1. A Budding City ?> *¿?*
1 ) Is the city budding? *1* - 2 ) Is a renewed city trying to be born or are those movements we can see only false reflections in the overheated air, fatuous images which are not worth pursuing or devoting a single minute to analyse them? 3 ) Is that city in progress, the city which day after day seems to be announced here and there, which seems to claim everywhere, that is how we expect to see it, a urban practice based on human rights? Or is it being born, on the contrary, a terrible new city, never seen before, of fighting and competing to survive? *2* - 4 ) Or is nothing being botn? 5 ) Will rationality prevail in the long run and so will dignity and decency over the exclusion in our cities? 6 ) Are we irreversibly heading for the extension of segregation and alienation, for the growth of urban territories which are unworthy and cruel, where not even its inhabitants physical integrity is guaranteed? Or maybe could it be thought of a fair and believable horizon to those thousands of inhabitants who may seem to stay behind without remission? *3*
7 ) As it is all about that, this is the dilemma we are interested in. Of course, something is happening, although it may be difficult to be understood and it raises much more questions than answers. As urban life has always been related to human burgeoning, the enjoyment of all kind of advantages, material and non-material, those which make life be worth living it, and nowadays the world is more urban than ever, if the planet is being urbanized as nobody has seen before and the future of humanity seems to be assembled in cities, why isn't a new blooming impulse being appreciated in cities? 8 ) Why do they rather seem to be battle fields? 9 ) What is happening that the impression we are not going in the right direction is so widened? 10 ) And if this process is not satisfactory, wouldn't it be the time to make an effort in favour of urban life with quality, which lays down the quality of our civilization, returning to the origins and reinforcing that city of rights, which has been present since the very beginning of the city?
11 ) Let's see form the other side. The city has always been dreamt of by generations of immigrants as a place of freedom and progress, where it rewards going to. And if the hope of those thousands of travellers who cross rivers and seas wasn't in it, where is it? 12 ) Is it that there is not any appropriate place for urban blooming?13 ) And urban development? Wouldn't it direct its steps towards the materialization of that dream?
14 ) If it is not done, if someone thinks it is not worth doing it, wouldn't it be better that it gives into its fate urban development instead of carrying out the cynical role as a shroud?
15 ) City and citizens are twin terms with an intricate and variable connection throughout history but which has marked urban practice throughout centuries. However, despite its different moments and emphasis, as well as its crises and discouragement, hasn't right always been associated to the city? Wasn't it born in it? Hasn't it been there where it has crystallized? 16 ) Without the city there is not practice shape of many of the rights, or, of course, their realization would not be the same. The fight for human rights has been gathered in cities: will it be because of its condition as a hardware which is necessary for its materialization? *4* Or, maybe because of representing the institutional framework where they are built up?
Still the Princes's City
17 ) It was said, in some moment, that the city air made those who got access to it free. Air which makes us free: is there any better beginning for History than the city? 18 ) That was the idea which took shape when the slaves fled from the fieves to get personal and political freedom in the medieval self-governed cities. And that was also the principle which ruled, consequently, the urban policy. Does the city offer anything similar nowadays –open air?
19 ) In the old order everything centred around hierarchy, which modulated liberties or rights. Everybody knew which their immovable was and until that order did not collapse (in some places sooner than in others) that hierarchy shaped the cities. Freedom and progress had to celebrate the lords. Does the baroque splendour represent the end of a urban practice which favoured the representation of those who occupied the highest steps in the social hierarchy? Or, is it just one of the moments in a much longer journey, which could come up to now ? 20 ) Don't most democratic cities maintain, for instance, a similar arranging principle which replaces the aristocracy with the pre-eminence of elected posts but maintaining the way of marking the space
21 ) Drawing and leaving hierarchy patently clear in the space of the city was the main worrying when the Karlsruhe layout (a baroque city which may be an example of the old urban order) were decide, with its 32 streets spread from the margrave residence, and some models perfectly established for the buildings which
adjust to an strict order, appropriate to its addressee: aristocrats, middle class or craftsmen. Shouldn't this type of cities be considered as an exemplary expression of the city of the one (the prince), in contrast to that other type of cities which would prevail later on, the city of the majorities ? *5*
22 ) But there was not only the figurative aim. A urban development which was also thinking of other urban dimensions was applied. Does that classical and Napoleonic city of order, the one which many people think of as an ideal, totally coherent, where nothing escapes from, where everything literally converges on the person of the prince, look for the cohesion of aesthetic control
? 23 ) Of course, people like this kind of cities
as they are enormously attractive. How is that possible when absolutism which created them is nowadays a condemned and deplorable regime? 24 ) Does its poetical potentiality derives from being a direct reflection of the personalities which created them, the expression of some concrete people's creative power? 25 ) In such a case, would it be the same effect that is nowadays tried to get when linking the big urban works to certain renowned architects, who are in charge of the projects to be appointed , associated to determined people?
26 ) The ability of seduction of those cities, is the same fascination something a bit circus (something never seen before) of the Pharaonic pyramids or the vaticans , the expression of an amazing technique? Is it the same one that we still see nowadays in those huge projecting volumes, in those implausible materials, in the most surprising effects which are given to us by the new urban constructions that intend to be emblematic? 27 ) We do not know. But isn't it surprising that we do not know it, as professional experts in urban development? Or, is it a lack which exclusively belongs to us? 28 ) Many books about the History of Architecture and Urban Development are centred on the aspects of compositions. Is this and adjectival topic, impossible to be related to the urban centre? Or, is it just a more important question, although it still has not been included in a global speech about the city which considers it as it deserves, together with economical, social, functional, ecological, etc. subjects
29 ) ) In any case, does it prevail in those cities that urban dream about freedom built up in medieval cities? Or, did it end dissolving among so much monumental character, so surprising? *6* - 30 ) does the integration technique which was then magnified as fastuous urban aesthetics still endure? Is it still intended? Or; in other
words, social cohesion based on formal coherence and luxury, is it essentially the same one as it is still practised nowadays, for example in “heritage cities” ? 31 ) And, talking about luxury, is it necessarily an object? Or it can also be a way of acting as Gil-Albert thought ? *7*
32 ) The princes lent us luxury cities (sumptuary) and suggestions, of a hierarchy stamped in their factory, patently clear in order to strengthen social order. Then those historical cities have developed with the passing of time, and Karlsruhe , following the same case, is now an example of a modern and democratic city. But isn't that technique of aesthetic adhesion in force in the great works of monumentalization at present, the one that many town councils impel to promote some kind of civic pride which is difficult to justify? 33 ) ) What extent does civic nearness remain in existence to because of the sumptuary monumental character, the festive spending and the fireworks?
34 ) In any case, it is about a urban development which is deeply conservative and closed to any change. It has got a trend to reduce subjects and get more and more unified (make a whole one ), which is unnecessary on most occasions. Everything was white in the classical Karlsruhe , with an immaculate and limpid style, pure. Is that logic the same one which encourages uniform lovers or any well-uniformed army lovers? 35 ) Is it an atavistic urge, difficult to overcome, because somehow we are still being captivated by the aristocracy which is implicit in it or moved by the equine seriousness?
36 ) Of course, it is an old style which needs from a single artist who inspires the concrete way and which also needs an aesthetic coherence in all the interventions. Could it be possible for us to find a urban style typical of our time, a style which distrusts constructions based on some artist's irrational and “deep self”? A style which is not the consequence of the scientific reason or the chaining of logical and verifiable principles? Could it be possible to find a style which is not expressionism or formalism, which is not the result of the abandonment of the impulse of the wrong or the submission to an absolutist rationality?
37 ) Could it be possible for us to find a style which associates values and forms and which is adjusted to the current knowledge as a result of the expression of the requirements of urban ecology? Could it be possible for us to find a style which is related to the 21 st century technology and is also coherent with the present sensitivity? Could it be possible for us to find a style which pays attention to the urbanism of gender of human rights, giving in any case a social impulse as well as aesthetic and expressive of egalitarianism and function.? 38 ) Para evitar que sea la expresión de ninguna unidad excesiva, ningún catolicismo, ningún imperio, ninguna macdonalización, *8* In order to avoid being the expression of any excessive unit, any Catholicism , any empire or macdonalization 8 , should that style be necessarily dirty, some kind of tutti-frutti joke? 39 ) Will we finally be able to find a plural and formal order which is pacifist, practical and realistic, an order where we all can recognize each other?
40 ) “The world is dying because of the lack of tolerance”, Max Aub wrote, *9* and he added: “ Tolerance, which has nothing to do with verb tolerate, is nowadays the most forgotten good. Its opposite reigns. And, however, there is not or there was not any major grandness than the arrival at its door, when it is not a question of weakness. It is an exclusively human quality: accepting other people's things. We should not do them what we don't want for us”. If it is not a question of bearing and putting up with each other, which can be turned into pursuit and expulsion at any moment, but accepting the other one's difference and respecting the otherness, how can we translate that into urban style? *10* - 41 ) We are talking about a project of freedom by means of cohesion and mutual nearness which contributes to the design of a city always unfinished and, therefore, an open city. But how can we get multiple embodiment, which is an expression of multiplicity? How can we make colours come back?
The City of the Welfare State in crisis
42 ) The city democratises itself with the development of the industrial society. Although it is not easy to specify the date when the change from the society of the one to the society of the majorities was made, could the years of the French and American
revolutions be taken as the key years of this process? 43 ) In any case and despite the maintenance of some features from the previous aesthetics ( Washington is perhaps an excessive example), urban development broaden its task then (gradually: things in urban development take some time to be accomplished, they mature slowly). Hierarchy would not the reflect the different social steps. Its function should be ordering the streets system and distributing urban uses properly. The plans started to classify, distribute and provide the different areas in the city a rational organization so that all of them had the necessary services and instruments for their normal development: water and clean-up; schools, green and sport areas, etc. That is the urban development which resulted in the Modern Movement's proposals, the masses' urbanism defined at the MAIC (Modern Architecture International Congresses, in the first third of the 20 th century). One of the essential operations in it is the division into zones, as isn't that division into zones necessary to think of the city as a whole? 44 ) Though could it be said that there is a hidden but real hierarchy in that division into zones?
45 ) A more scientific order is applied to the city. It is time for great figures and statistics, a behaviour which everybody understands and nobody discusses nowadays. As the majorities' order pervades everything in the city and it is hard to think of a different way. We tend to see the reality mathematically. Have we gone from the poetic reason to the scientific one in the city, too? 46 ) We trust the majorities so much that the political field sometimes gets carried away. The good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the true and the false are frequently identified with the majority's statistical opinion. Does cultural relativism have room
in modern urbanism? Or, does the unpopular aesthetics which frequently accompanied it deny this assertion? 47 ) In any case, we should take the term majorities into consideration as 51% should not be enough. Won't it be necessary to manage to increase the majority up to the maximum percentage as possible, leaving aside, the minimum number in each case?
48 ) The metaphor of the organism or machine used to be applied to this city, and it generally remains nowadays. Wasn't it then needed to adapt the urban whole to the population's needs and turn the city into an efficient machine in the service of all its inhabitants or at least the majority? 49 ) It was and it is also considered that it is a rational urbanism with an economic nature. But, is it also elegant? *11* - 50) It is a urban development which makes room and concessions for the old monumentalist aesthetics, which is new-fledged and it also worried, above all, about the functional nature and general interest. Using its own and novel techniques. Does this urban development always need to order the whole city, the metropolis, and manage that nothing is out of its reach in order to be effective? 51 ) This urbanism is getting more and more interventionist. It has more information at its disposal (not for nothing its development coincides with the development of statistics, geometric cartography and the systematization of public administration, which incorporates its management, for example, data about the interior of the buildings, which were ignored up till then). What happened before: more information, which made possible more intervention? Or, was there more intervention, which required more data?
52 ) Could it be said this urban development, which prevailed gradually in Europe since the end of the 19 th century, became the most finished expression of the welfare state
created by social democracy? Did it become its clearest image? 53 ) It was a welfare state which became expressed as a fight against the five giants, *12* in a period when the most advanced shape of the ideals of freedom and equality was produced; ideals which were typical from the bill of rights (Thomas Paine's hopes two centuries before). So it was at least in its intentions.
But the fact that fight against the lack of safety and inequality was the result of an agreement among influential gentlemen, the aristocracy of work, and the owners of money, does it deprive of authority to its achievements
? 54 ) In spite of its contradictions, its aberrant developments (that is: the authoritarian solutions of town planning) and its limitations (it is about a process that sticks close to the wealthy part of the planet), is it possible not to recognize its success and appreciate its contributions?
55 ) We must insist that we are talking about the majorities, that broad strata of population whose necessities or wishes (certain wishes) the politicians and, especially, the mayors in each city strive to meet in the democratic systems. After all their power depends on those majorities. As everybody knows, either the minorities' wishes blend into the whole as a part of it (that variety which makes the whole thing pleasant) or they are not considered at all. Is it possible to dissociate present urban development from the way the political power is achieved? 56) Some criticisms can be read about the consequences of an irresponsible management of the situation could have: the “pampered child's Psychology”, that is, the free spread of their vital wishes and the radical ingratitude of that which makes the easiness of their existence possible. It is the impression of the easiness of life or the decline of courtesy. Hyper-democracy also makes it possible (the spread of democracy beyond politics, to areas where it is undesirable) and so does the scepticism derived from the discord of opinions. In short the generalization of the “culture of complaint”. *13* Has everything mentioned above anything to do with urban development?
57 ) Urban development had its explosion in Spain at the same time it started to go through a crisis in the rest of Europe . Urban development in the 80s meant the establishment of this model in many Spanish cities. Does the example of Madrid 's Town Planning in 1985, which is against segregation in its objectives and methodology, refer to great groups of population, who are seen as added? *14* - 58) If Karlsruhe 's project
can be considered as a model of “ the city of the one” (the prince), could Madrid be considered as a magnificient expression of the “ city of the majorities ”?. 59 ) Wasn't that about adapting the urban group to the needs of most population, which lived there up till then below a nature of segregation? Wasn't it situation which the new democratic system, recently achieved, could not tolerate?
60 ) In any case, the urban instruments were different in both models of city. Now it makes little sense to pay attention to the quality of the construction built in the socialist Madrid . The document of “urban structure” proposed in the general town planning as a definition of the city which wanted to be made (it was a project), is the critical element which best explains the proposal. As we said before, we were worried about the spatial and functional segregation of many urban areas as well as the city's systems of connection; and it is not trivial to remember that the ensemble composed of areas and connection systems is precisely what we understand by urban structure. The subject was, therefore, the structure. And this structure was raised compact and not segregated, having continuity among its parts: “It is necessary”, the General Report of the Town Planning said, “to break isolation (in the outskirts) as well as its total dependence on the centre by means of reinforcing the relations within the outskirts” Why is “continuity among the parts” so important ?
61 ) ) If they wanted to interconnect in a better way, a system of communications with an appropriate hierarchical structure was created with a system of public transport which was reinforced and integrated as basis of metropolitan and urban connections as well as it made good use of the accessibility to the stations and places of exchange. Was the sight the most important thing before while now movement has priority? 62 ) But other structural elements were also thought, elements which stopped segregation. It was thought to encourage a significant decentralization of the equipment and services, which was upheld on new non-residential implementations which did not need a central location. It was also thought to guarantee the continuity and a better joint of public spaces (which were also diversified). They even thought of developing a complete network of basic infrastructures which reached all the areas having an identical quality of service. The city was synthesized to the maximum: Most part of urban services were in the North and the working population was in the South. Although the handicap between North and South was not completely corrected, weren't the situations of sub-standard housing solved and eliminated? 63 ) In contrast to urban development “based on a policy of economic development”, didn't it mean, for example, a rationalization of transport or a recovery of heritage? In short, didn't it get certain effectiveness? *15*
64 ) As well as we state the urban development in Karlsruhe has not changed so much its basic idea of urban image, we also state that this urban development and its techniques remain alive in use. And it is still necessary. You only have to look at several European mayors' answers to a survey about the existence of ghettos in their cities. Aren't they a sign of their applicability, among other things? *16* - 65 ) First, curiously, except the representatives from the Netherlands ( Amsterdam , Rotterdam or Brussels ), the rest of mayors who were interviewed deny their existence, but we can guess in their answers that it has happened thanks to urban welfare policies. In second place, both sides are aware of the dangers of lowering their guard as well as the necessity of
redoubling this kind of policies more than ever. Haven't these needs become urgent during the last year?
66 ) It is alive but unfinished. We were talking about the North and the South in Madrid and the need of a new balance between those two fields. And we referred to the economic aspects and the solidarity among the different parts of the city. Urban development now talks about economy and international solidarity, could any economic or justice reason be contended in order not to arise a general objective which gets certain balance among the circumstances of different cities? 67 ) In line with the requests for an ecological economy, isn't it time to change the economicist atavism which says “the more, the better” for the one which says “to its right extent”? Isn't it time to make a moratorium about the new infrastructures and the need of doing more and more works in favour of a better management of what we have right now in our rich cities? 68 ) Will the trend to widen the city borders, which we demand, drive us to make the distinction between different groups of population difficult? Will that trend drive us not to have enemies, which meant those large motors of activity (the elite and the enemy) will keep no vital fluid any more? 69 ) The aspiration of avoiding waste would take us to consider the economic need to take advantage of so many talents, so many “wasteful lives” which are disdained nowadays,*17* isn't it worrying that this aspiration was the same reasoning which was used centuries ago when dealing with urban poverty?
The Trap of Globalization
70 ) Since the 80's the welfare state started to be discussed. The dismantling of one of the system supports in favour of the other one, which had coexisted with for a very long time. The welfare state has been shown many times as a setting up in favour of capital more than in favour of work. But the truth is that it has been beneficial for both sides. Maybe more beneficial for ones than for the others, it is true; and from the appointed date it has been much more beneficial for the first ones. But hasn't it also been advantageous for the workers? 71 ) During the Cold War, together with the consolidation of the welfare state, a new tendency was started by the governments to share the sovereign power with the great interests of the private sector, which meant the gradual disappearance of the old distinction between public and economic activities. How can we distinguish, for example, one interest from the other one in many public contrast signed with private companies? *18*
72 ) They led to which we could describe a state of the privileged. Is it an aristocratic state? 73 ) While the welfare state was being dismantled gradually thanks to the programmes of privatisation held in the 80's, the state of the privileged escaped not only unscathed but reinforced. The welfare state itself has been transferred to the private companies. How can we understand the privatisation of so many public services? What can we say about some drastic examples, like the privatisation of the prisons in the USA, which has happened at the same time as the growth of the prison population in favour of leaving people out of the cold and negotiating with it? *19*
74 .1 ) -.2 ) However, does the state decrease? Or, is it just changing? 75 ) In fact, doesn't the business market benefit from the state spending? Don't public school provide it well-educated and productive personnel? Don't that personnel go to work by car or train? Don't wealth system keep the employees fit? 76 ) A balanced tax system permitted at least to share out the costs of this model. But now it is expected that all this is only paid by the others (as well as the emergencies from some of them: there the state is when the business world is in difficulty) Doesn't it try to point the welfare state out to us as something bad and wasteful when it allocates resources to people but as something good when it does the same to the companies?
77 ) Susan George attracts our attention about this process. *20* It is necessary to consider directly the question this author suggests: Is globalization a trap? 78 ) Opposite to the idea that globalization means that all the towns and regions in the world are somehow involved in the same movement and go together to a future promised land, isn't it exactly the contrary, according to the facts? 78 bis ) From what she says, globalization has become a comfortable formula to refer to exclusion of fact, it has become a process which allows world market economy to accept the most suitable ones and push away the rest. Do we have to accept George's point of view or that one from Vicente Verdú when he writes that globalization takes human countenance when facilitates a most integrationist and painful conscience of the world and when turning amused spectators and crazy consumers into critic citizens?
79 ) The data do not usually mislead. Globalization has transferred inexorably wealth from the poor to the rich, and its impact in the urban world has been shattering. If the positive aspect of the welfare state, and not its aberrations, has lost some boost, isn't it now more than ever urgent to recover it? Isn't it urgent to extend it? 80 ) There are some people who say that it is a problem about resistance and survival of those who are becoming excluded. You only need to have a look to the vanguard urban world in the USA , from what Harvey tells about Baltimore (which coincides with which any observer is able to see in other cities like Chicago). *21* It is a city which is a complete chaos. Maybe it is the same chaos as before, but then many people believe in solutions and now the problems seem insoluble. Some details can be mentioned: 40,000 empty houses (from 304,000) opposite to the 8,000 long ago; there is a concentration of homeless people who are poor and unemployed; the public schools are in a pitiful state; some health centres are bricked up and life expectancy is going down. The rich continue leaving en masse the cities while suburbs and anti-ecological, outlying housing estates proliferate at the same time as interior suburbs are abandoned. Urbanity is
breaking up (less takes for urban equity). Is it a good summary to say that the rich are creating prosperous ghettos and undermining the terms of citizenship, social ownership and mutual support with their fenced communities, their own taxes for their exclusive benefit at the same time as the social braking and the institutional fragmentation make deeper; it seems that the only real slogan is finally “every man for himself!”? 81 ) Is the following one a good summary: exclusion proliferates and people without any place in the world are increasing? *22*
82 ) What happens in the majority of the rest of regions where spectacular urban development is taking place in countries which have not enough means to face up to such growth? 83 ) The enormousness of the figures overwhelms but so does the nature of what they show, the deep imbalance they prove. *23* Even with the most moderate calculations, the population growth is so big and so much the expected growth that they will mark the destiny of many countries and cities. Officially the planet left the 20 th century with more than 6,000 million inhabitants after having started it with little more than 1,500 million. Throughout this period the global wealth has also increased in a more spectacular way: According to the data which seem to be quite reliable, *24* the population's average income would have multiplied by nine while in the 19 th century, which also had a big growth, this increasing had hardly doubled. However, herein lies a first important “nuance”, inequalities had never been so deep. There is also unanimity in this. All the valuations emphasize the way how the breach between the rich and the poor has increased as well as the geographical concentration of wealth. *25* But moreover, poverty and inequality are now assembled in the cities, they both have urban direction. The fact that the planet has been urbanized rapidly has also influenced. In 1950 only 30% of the population was urban; and nowadays it is almost half of the population (and it will be two thirds soon, by 2050). But the most alarming thing is that this development is happening basically in the poor countries, which are less urbanized up till now, *26* and this development is also happening without a correlative economic development which upholds it, a fact which habitually happened during previous historical periods. Poor cities, even with economies in recession, are
bearing a considerable population increase. The cities are the main figures of this urbanizing process: huge extensions of shanty towns, which are crammed, extending without limits the urban areas of many countries in the Third World. That is what the Anglo-Saxon call slum *27* isn't acting against this way of increase a central urban problem ? 84 ) And in a stage of globalization, couldn't anything be done against this process in rich cities?
85.1 ) It is necessary, in this global context, look at the efforts made in the Town Planning of Paris ( Paris 2020 ), which have happened at the same time as the explosion of the banlieu : isn't all a sign? 86 ) Let's see that new planning and let's emphasize the matters which were not raised before and are now the main figures. *28* Let's emphasize some of those novel indications, making similarities and differences with the Town Planning of Madrid clear. Let's remember that the latest city was structured in 1985 in order to improve the continuity among the parts by means of the improvement in public transport and the main system of communications. Now Paris centres as well on improving public transport, paying especial attention to the potentialities of the tram (like the one proposed by Maréchaux). But some other things are also mentioned: civilizing (great expression) the main roads, mending the squares, regaining the banks of the Seine and the canals (for example, Bièvre), lighting the traffic in the city centre, decreasing the pressure in the car parks and giving more chances to the bicycles. Are these decisions going in the right direction? 87 ) It is true that they do not forget to plan the order of logistic platforms for the goods distribution; it is also true that they do not question the big functional impact of the “Peripherial” (the main ring road) and it is thought to establish and “access control” to the city centre (up to the A-86) in order to improve the effectiveness of the vehicle mobility. But these previous notes may result a balm for those who do not have a car or cannot use public transport (perhaps they do not even have documents) and those who we can see moving with difficulty, many times taking risks, moving awkwardly among main roads (every man for himself! once again). Are these decisions on mobility enough ?
Or, is it an effort inferior to the minimum demanded in view of the seriousness and the urgency of the situation ?
88 ) In relation to the housing, the analyses of the great figures predominate in the town planning of Paris . There is talk of need to “reinforce” social housing in the centre and the west of the city”. Most population, obviously, live in a “standard” house. But there are still many houses expressively called “substandard”: those houses whose owners have got their own space but they do not have a decent heating system or those houses whose owners, elderly people, have to go up to the fourth floor in a building from the 50's because they do not have a lift. In Paris 11% of the population in these conditions do not have a bathroom (about 150,000 people). But is the proposed solution, that is, “ensuring urban renovation” or promoting new public houses, which are assigned by investigating the beneficiaries' income, going in the right direction? Does it stigmatise?
Signs of Change, a Critical Moment
89 ) If the reason, the thought itself, does not seem to be in its best time; if the crisis of the welfare state and its instruments is obvious, and there are some people who think globalization is a trap; if the signs of change are multiplied, according to the long-term and having no rhetorical intention, could it be said that the present is in a critical moment? 90 ) The town planning of Paris shows that many signs of change in urban things can be observed at first sight, of course. And however, the urban theory, the discernment for the action, the agenda, the criteria and the priorities seem to be the same as fifty years ago. With many, lots of adjustments, they are basically the ones from the world where the city of the welfare state was forged, five decades ago; the one which is established coinciding with the formal drawing up of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, after the Second World War; although both went back a long way. Is urban theory a Mac Guffin nowadays? *29*
91 ) We cannot say there is a clear and systematic theory where most elements, tensions and tendencies we find in the city now can be explained, but on the contrary we have to manage, with some exceptions, a discussion which has only been more or less felt intuitively. Or maybe forgotten: everything are qualifications to those canonical rules which were established half a century ago. They are trials better than a systematic theory. Is the New Letter from Athens a sign?*30* It is a letter which intends to replace the original one – a clean and schematic work - , a letter whose text can only incorporate numerous mending and ensued adjustments? 92 ) The urban collection does not seem to fit into any unitary and coherent explanation. Not only into a great report but not even into a modest reconciliation of the small ones.
The theory which is used is like an old plan which multiple novelties and adjustment have been added to: the time comes to do a complete removal because it is not possible to continue using the old sheet, so dilapidated, as it has been folded and unfolded so many times (it is a metaphor). It is not about demanding a great systematic speech now: aspiring to something like that is more than debatable. But it is also clear that certain harmony among the different subjects and trials is at least desirable. It is to avoid that everything is all the same for now. If it is not in this way, aren't we talking about the worst relativism? *31*
93 ) We are in a very different reality, where numerous quantitative and qualitative changes have happened. The planet has been urbanized, the figures speak for themselves. Qualitatively the world is another one with significant modifications in relation to the world of two or three decades ago. *32* Do the new social realities (for example, immigration), the new economic realities (globalization, for example) and the new cultural realities (like Bioethics) affect the hard core of urban theory? Or can it be considered as corrections? 94 ) ) We are not only talking about instrumental aspects, like cartography, which apart from being the support of urban proposal, generates the management computerization of the process of urban growth (a urban development theoretician, Castells, emphasizes everything which is related to communications, the information society and everything which it implies). But what can we say about the metropolization of big deal of cities? What can we say about the “scattered city”? or about mobility, which has multiplied as never before and will possibly multiply even more? What will happen when China joins decisively the car market, for example?
95 ) A long-haul urban streak, which has been a landmark, is the worrying about the historic heritage, which is now related to the identity of the places and the tourism economy. *33* The town planning of the historical centres in Italy and England
in the 70's laid the foundations of a specific methodology for all the urban practice, which meant the recovery of the idea as a fixed capital which must not be dilapidated: the urban development of austerity. What has remained of all that? 96 ) Other great reference, more recent, has to do with ecology, which also impregnates a very concrete practice, on one hand a new view of urban development of the austerity, on the other hand a group of guidelines for multiple technical actions, like the ones related
to the water cycle, the waste treatment, the traffic pacification, measures for a better use of energy, etc. These are techniques which are literally joined to the general speech, but they do not seem to modify it. It is forecasted in the next years that if we go on doing it like now, there will be drastic modifications in the life of the Earth (global warming, deforestation, desertification). If they are finally true, do we know the effects they will have in the city?
97 ) The city is raised as a new paradigm and it could also impregnate the urban theory. The first evidence is the overcrowding of the cultural spaces. Then there is a larger diversification of the equipment as well as a multiplication of the activities (churches for different kind of worships, equipments adapted to the different cultures, multiculturalism). Isn't it a radical change in a urban development which has never been built for a population educated en masse? 98 ) Politics, for its part, also requires its diversification, democracy must saturate the citizens' activity and also the urban practice, of course. The participatory budget is an innovative formula. Do they have haul in a system thought to decide on a deductive logic? *34*
99 ) And it is a subject of worrying background, which has become more noticeable because of the urban explosion we mentioned above, the permanence and multiplication of shanty towns happened the length and breadth of all the planet. It is a reality in contrast to many of the subjects dealt here, which seem just a sarcasm. Will there be any novel proposal or any strong decision to deal with this situation, beyond the continuity in the beneficient attempts of international organizations, which have clearly failed or are at least insufficient?
100 ) Could it be surprising that the results related to an obsolete and far from the reality way of thinking the city happen to be extremely unsatisfactory? 101 ) The welfare declines in the places where it existed and discontent takes possession of the city: you should forgive our alarmism but it is irrefutable that there is a feeling of distress. Do we take environmental problems, which have entered a more dramatic stage and where some signs of irreversible change speed up, into account? Or, are we only acting in the surface when encouraging public transport policies, improving the energy set-up in buildings, imposing clean-up policies or even promoting recycling but without affecting the key and strategic elements? Who dares to touch the car as a foundation of a part of the economy? 102 ) And when dealing with property multiplication, wouldn't it be necessary to cut down the amount of construction in many countries? ( Valencia is bloated in that aspect) *35* There are hardly defenders of formulating and alternative theory in
this field? 103 ) (whereas we can see how the lobby in favour of nuclear power attacks again). Neither the Right nor the Left, neither trade unions nor companies seem to be willing to modify their broad outlines. Wouldn't it be necessary to abandon totally and economic model based on the brick and the car?
104 ) Poverty and exclusion multiply everywhere in the rich countries, leaving huge surfaces abandoned in the American cities; they also state the failure of the outskirts in Paris , precisely the clearest expression of the urban theory in the heroic period of the Modern Movement. Is Romano Prodi right when he emphasizes it is essential to think about what it will still arrive during the following explosions of the outskirts in the big
European cities? *36* - 105 ) Will we have to wait until the socially-excluded lose their patience? How far will it be able to become strained? How long will we be able to wait? *37*
106 ) It is not possible to stretch that outdated theory longer. The remnant which stay disjointed requires a minimum leitmotiv, some organizing trace. The proliferation of lists of good practice which we turn to looking for the right track is a sign of despair. But, is good practice too much attached to the concrete situation? Or, does it have the ability to turn into the frame we are looking for acting with solidarity.
Be that as if may well be, it is getting more and more urgent to have a basis we all can agree with. At the biennial exhibition in Venice some years ago a significant and suggesting slogan was raised: “Less Aesthetics and More Ethics”. *38* Won't that be an appropriate area where we can look for this basis?
108 ) Nowadays, with globalization, the situation has become untenable. Even a backward movement is noticed. We are called to the drastic recovery of social urban development.*39* But they are scattered efforts, how can we join them in a
How can we integrate a common body? How can we give a hierarchical structure to the requirements? 109 ) We don't intend to recover the old social urban development, rather vague, but defend a urban development which responds to these deficits from a common foundation, we insist, where we can reach an agreement. Is it possible such an agreement about a kind of urban development which benefits urban fledging?
Human Rights, a Contemporary Achievement
110 ) If there is a crisis, why not going back to the beginning? Going back to a project of the city as a space of freedom and rights, which would now enter a new stage enriched by the aristocracy's requirements, which are now generalized, and the newly-coined requirements like comfort (which is not a nobility's invention) but the utopists' one). With that return to the origins we are looking for some hope to avoid barbarity.
Attacking directly the problem of exclusion and the lack of solidarity and making explicit the fundamentals of right, which has always been present in the history of cities? . 111 ) The city, the place of right. Relating directly the achievement of civilization, the cities, to the contemporary achievement, human rights *40* - 112 ) We understand that the language of human rights, the Universal Declaration, permits the best formulation in order to found this basic agreement. Should we turn to the list of human rights as the demands which a universal urban policy must satisfy in order to establish an integrated and hierarchical body?
113 ) The crowds who aspire to a different future assemble on the cities. They represent the progress and the modernity where the world inexorably heads to. They are the only ones which seem to guarantee a climate of freedom. Power and opportunities are there. Politics is made there; money, information and communications are assembled in the cities, the meetings multiply and industry and commerce act. The finest products, the luxurious items, art and culture are for the city. But, above all, don't we live the city as a place where it is possible to guarantee the rights which are difficult to keep in other fields, that is, being a person? Isn't that its basic attractiveness?
114 ) Human rights oppose to the world of the inequalities and differences that we know. We aspire to them in majority way. Although its interpretation varies from some cultures to another ones, don't they join, as Lukes thinks, more interests than the ones they separate? 115 ) That's the reason why it is said that human rights represent the great issue these days. The achievement of the end of the millennium. A historian (Hobsbawn, European) has said: “they seem some of the few things which come between us and the darkness”. An economist (Amartya Sen, Asian) claims them with democracy, but “no democratic country permits hunger”. *41* We are talking about what we consider its more universal sense: The
Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. *42* Although the agreement by which the Universal Declaration was formalized was not unanimous and it has never had the complete support of all the countries, it is the best we have. Could it be said that, in spite of everything, they strengthen?
116 ) With the course of time the international community has been legitimising its moral, political and legal significance in a progressive way. The incorporation of new rights has become a part of this process. Does the principle of new rights contribute to consolidate the ones which were accepted previously? Or does it weaken them? Does the consideration of the emerging rights *43* reinforce those of first and second generation? Or, does it dissuade our attention from them? 117 ) But such extension has gone side by side with a practice which has frequently been very defective. There is a specific group of rights, among which all the ones with an economic and social content are, which have not been fulfilled in treaties which precise their content yet. (in other words: the states have not shown the necessary political will). There is no sense in making those differences. Then, is it possible the respect of many of the individual rights if the rights of economic or social nature are not guaranteed before?
118 ) The way continues being long. And we understand that the city (and also urban development as an important part of urban policies) plays a leading part, undoubtedly. Is it an essential instrument in order to materialize those rights? Perhaps not as much as for civil rights as for the economic and social ones? 119 ) Its action may even mark the differences: favouring recession or promoting progress. The right as the foundation of a necessary urban development. There are moment and places of impulse to shape powerful and transformer political forces in the sustained effort of the humanity to change the world. Are we in one of those moments of transformation when it is urgent to act so as to avoid it is aborted? 120 ) There are elements in the welfare state which have been lost, we are giving many chances to the lack of solidarity and the individualism better than the cooperation. Are we now in an emergency ? 121 ) But besides the speech of rights has enriched or become more exigent, here it is also present what was quoted from Verdú: perhaps before you did not notice or you did not know how to react, but now you do not resign. *44* Don't we have to take profit of this impulse?
The Dignity of the Last Citizen: As a Synthesis
122 ) Planning the city for a majority is not enough, no matter how broad it is: the rights suggest the exigency of totality. If nobody can be left aside, we will have to begin from below. And we will have to think of a different economy (a rich city) and a urban aesthetics (a beautiful city). Which ones will the objectives be in order to guarantee a decent urban life for everybody and the recognition of the last citizen's urban dignity? 123 ) The novelty would be in those guarantees difficult to achieve. How can we ensure decency and urban dignity for everybody, without any exclusion?
124 ) The definitions of dignity and solidarity which are made from above can be too ethnocentric and leave people aside. They can be short-sighted. But, how can we act if the idea of decency itself depends on one's own look? *45* 125 ) Decency refers to the material conditions and dignity refers to the non-material ones. Will it be enough to look at the concrete and complete conditions of urban life so that the order of the look acts? 126 ) How can we make the most of the possibilities, which are new up till now, that the revolution of information technology offers for that revealing purpose of showing something up? 127 ) Would it imply working at the same time for a global and a local urban development (cosmopolitan and planetary)?
128 ) You will see one by one the rights which affect to and are affected by the city in the following chapters. But it has been said many times that a synthesis of them all is the
right each person has to dignity. *46* Would it be licit to understand that the root of the new city should now be dignity if the city of the prince is nearness and the city of the welfare state is elegance? 129 ) Dignity has got several aspects. It is a key word in our culture, but being principle of principles, value of values, could the idea of dignity turn out to be so abstract to be taken as a urban mould? 130 ) It has been said that dignity is that eagerness to reveal the nobility of condition which we share with all the citizens. Is it understood? *47*
131 ) We can identify three features of dignity (it will be useful to do it in this way): decency, sovereignity and recognition. Decency is cleanliness. What does guaranteeing a simply decent life for each citizen oblige to? 132) Simply decent. Isn't that humble purpose a huge task?. 133 ) But in spite of that, won't it be necessary to guarantee some minimum material conditions for every one, below which it is shameless to go on talking about dignity? 134 ) How can we define them if they are relative (yes: they depend on one's own look) and implacable at
the same time? 135 ) In that case it would not be a conventional exigency, maybe not shared. How can we fit inflexibility and juncture?136 ) Something which is now shown as indecent did not seem it before. So, are the minimum material conditions which decency demands for all contingents, historical and cultural, impossible to be established for good and impossible to be determined despite the material conditions where the rest of citizens live? 137 ) And if it is like that, how can we feel them inexorable and stony in each moment and place. *48*
138 ) Decency, decorum, moves. It changes with the passing of time. Does it tend, in the long-term, to bring the conditions of material life closer to both sides? Does it tend to a future but true equality of minimums? 139 ) In such a case, it should wait for some time to be achieved. And isn't the wait incompatible with an immediate exigency? One's decency depends on the others' quality of life. Could it be admitted that, in the long run, decency would imply a process of progressive, universal balance or an approach between the material conditions of both sides all over the world? 140 ) If we consider local approach or balance as provisional in the city itself: if the city itself shows the first measure of what is decorous, would it be responded to the implacable nature of moral exigency without abandoning a gradual rebalance among the places? Or, renouncing that one's own look obliges as well to universalise the minimum conditions?
141 ) The other two features of dignity, sovereignity and recognition allude to a squandered word: excellence. A term which resounds in many areas as a synonym of distinction. But it was not always in that way. Some of its synonyms are honour and pride which belong to everybody: we all are, or can be, excellent, we all can count on our own esteem and the others' one. It is interesting to distinguish an autonomous
dignity and a heteronomous one (both are Peces Barba's naming). The first one makes cause of the person itself and it can be found in the own human condition. The second one has got a root and an external foundation to the human being and it is based on the social reality. The first one, the autonomous dignity, is the most appreciated by Philosophy. *49* It is a dignity which refers to sovereignity, that is how we see it. It does not need to be recognized by the others but each one should find it in themselves. *50* Does it say anything about urban development?
142 ) The other aspect of dignity (we mentioned it before: the heteronomous one) is its recognition by society. How can we all give shape to the recognition of each one's excellence? How can we go back to Calderón and Lope when they talk about the social significance of the others' opinion? 143 ) Aren't human rights in this stage? Don't they exactly refer to appreciating each and every one of the people? 144 ) Do they only point at decency? Or, as we believe, wouldn't it be worth even suggesting it but demanding it immediately? 145 ) We are talking then about the right to dignity. That is: the right to the guarantees of a decorous material life and a life of one's own and other people's recognition of the nobility condition. Could it be said , in a bit paradoxical way, that we are finally talking about the aristocracy's democratisation? 146 ) Would it be worth saying that urban development must try to get then besides getting a urban design which does not offend (building a beautiful city) and a urban economy which does not impoverish (contributing to the economic progress) a city which responds to the nobility of each person which inhabit it?
147 ) Would it be possible to try, at least, to detect the urbanistic features of dignity? 148 ) How can we protect each one's maximum autonomy and avoid common-or-garden treatment (that is not conceiving of the population in big piles)? How can we act against all ways of poverty (misery: the zero stage of dignity)? How can we favour integration (opposite to any kind of ghetto or stigma)? How can we promote a basic and essential equality (living among our peers)? How can we avoid any kind of discrimination (sex, age or racial discrimination)? How can we make decorum and cleanness easier and avoid the feeling of desolation? How can we value and recognize the work of those who precede us, etc...? *51*
149 ) The problem of dignity is becoming more acute in the city's castaways. We name them with a generic designation (a bit cinematographic synecdoche, “the last citizen”) Is there any more appropriate subject for our purpose that the defence of the last citizen's urban dignity? 150 ) If we ordered the citizens of any city in consecutive files, according to the rules which are used in urban development (with criteria of mobility,
equipment, service, housing, culture, participation, etc., we would see a striking scene. Wouldn't a reduced (but evident) group of citizens be fully aware of all or almost all the lines which could be done? *52*
151 ) This group's condition is poverty. Not only, and perhaps not mainly, economic. But, of course, it is a hard, really hard, kind of poverty which eats you up. “Complete groups of people are partial or totally out of the field of an effective application of human rights”, precisely owing to poverty, as the Council of Europe admitted as early as 1994. It is not necessary to turn to the huge pockets of poverty in Africa , Asia or America . The opulent Europe has got 56 million poor people. And we insist, it is not only about a typical poverty from Dickens, but the one which progressively wrecks the existing relations between the affected individuals and the rest of the society. That poverty assumes the confrontation between the individual and his helplessness, which implies the real isolation of people or impoverished groups; or just the feeling of isolation. But such a feeling is enough. It implies numerous and critical situations of abandonment. Would the designation of the “last citizen” be another way of simply naming the poor? Or, does it bring any necessary shades for urban development?
152 ) Because what the last citizen has got is the same we all have. He has got feet to walk, hand to work (and caress). He has a reasoning we all share. He has got eyes to see and body to be seen. Mouth to speak and ears to hear. He also has an infinite ability for hope and a door which is always open towards despair. The same as we all have. The question is that this last citizen only has got the same as everybody. Nothing else. Could it be defined in this way as the “maximum common denominator” of all citizens? 153 ) How many population are we talking about: 2%, 5%?
154 ) We must warn, however, about the idea of what is normal. Because it is not difficult to give way to ethnocentrism once again. The last citizens' group is enormous. Then the normal thing is not frequently what we think is normal. Let's remember Moisés Naím: “You are not normal. If you are reading these pages, you probably belong to the minority of humanity who has got a steady job, an appropriate access to the Social Security and you also enjoy a considerable political freedom. Besides unlike the other 860 million people, you can read. And you spend more than two euros per day. The percentage of the world population which combines all these attributes is less than 4% (…). Many decisions of public policy have been mistaken because they have confused ideals with realities”. *54* Don't we have to distrust our idea of the normal? Don't we have to be on the alert? 155 ) It is sure that the “last citizen” is, in western countries, a woman: women have a higher probability to be poor than men. Having children, being divorced or widow, old or very young and having a limited level of education and probably unemployed. And very probably immigrant. *55* What is the portrayal in the rest of cities?
156 ) ) It will be said there are other situations which could be lived very severely. These are the life conditions of battered women, terminal patients and other broken lives or without a future. For example, sharing life with a patient of Alzheimer. There are so many bloody situations. But do these cases break reasoning or on the contrary, they look at it, they refine and assert it? 157 ) There is a very significant precedent of urban treatment which does not take the citizen supposedly “medium”: the decisions about accessibility of disabled people: They do not confine the cost. We have to do it because it is fair. Would it be worth spreading this technique and course of action to the personal situations of poverty? 158 ) Dignity is closely related to reason. In fact dignity is demanding explanations: why poverty, if it is inevitable? Why does urban development is cut off if wealth is in the city?
The City of Right, the Budding City
159 ) What will the hope be in order to avoid urban cruelty? *56* Will it be attacking directly the problem of exclusion and the lack of solidarity? Will it be placing in close-up and emphasizing the grounds of right which have always been present in the history of cities but it is buried nowadays? Will it be going back to the foundation of a necessary urbanism? 160 ) Will it be completing a urban cycle from
the city of the one to the city of each one? 161 ) There are moments and places of impulse to shape powerful political forces which are also transformers. We wondered above if we are in one of those moments of change when it is urgent to act in order to avoid that the signs of budding run out. We also wondered if we are in an emergency period now the welfare state is slimming, now the lack of solidarity is being offered too many advantages and individualism is overcoming cooperation. And we also warned that the speech of rights has enriched or become more demanding whereas, as Verdú points out, we did not notice or did not react in the past. That is why is worth insisting: Is it possible to resign to knowledge or the depressing statistics which shows that a third part of all the human deaths are caused by reasons related to poverty? *57*
162 ) In any case, and according to Pogge, *58* it will be necessary to pursue a universal criterion which is modest. This appraisal is important. “Instead of defining justice as the highest unattainable point in a definite scale, it should define justice as a reasonable threshold which is compatible with an international diversity of international outlines, which are only requested to treat the people who these outlines affect in a minimally decent and fair way”. These criteria should leave the way open to certain societies or some concrete cities and they should also impose other criteria which are more demanding. Then, aren't we looking for a central criterion of basic justice, which is extensively acceptable, as the grounds of a reconsidered urban development?
2 ) finally the question is this one once again: Is this budding city real? Or, is it just a mirage, a senseless dream? 163 ) Is it worth contributing to its flowering? Or is it a waste of time and work? 164 ) Will a reality which demands urgent and deep changes with a wish of global justice be fertilized? *59*
*1* We are again following Paulo Herkenhoff's way of organizing a text in “Take off the Centre and You Will Have the Universe: Presence of Margin…” Revista de Occidente 238, February 2001. It can be read by sipping.
*2* Norberto Bobbio,
The Time of Rights (Madrid, Sistema, 1991).
*3* The first documentary video of this exhibition has got the title “The City without Horizon”. This designation alludes to the present world's vision which John Berger presented. But it also alludes to a perspective of change that we think is possible. The world (the city) which is being built is a prison for Berger, a feeling of breathlessness. We are living, he says, in a claustrophobic culture, possibly the most claustrophobic one which has ever existed, where “no other place or form is noticed. In fact, what exists is a prison”. It is a claustrophobia not caused by overpopulation but by the lack of continuity among actions . And he explains it with a powerful image. John Berger describes the present world as similar to that hell which El Bosco painted five centuries ago: “You cannot see any horizon there. You cannot see any continuity among actions, any pause, any way, any plan not even past or future. Nothing is assembled: everything is interrupted. It consists of some kind of space delirium “where everything lacks sense. Nowadays, the author said, human intelligence has been reduced to greed and it refuses any continuity among things. It is necessary, above all and against it, to open a new horizon. And we think human rights, the city of human rights, can exist in it. (John Berger's article was published in Le Monde Diplomatique , especial edition in August 1997. The reference comes from R. del Caz, P. Gigosos and M. Saravia. The City and Human Rights , Madrid , Talasa, 2002) .
*4* The forging of citizenship in Nicolas Philibert's film To be and to have ( France, 2002).
*5* A classical text about how Karlsruhe was created is that one from F.S. Meyer Die Haupt – und Residenzstadt Karlsruhe ( Karlsruhe , 1900). A good Spanish summary is the one from Paolo Sica, Historia del Urbanismo, S XVIII, Madrid, IEAL, 1982) pp. 415-419. It is placed on the Rhin and has got 280,000 inhabitants at present. Karlsruhe was planned by Jacob Firedrich von Batzendorf for the margrave (something like Marquis) Karl Wilhelm de Baden-Durlach, who decided to leave his residence in Durlach and build a new palace, surrounded by woods, gardens and a new city, in his own image (Karls Ruhe: Charles's rest). The works started on 17 th May 1715. About the Prince's city, José Luis Martin, The City and the Prince: study and translation of Francesc Eiximenis' texts (University of Barcelona). About monumentalization W. Hegermann & E. Peets, American Vitrubius. An Architect's Handbook of Civic Art (New York, 1922). Spanish edition: El Vitruvio Americano: Manual de Arte Civil para el Arquitecto (Ed. Fundación Caja de Arquitectos, Barcelona, 1992).
*6* The permanence of style of the public can be seen, for instance in the opera theatres
Basic composition and criteria coincidences can
be seen among the theatre San Carlo in Naples, the Burgtheater in Vienna, the Bolshoi in Moscow, the Opera Theatre in Manaos, the Colon in Buenos Aires, the Opera in Sidney or the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
*7* Commented by Francisco Brines, Writings about Spanish Poetry , Valencia , Pre-textos, 1995.
*8* No Macdonalization as the one in advertising. Who doesn't know Coca-Cola? And what could we say about the quality and attractiveness in many of its advertisements? What would we say about the city, frequently interesting, which is promoted in them? Coca-Cola, the most valuable world-wide brand is using individualistic values (lifestyle) as well as caring, humanitarian (Campaign Together for Africa , for example) and environmental current
campaigns. Its advertising, which is nearly up to 25 per cent of its sales is aggressively addressed to the youth and children. However, “the image the corporation shows from itself is not coherent with its behaviour. Among all the facts mentioned above, maybe one of the most serious is the detection of children's labour exploitation “ (See Trans-national Corporations Observatory: www.ideas.coop).
*9* Quoted in Ottmar Ette, “The revisited Occident” in Revista de Occidente, 265, June 2003, monographic volume devoted to Max Aub.
*10* It is useful to consult
www.tolerance.org about tolerance. See especially that 101 tools for tolerance (Ideas for Yourself, for Your Home, Your School, Your Workplace, Your Community, etc.).
*11* The aspiration of elegance is all of a piece to modern urbanism. See The Principle of Elegance , International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). Municipal Management by Ecosystem Principles. The “elegant solutions” permit the satisfaction of multiple requirements by means of an integrated action, which is often simpler and always more economical. It means the establishment of symbiotic connections among parts, subsystems and sectors where we maximize the effectiveness and stability of the whole thing. It is true that the current city cannot be stated as an example of the application of this principle, but in the logic of modern urbanism it is necessary to manage an easy connection between the housing and the commerce or the better use of sewage for watering, etc.
*12* Although the welfare state was hatched throughout several decades, it took a definite shape on 26 July 1945 , which was the date of the Labour victory in Great Britain in the first elections after the Second World War. From 1945 to 1948, five legislative changes were enacted, which meant, as a whole, its foundation. The Beveridge's Report in 1943 made up the context and set the standard for that programme. Beveridge, who was a liberal, aroused the public support with his image of the five giants which had to be destroyed if we wanted to build a better world. The giants were need, illness, ignorance, poverty and unemployment. So Attlee's government legislation was addressed to fight against those five giants at the same time as they were trying to protect people against natural contingencies of life, as the old age, illness and unemployment by giving economic aids for children, financial support for
education and ensuring an appropriate housing offer. Since very soon the welfare state had an obvious urban shape. Furthermore: its translation, in the modern sense has been basically urban. It was called “service city” in urban argot..
*13* Robert Hughes, The Culture of Complaint , Barcelona , Anagrama, 1994.
*14* The General Report, Madrid 's Town Council, 1985 can be read about the Town Planning of Madrid. Having nearly three million inhabitants, Madrid is one of the largest European cities. So, it shares stories with Karlsruhe , of course. But we are not interested in seeing it during its baroque period (also brilliant) but in the most recent democratic development. Exactly when its development was planned when recovering the liberties after Franco's death. We are interested in the General Plan of Town Planning which Eduardo Leira directed in the first years of the 80's while E. Tierno Galván was the mayor.
*15* The comparison between the images of Atocha Railway Station before and after the project (for example in 1980 and in 1990) shows clearly the change which it has suffered.
*16* The survey was published in an “Extra” logbook of the newspaper El País on 10 th September 2004 , talking of the World Urban Forum held in Barcelona.
*17* Quoting the law. PENDING NOTE.
*18* “The real danger in privatisation does not lie in the innate inhumanity which typifies the professionals of the sector but in the economic incentives added which reward cruelty. The same logic which promotes the companies to manage prisons with better effectiveness also encourages them to file the edges to the detriment of its workers, its inmate and the taxpayers (…). The companies receive a stipulated quantity per each prisoner despite its real cost. Each cent they do not invest in food, health care or their officers' training is one more cent they take in”. The view is expressive. In the South Central Correctional Centre , in Clifton , Tennessee , the access is presided by an impressive sign saying “CCA The Excellenc
of Correctional”, and below “Yesterday's Stock Exchange Price”, followed by the market value on that date. See “Private Prisons” by Eric Bates, collected in www.firgoa.usc.es,
an electronics magazine from the University of Santiago de Compostela (original published in The Nation Magazine, 2000
*19* The business of prisons and urban development in Mike Davis's Beyond Blade Runner (there is a Spanish translation in Virus); and Loïc Wacquant, The Prisons of Poverty (especial edition in Manantial, 2000).
*20* S. George, “Globalization of Rights?”, in Matthew J. Gibney (ed.) The Globalization of Human Rights (Critica, 2004; original from Oxford , 2003).
*21* David Harvey “The Spaces of Utopia”, published in numbers 75 and 76 of Mientras tanto , from autumn 1999 and winter 2000.
*22* About exclusion, see Zymunt Bauman's Wasteful Lives . Modernity and its Pariahs ( Barcelona , Paidós, 2005).
*23* UN-Habitat, The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements 2003 ( London , 2003). Another essential report, the one from the Global Urban Observatory, Slums of the World: The face of urban poverty in the new millennium ( New York , 2003).
*24* G. Tortella talks about it referring to J.B. Delong, Cornucopia: The Face of Economic Growth in the Twentieth Century , in his book The Revolution of the XX Century ( Madrid,
Taurus, 2000) He refers to figures per inhabitant. Because of he fact that the population has multiplied by four, it would be necessary to talk about a multiplication of the world production per thirty-five.
*25* The World Bank has admitted it. See www.worldbank.org/ and the Human Development Report 2003 . A figure (some others will come: 1% of the population accumulates the same wealth as the 2,700 million poorer people. And the breach increases (See a larger development in R. del Caz, P. Gigosos and M. Saravia, “Urban Geography of Poverty”, in Archipiélago, 68).
*26* Except Latin America , which is put on the same level as Europe and North America , with 75% of population living in cities. Asia and Africa are only around 36-37%, but increasing in a considerable rhythm: 3.77% in the first case and 4.87% in Africa , which is more rapid.
*27* It has its own peculiar designation (bidonvilles, favelas, villas miseria, barriadas, ranchitos, tugurios, kampung, gecekondu, chabolas, etc.). We are attending to a wild process of urbanization of the poor. The country is starting to stop being their shelter and it expels them to the city, which becomes then a place where the old rural poverty goes without any apparent possibility to return. Nearly a thousand million people are already living in these precarious settlements. They have no essential services: nor water, clean-up or refuse collection. Many times they do not have electricity, any paving at all, difficult accesses, no schools or medical services; they do not have public spaces but they have many difficulties in supply. A third of the world urban population are living in such settlements. 550 million people in Asia , 187 in Africa and
128 in Latin America . The other 54 million are living in the rich countries. These are the data and the forecast tells us that these figures will be twice in the next 30 years. So talking about poverty is talking about those shanty towns.
*28* “Plan local d' urbanisme (PLU) Paris 2020” See Paris Project , numbers 34 and 35, October 2003. It is a town planning similar to the one from Madrid previously mentioned, although properly updated. We are talking about the great Paris . But beyond the French “grandeur” (inevitably present) the idea of “reducing inequalities and finding a new balance among districts” predominates in the planning. Reconsidering urban structure according to the majorities for a new period in Paris . However, in spite of being an example of a modern approach (we insist again, like the one from Madrid in 1985), its texts also point out some changes in the way of thinking about the city, some novelties which could contribute to the replacement of the paradigm we suggest if they are reinforced and promoted: they give news (still in a slight way) about a budding city, the one of the human rights, which we should help to be born.
*29* As film fans know, Hitchcock called Mac Guffin to the pretext used when creating his thriller plots: secret plans, numerical keys, shipments of uranium; any thing which obliged the characters to come, go, search, escape or kill. But Mac Guffin's content is not important and there is no need to explain it. For him his best Mac Guffin was the one in North by Northwest : one never gets to know what the spies who pursue Cary Grant are looking for. Mac Guffin is not only a cinematographic resource. For example, there are many Mac Guffin cases in politics, with such a superfluous content that nobody bothers to read (Miguel Izu's text).
*30* See in www.aetu.es/ the Council for Europe Urbanism Action Proposals (C.E.U.) for the town planning called The New Letter From Athens . The national associations and urban institutions from eleven countries of the European Union ( Belgium , Denmark , Germany , France, Greece , Ireland , Italy , The Netherlands, Spain , Portugal and the United Kingdom ) united to from the European Council of Town Planners, undertook and wrote down this document between the middle of 1995 and the beginning of 1998. Some contributions were made from other six countries ( Cyprus , Hungary , Iceland , Poland , Switzerland and Turkey ). These statements are also supported by the Objectives of the ESPON Programme.
*31* Not relativism. Better counter-anti-relativism. Clifford Geertz, “Against Anti-relativism” in Revista de Occidente, 169 (June 1995) pp. 71-103. About applied urban theory, you can see a synthesis on evolution at present situation in E. Salzano , Fondamenti di urbanistica (Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2 nd edition, 2004). Another synthesis, more centred on economic and social aspects can be read in A. Bailly and J.M. Hurriot, Villes et Croissance. Théories, modèles, perspectives (Paris, Anthropos, 1999) And a third one, Simon Parker, Theory and the Urban Experience: Encountering the City Urban ( Routledge, 2003).
*32* Two references about the changes in the present world: Remo Bodei, interviews in http://lgxserver.uniba.it/.
And also African Intellectuals and the African Crisis (www.codesria.org/vilakazi.pdf). In order to inform about the changes in the urban reality, see the Worldwatch Institute's annual reports. About the European case, Yuri Kazepov (ed.), Cities of Europe ( Oxford , Blackwell, 2004). A personal point of view in “The Breaches of the Capitalist City . Interview with David Harvey”. Regarding to the changes happened in the main cities of Asia , see the report Cities of Asia , from the World Heritage Centre's publications. Some general problems (in a publication made some years ago): Jorge E. Hardoy, Diana Mitlin and David Satterthwaite, Environmental Problems in an Urbanizing World. Finding Solutions in Africa , Asia and Latin America.
*33* Manuel Delgado, “Untrue Cities. Cultural Tourism as a Strategy of Urban Defusing”, in Archipiélago, 68, 2005.
*34* Participatory Music. See Carbonell. Improvisation (Pablo). PENDING NOTE.
*35* See Document of Session from the European Parliament on the 5 th December 2005: Report on the Declarations about the Outrageous Application of the Law Regulating Urban Activity (LRAU) and its Repercussions on the European Citizens (Petitions 609/2003, 732/2003, 985/2002, 1112/2002, 107/2004 and others) (2004/2208 (INI). Petitions Committee. Speaker: Jane and Fourtou.
*36* “It is just a question of time” that the riots in the French districts spread to the rest of Europe . “We won't have the same problems”, he said after maintaining that the Italian slums are “a human tragedy” and “if we don't intervene seriously in the social plane”, there will be “ Paris everywhere”. Romano Prodi's statements during a political meeting in Bologna on the 8 th November 2005 , which were published in al the European press.
*37* 46% of the world population has only 1.2% of the global income. Their purchasing power per person and day is insignificant. On the other end, 15% of the humanity belonging to the high income economies has got 80% of the global income. (World Bank's Valuations).
*38* La Biennal di Venezia. 7th International Architecture Exhibition. Città: Less Aesthetics, More Ethics . Marsilio, 2000.
*39* About current affairs of social urbanism, see Clara Greed, Social Town Planning (Routledge, 1999).
*40* The city, as the seat of right, in F. Braudel's works, chapter 8 of his Material Civilization and Capitalism (Barcelona, Labor, 1974). About the medieval European city the studies of Pirenne, Dugy, Bonnassie, Huizinga, Lavedan. Weber's work Die Stadt (1921) can be found
found in Spanish in Madrid , La Piqueta , 1987. About the Chinese city, Andrew Body, Chinese Architecture and Town Planning 1500 BC – AD 1911 , quoted in A.E.J. Morris, History of the Urban Form , translated into Spanish in Barcelona , G. Gili, 1984.
*41* About Human Rights see, first, the text which owing to the 50 th anniversary the Association for United Nations in Spain published. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Barcelona, Icaria-Antrazyt, 1998) especially the coordinator's chapter, Xavier Pons. Also T. Paine's classic, Rights of Man (Madrid, Alianza, 1984; original in English from 1791-92). And others, like N. Bobbio, “About the Foundation of Rights of Man”, in The Problem of War and the Ways for Peace (Barcelona, Gedisa, 1982); Leah Levin, Human Rights: Questions and Answers (first published in 1981); G. Peces Barba, Course of Essential Rights. General Theory (I, Madrid, 1991); Graciano González R. Arnaiz (coord..), Human Rights (Madrid, Tecnos, 1999); and already quoted S. Shute and S. Hurley (editors), On Human Rights.
*42* It can be read in
*43* The Letter of Emerging Human Rights (CDHE) is raised in 2004 to contribute to the crystallization of human rights in the new millennium. It considers two kinds of rights, the
ones which have been “immersed” up to now (they need to emerge) and another ones which have not been considered up till now, because they are related to the technological changes and globalization. The letter does not deny any validity to the Universal Declaration of 1948, but quite the opposite, it updates it. It intends to complement the rights already acquired from a new perspective, the participative citizenship. It can be read at the website of the Institute of Human Rights of Catalonia : www.idhc.org/.
*44* Vicente Verdú, “Globalization takes a human face” El País , 1 st January 2006.
*45* Decency is related to one's own look. About the exigency of the look, Emmanuel Lévinas, Totality and the Infinite. Essay on the Externals (Sígueme, Salamanca , 2002).
*46* An essential book, Víctor Gómez Pin, Dignity. Lament of the Repudiated Reason (Paidós, 1995).
*47* A blog about dignity
See the article “Dying in Zimbabwe now a luxury only afforded by the rich”, in thisiszimbabew/archives/321.
*48* See Sebastião Salgado pictures in : www.patriagrande.net/.
Sometimes I did not know where I was: In Cairo? In Yakarta? In Mexico City ? Those same islands of wealth in the middle of poverty are everywhere, as the green spaces in Manila , which are private golf clubs instead of public parks.
*49* It appears in Buonnacorso de Montamagno, Pico de la Mirándola , Giordano Bruno, Fernán Pérez de Oliva, François-Marie Voltaire or Emmanuel Kant. This last one gives us the condition of beings of purposes, who cannot be used as means and have no price. Dignity is not a value of exchange. They all will consider that the real nobility is not based on the glory or the passing goods of fortune but on the extraordinary talents and the strange privileges of (human) nature.
*50* The sovereign is the opposite to the slave. See www.iabolish.com (it is NGO). Sovereign life begins when, once ensured the necessary things, it opens the possibility of life, beyond the necessity which suffering defines (that is: once decency is overcome), it makes use of the world freely pursuing the miraculous element, which we love “the sunshine which transfigures a miserable street in a spring morning” (Bataille). Man cannot live by bread alone, and the miracle which all humanity aspires to is shown by means of beauty and wealthy; (as well as by means of violence and mournful or sacred sadness); in short, under the shape of glory. Can social institutions and urban development make anything to promote this way of dignity? Nothing. Guaranteeing decency and see? Then, what do art, architecture, the city, music, painting or poetry mean but the wait of a fascinating moment hanging from a miraculous moment? “There is a point where the laugh does not laugh, the tears which do not cry, the divine and the horrible, the poetic and the disgusting, the erotic and the mournful, the extreme wealth and the painful poverty happen at same time” (Bataille again): sovereign life points at there. Our own dignity leads us to that territory. But the rest of us cannot do anything to keep or promote it. We can only light ourselves with its view. What's more. If the “non wait” acts instantly and urban development subordinates the present moment to some expected result, how can we combine sovereignity and wait.
*51* This is appoint as essential as difficult: defining urban characteristics of dignity. What we state here must be taken as a first outline
*52* According to their mobility, a (small) group of people would place in the front, people who in addition to being still in full possession of their ability to work, move by car or motorbike, take the bus or the tube and, if necessary, they can ride a bicycle. They travel by train, car or plane from one city to another one. They have a mine of technical resources which they can make use of: they can choose according to their convenience. In the back, behind, very far you can see those who cannot even choose between going by tube or bus. Neither by bicycle nor taxi. Not even going in their own car. There they are, as an extreme and evident case, “the homeless”. And there are many old people who cannot take the bus unless they are accompanied. People who have no more than their own feet to move in an autonomous way along the city. We could think of many more lines which are useful to think urban development. A line about work, services or participation. Of course the housing can be useful as a model to create an enormous and new urban line. In the front, there would be those who choose a house, a place or a lifestyle ( a high or
low house in a dense neighbourhood, a garden, which is complemented with other houses in other cities, places or countries): there are people who live in this way. Behind there would be those who own a house in conditions which would be considered simply decent nowadays. Further back there would be the latecomers who live in neighbourhoods where many people go away from. They have got houses without a lift, although they live in the fifth floor, appropriate heating or a garage. Houses where the setting is problematic or they live with ruins and rubbish. And even further back, in the very back, those who lack any own space, those whom isolating or living privacy become an unattainable luxury. A book, Patrick Declerck, Les Naufragés. Avec les clochards de Paris , Paris, Plon, collection Terre Humaine, 2001.
*53* It is not easy to quantify the size of this group. It could be estimated between 2 and 5 per cent in Spanish cities. In Spain about 530,000 (in nearly 90,000 homes) are estimated to live under extreme poverty. And those figures are increasing. Without arriving to that extreme condition, but severe, more than 1,700,000 people in about 300,000 homes are living severey. It is “poor population who takes up the vast majority of ills, lacks and social problems which exist nowadays, like unemployment, illiteracy, drug-addictions, crime and marginalization in general”. (Sources: Report Foessa and J. Subirats, dir., Poverty and Social Exclusion, Collection of Social Studies of the Fundación La Caixa, 2004).
*54* Moisés Naím: When the Normal is Rare, El País , 28 th September 2005.
*55* Generally women have a higher probability to be poor that men. Having children: individuals who belong to homes with children have a higher rate of being poor than those who do not have children. Being divorced or widow: the kind of home which is more disadvantaged is the single-parent home. Being old or very young: In Spain the two weakest groups because of their own social, economic and demographic features are those younger than 15 years old and older than 65 years old, who are bearing a risk of growing poverty. Having a limited level of education: There is an opposite connection between the probability of being poor and the educational level which is acquired. Besides people who live at homes where the most important figure, the reference person at home, has studied higher education are the ones who face a lower risk of poverty. Being unemployed: the most disadvantaged group is the one at homes where all the people who can work are unemployed. Very probably: immigrant. (Source: INE, Poverty and Persistent Poverty in Spain. 1994-2001 , cit. Report drawn up by M. Adiego Estella and C. Moneo Ocaña.
*56* About the historical evolution of the term cruelty, see F. Fernández Buey, Cruelty: Theirs and Ours (Barcelona, Paidós 1995). Also : www.upf.es/.
*57* WHO, The Word Health Report 2001 , Annexe, Chart 2. The calculation has been made by Thomas Pogge, Poverty in the World and Human Rights ( Barcelona , Paidós, 2005; original volume published in Oxford in 2002), note 136.
*58* Op. Quoted. See particularly chapter 1, “Human Budding and Universal Justice”.
*59* The title budding answers to several reasons which match up with several meanings of the word. It expresses at the same time something which is being born and something which is being fertilized, which is the result of a positive collaboration of different authorities, all positive. It is said in blossom when the vine, the olive tree or the wheat are in flower. When the flower is being fertilized. And it is also said, joined to a noun (“a budding lawyer”), when something is in its beginning, still far from the perfection but in the way of being what the noun states. We are here interested in talking about this last aspect of the city, of course: far from its perfection but in the way of being what the city has always promised. But we are also interested in the idea of fertilization among different terms: among those different rights which are promoted, although they may seem contradictory. An Arundhati Rhoy's text: The Algebra of Infinite Justice (Flamingo, 2002).