Loneliness is being recognised as an epidemic across the globe: international press shares scientific proof of the detrimental effects of loneliness on people’s health and life expectancy; numerous campaigns and organisations are seeking for the remedy of social isolation, and the UK has recently appointed the world’s first minister for loneliness. We are going to show how architecture and urban design can step in and address the various reasons behind urban loneliness.
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Integrate, mix, open up, share, facilitate intergenerational relations, generate connectivity, create opportunities and sense of purpose would be the keywords defining the featured projects. Ranging from competitions proposals to recently built or ongoing projects and from small, acupunctural solutions to city-scale initiatives, these projects will expose the diversity of possible approaches, but also the importance of combining the designers’ out-of-the-box thinking with their ability to connect various urban actors in order to make things happen.
- Omer Kanipak (Turkey/UK), visual introduction by the Istanbul- and London-based architecture photographer and author, highlighting cultural differences in dealing with loneliness. Photo-essay that compares the use of public spaces in the two capitals.
- Anna Yudina will expose the multiple facets of urban disconnect and how they are addressed in cities across France. Case studies include a social housing block in Lille shaped around a string of shared multi-use spaces that encourage interaction between neighbours; a new capsule residence for the students of a free-tuition web development school who would otherwise be unable to afford accommodation in Paris; a well-known art foundation opening its outpost in a notorious suburb… and more.
- Olga Ioannou (Greece), principal at Ioannou-Karvelas architects and urban design lecturer at the National Technical University of Athens, will share her experience with bringing change to Elaionas, a post-industrial area in Athens, Greece, which became home to marginalised social groups and illegal activities and presented a massive challenge for those attempting to regenerate it.
- Visual intermezzo: a message from Oslo by architect Joakim Skajaa (Norway). Lonely men in coffee bars – on how senior people in Oslo find their own solutions to urban solitude.
- Stefanie Heublein from Goethe Institute Prague will introduce Shared Cities: Creative Momentum, an initiative that has brought together 11 organisations from Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Slovakia to create a space for architecture, art, urbanism and the sharing economy and contribute to the transformation of urban life.
- Peter van Asche (Netherlands), Bureau SLA. BloemkoolburenBond and Contemporary neighbourhoods – winning entry Almere in Who Cares Competition
- Presentation of a draft-Manifesto on how architects can contribute to an Architecture of Connectedness, based on the case studies of this evening, and to be published and elaborated on www.a10.eu