants look at "themselves" and each other - a city should not be afraid to look at itself. This reflective power should be strengthened and utilised.
The city and its past (limited path-dependency)
- All cities are born out of a certain context which defines their purpose/goal
- That purpose/goal can change over time - it is, if not consciously, still man-made
- The context and route taken towards reaching the "goal" frame the city's capacity to fulfil the tasks and challenges outlined in this manifesto
- for example: some cities have inherently more potential to be open/creative/individualistic etc. than others
- Cities should focus on interpreting their original purpose/goal within their changing context and constantly probing its validity anew in a reflective exercise involving all inhabitants of the city on an equal basis
A city should provide the space and tools for its inhabitants to create themselves the spaces that suit them.
The welcoming city
A city should be open and welcoming to new inhabitants.
To ensure that the above characteristics of the city are realised the city should be seen through the following structural framework:
- The city as a beehive:
- Every inhabitant should be provided with a minimum standard of his/her own space to live, comfort and realise themselves
- All inhabitants need to know they are part of the bigger unit
- This is a hands-off area for governance - there should be as little interference in the individual's space as possible.
- Individual (beehive) units group themselves together into bigger units and those group themselves into bigger units and so on - this creates the high level of complexity of the city
- These various groupings overlap according to space, identity - different levels of community/identity.
- To ensure that the city comes alive in the "spaces in between" it needs to bring its inhabitants and the groupings in which they are organised to meet each other/confront each other on the pathways criss-crossing the city
- Pathways include the entire infrastructure of the city - physical, economic, social, cultural, virtual, emotional
- The city needs to ensure equal access for all its inhabitants to the pathways
- The city needs to ensure openness of its pathways towards outsiders
- The city needs to ensure fairness of the rules governing the pathways
- The city needs to ensure that everybody is connected to the pathways network
- An example of the inspiring city by Will Alsop
- Another example of the inspiring city
- A detailed urban manifesto for Milwaukee
- An architecture and urban design manifesto for Stoke-on-Trent
- Council of Europe's "European Urban Charter II"