Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Ursula Bach

Human Cities International Symposium

15-16 March 2012, Brussels, Belgium

The third Human Cities Festival will take place in Brussels from 15 until 30 March 2012. The Festival will begin holding the International Symposium under the theme of “Civil society reclaims public space” on the 15th and 16th March at the Royal Library of Brussels with contributors from independent research groups, networks or institutions from all over the world.

Sustainability and creativity in urban design are also more and more connected to educational and participative programmes reaching all kind of public within the already explored and not yet studied urban territories. Both are also linked to more dense digital and media environments surrounding us as well as to the ephemeral, the temporary and the creation of new typologies of public space where creative people can meet, play, live and enjoy the site specificity and qualities of the places to be.

European cities today face both frightening threats and exhilarating challenges, becoming harder to manage and to understand, while fostering their role as the drivers and hubs of our economies. Not only must they compete in attractiveness, in order to encourage talents-both creative and academic-to move in (or not to move abroad), they also need to create a framework that promotes their human capital, while coping with social fragmentation, environmental needs and sustainability. Human Cities as a project and philosophy is therefore positioning itself towards artefacts and spontaneous creations which are seen and perceived in their uses, living scenarios as well as in their complex urban perspectives.

The theme of the festival is “Reclaiming public space”, and ecological, scientific and cultural groups and organisations will stress bottom-up initiatives set up by citizens, artists and associations that re-shape the forms and appropriation of public space.

During these two weeks, local and international cultural actors from different disciplines will converge together (urban planners, architects, sociologists, anthropologists, public authorities, philosophers, historians, geographers,…). “Human-centred” initiatives like art interventions, design installations, urban walks and pedagogical or public art workshops will be individual or collective, material and immaterial (neighbourhood festivities, services, mobilization, performances, testing of the enabling toolkit, video screenings…). A wide range of local and international organisations will contribute to the success of this spring festival in Brussels from which will result short and long term impacts on the city and on the urban context of its European partners.

This international event is supported by the EU Culture Programme 2007-2013 and a European network of partners including La Cambre Horta from the ULB (BE), Pro Materia (BE), Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of SloveniaUIRS (SLO),  Cité du Design from St-Etienne (FR) and Politecnico di Milano (IT) with the kind collaboration from Time Circus (BE).

If you want to know more about the previous Symposium 2010 Human Cities Brussels: http://vimeo.com/12017084
For more information also visit our website: www.humancities.eu, or join the community on Facebook