TED Conversations

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  • Oct 1 2013: I like this conversation because something has changed in the world of city planning. Before, when you were a mayor or an architect the idea was to think "à la place" of the people, now the idea is to think with them.

    Because the world is changing very quickly, it is obvious that the urban field professionals need a continuous conversation with the civil society to adapt cities to new way of living, learning and working everywhere on earth.

    What was few years ago an utopia, is now possible, if we, as architects and urbanists, try to imagine, think, and build transformations with citizens, companies, universities, artists. It is not so easy because we need to open our mind to open innovation and to understand how collective intelligence give more freedom to everybody from mayors to citizens to designers to find innovative solutions about urban quality of life, sustainability and inclusion.

    The beauty of the thing is that the collective intelligence give acces to learning by doing, so debates are more and more interesting and improve empowering that integrate the community needs.

    It is indeed true that collective intelligence for urbanism need some tools to works. Now it is possible to build and share these tools, as we do with "unlimited cities" in Europe and will perhaps do soon in Rochina, one of the biggest favela of south america in Rio. As you can see on this video, it is https://vimeo.com/68911412, everybody is smiling, young people are sharing ideas with elderly.

    For us, Citizens participation is not a icing on the cake, it is the only way to build sustainable cities because they are not only buildings and green technologies, they are place where people are agree to change the way they live. So they need to be a part of the decision, don't they ? This our philosophy at www.urbanfab.org

    It is why we think that inventing new way of explaining the urban complexity to everybody is not only a democratic goal, but a very pragmatic one.

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