What is a Fair Shared City?
In Central Europe, architectural and urban planning practice usually serves well those who are healthy and economically active. But when we consider demographics, working and economically active people only make up just over half the urban population. Senior citizens and young people under 18 years of age constitute the rest. Trends also show that our population is ageing, and when we overlay gender, profession and cultural background the user groups significantly diverge. Each has different needs, but all of them should have the opportunity to be present and to enjoy the public space.
How do we ensure that a city offers a fair share to everyone?
Social sensitivity is essential in ensuring the quality of urban living for the future. We have to create resilient urban structures that provide open-ended possibilities and scope for action in inner cities and new urban development zones. This is a challenge not only for those responsible for planning and designing the city. Experience has taught us that good political leadership is crucial in order to implement such measures.
How to Design a Fair Shared City? offers 8 simple and captivating stories of different heroes representing the wider user groups of our population. Two fictional architects, Sophia and Eric, will guide us through stories of a girl, a parent an elderly woman, a couple, kids and common visitors using different urban areas to remind us of daily situations in which design by default can be a significant obstacle.
On the other hand, it offers solutions for how thoughtful design can significantly improve the quality of urban life - at no extra cost.
This publication is intended for architects, urban planners, politicians, anthropologists and the wider public with an interest in urban design. We hope it will spark a deeper understanding of design impacts in our everyday lives. We also hope that while reading it you will have fun, find an interest and pass it on.
Eva van de Rakt,
Director, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung e.V., Prague Office
Independent professional, co-founder and director, WPS Prague
Programme coordinator, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung e.V., Prague Office