A different perspective on architectural design: bottom-up participative experiences

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The weight of the financial and real estate components in the present crisis, and their impact on millions of people give a renewed importance to the right to housing and the wider right to the city. The paper of architects in planning the city is also changing due to new social relations and the empowerment of citizens, and we have not to forget that scarcity is a great impulse for social and technical innovation, among them architecture. Henry Lefebvre’s “The right to the city” (Lefebvre 1968), can be considered the starting point for the understanding and reconnaissance of the right to urban life, transformed and renewed (Paquot 2012). At the present moment, the idea is growing that to change the life would be necessary to change the city, and the same concept of “right to the city” should be filled with new contents. The right to the city can be related with the right to freedom, to the individualization of sociability, the right to habitat and to live. The right to the work and to the appropriation, the right for inhabitants to meet, and also the right to reject be quitted from urban space by a social and economic organization moving to segregation and discrimination. It has been developing for almost 40 years, with a renewed interest at the beginning of this century, evolving to the more contemporary “right to configure the city”.
Strategies For the Post-Speculative City : Proceedings of the 4th AESOP European Urban Summer School, Madrid, Spain, September 2013
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