številka / volume 221-222
oktober / october 2019
letnik / anno XLIX

Mesto prihodnosti
The City of the Future
vsebina številke
table of contents
Miha Dešman Uvodnik
Leader
Odprto mesto, odprti urbanizem
TEORIJA
Uroš Lobnik Odpravljanje dihotomije mesta – zmagoslavje hibridnega mesta
PRIHODNOST URBANIZMA IN MEST
Matej Nikšič Humano mesto: Vzpostavljanje pravičnega mesta s participativnim urbanizmom
AKTIVNO MESTO
Ilka Čerpes Novo mesto je aktivno mesto
Seminar Krušec Mesto nad železnico
STANOVANJE IN BIVANJE
David Groleger Back to the city Nazaj v mesto
Seminar Zorc Skrito prvemu pogledu
IZOBRAŽEVANJE
Aleš Vodopivec Odgovornost arhitektov pri prostorskem razvoju univerze in preobrazbi mesta
Seminar Perović Ljubljana Unlimited
PROSTI ČAS, REKREACIJA, TURIZEM
Mateja Kurir O šivu arhitekture in oblasti na primeru Ljubljane
Seminar Vodopivec Projekti za Ljubljano
Seminar Planišček Z naravo, v mestu
PAMETNO MESTO
Tomaž Pipan Gradniki sodobnih mest ter njihov potencial v Ljubljani
Seminar Žnidaršič Življenja pozabljenih prostorov
RECENZIJA
Miha Dešman Mateja Kurir, Arhitektura moderne in das Unheimliche: Heidegger, Freud in Le Corbusier
IN MEMORIAM
Jörg Stabenow V spomin Tomášu Valeni
Zur Erinnerung an Tomáš Valena
Tomáš Valena There are Places I remember...
uvodnik

Odprto mesto, odprti urbanizem

Miha Dešman

»Dober urbanizem je 80-odstotno pogojen s pravilnim opazovanjem življenja« - Kevin Lynch

V kakšno smer se razvijajo sodobna mesta, kakšna prihodnost jih čaka?

Z digitalizacijo so mesta vstopila v novo obdobje svojega razvoja. Ta sprememba je po eni strani podobna revoluciji, ki jo je sprožila Einsteinova teorija relativnosti, ko se je popolnoma na novo pozicioniralo celotno polje znanosti; dotedaj veljavni Newtonov koncept gravitacije, ki je predpostavljal silo težnosti, ki naj bi ubogala njegovo formulo [1], se je izkazal za le približno veljavnega in še to v omejenih pogojih. Odprli so se novi svetovi onkraj ustaljenega razumevanja starega sveta. Podoben obrat se, kot rezultat vsesplošne digitalizacije, vse bolj pospešeno dogaja v razumevanju in urejanju mest. Seveda se je obrat napovedoval že nekaj desetletij na različnih področjih: proizvodnem, socialnem, organizacijskem in političnem, a v zadnjem desetletju mu je digitalizacija dodala dimenzijo prave kvantne revolucije. Razvoj digitalnih orodij in digitalizirane družbe pomeni nov način, kako vidimo in živimo naš čas in svet. Po drugi strani pa smo, tako ljudje kot mesta, še vedno zgolj Mi [2], socialno in zgodovinsko pogojeni, in zavezani iskanju smisla, ki bi ga zelo poenostavljeno opisal kot iskanje resnice, lepote in pravičnosti. Gre za ideale, ki so jih v jasni obliki nastavili razsvetljenski filozofi, ki so sledili čudovitim zmožnostim človeškega razuma, znanost in umetnost pa postavili na vrh človeških dosežkov in ciljev. Kaj to pomeni za mesta, za njihovo urejanje, za urbanizem in arhitekturo ter, kar je tema te številke, za prihodnost mest?

Priče smo četrti tehnološko-urbani revoluciji v moderni zgodovini. Parnemu stroju, električnemu omrežju in avtomobilu sledi računalnik in z njim digitalna revolucija. Živimo v informacijski ekonomiji, kjer prava valuta vse bolj postaja informacija. Vstopamo v čas interneta stvari. Vse več ključne infrastrukture je na spletu, od jedrskih elektrarn, bolnišnic in državnih upravnih sistemov do kmetijstva in gospodinjstev. Stroji in mesta, ljudje in odnosi, vse postaja omreženo. Že dolgo je velika večina denarja v digitalni obliki.

Zajadrali smo v čas fazne časovne neusklajenosti, tako v mestih kot v družbi. Hkrati živimo nekateri v devetnajstem stoletju ali še prej, drugi v enaindvajsetem in naprej. Sedanji nacionalizmi populističnega tipa se zdijo obupno obrnjeni v preteklost, a se kljub temu krepijo v globalnem merilu. Sedanja mesta sploh niso prilagojena digitalizaciji, ko pa npr. ne bomo več uporabljali avtov, kot jih poznamo danes, bodo neskladja še bolj drastična. Ljudem, v mentalnem in antropološkem, pa tudi socialnem in političnem smislu, pa nam sploh ne uspe sproti slediti in osmisliti hitrosti sprememb. Z ustrojem družbe je nekaj vse bolj narobe.

Francis Fukuyama se je uštel z napovedjo konca zgodovine, kot posledice globalne prevlade liberalizma, ki ga je videl kot zadnje poglavje razvoja politike in družbe. Namesto tega se na svetovni ravni krepita avtoritarnost in tudi totalitarnost. Le en primer: država se skuša za vsako ceno držati pravil kot npr. fiskalnega pravila, gre za uravnoteženost financ. Vsaka javnemu dobremu namenjena poraba je pojmovana kot grožnja oz. črna luknja, ki zgolj srka denar. Ta percepcija velja za javni sektor v celoti, kot npr. zdravstvo ali socialne transferje, pa tudi za urbanizem in arhitekturo, namenjena javnemu dobremu. Blokirajo se investicije, zmanjšuje se poraba in ni družbene dinamike, ki bi omogočala razvoj. Skupni rezultat je stagnacija, ki daleč presega posledice manjše restriktivnosti, ki bi spodbudila razvoj in bi vsi imeli več. Ali pa javna poraba, ki jo ureja proračun. Politična uravnoteženost zahteva najmanjši skupni imenovalec, ki ga je treba vzdrževati po principu vsakemu nekaj, kar pomeni, da nobena stvar ni resnično speljana, kot je treba. Sistem javnega naročanja (kjer je najpomembnejši kriterij najnižja cena in najvišja vrednota prihranek) je uzakonitev povprečnosti in recept za nizko kvaliteto ter za projekte, ki se ne uresničujejo. Če poenostavim, je problem, da mesta in nacionalne države še vedno v veliki meri delujejo kot zaprti sistemi, kar povzroča sistemske motnje.

Mesta so, kot rečeno, na prelomnici. Že Lefebvre [3] je zahteval, da se namesto o mestu govori o urbani strukturi. Klasična mesta so se načrtovala in upravljala kot zaprti sistemi: segregirani, urejeni in nadzorovani. Z oddaljevanjem od pojma mesta proti urbanosti se izrazi sprememba paradigme, podobna Einsteinovi, ki od absolutnega preide k relativnemu, s tem da uprostori ukrivljenost časa in prostora. Pri tem temelji na spoznanju, da kapitalizem ne deluje več v absolutnem prostoru, v pasivnem okolju, pač pa sta tudi prostor in čas kapitalistična konstrukta, ko masa in hitrost kapitalskih in finančnih procesov tvorita tržno vesolje, ki sledi svoji specifični prostorsko časovni logiki. Virtualna resničnost kapitala in globalnega trga je prebila okvire klasičnih, zaprtih sistemov, kot so klasična mesta in še bolj nacionalne države. Odgovor ne more biti retrograden, ne da se vrniti po evolucijski spirali nazaj. Naivno bi bilo tudi, ko bi verjeli, da je odgovor en sam in edino zveličaven. Menim pa, da se vsi pozitivni odgovori nahajajo v širokem spektru razsvetljenske misli in vere v humanizem in znanost.

Odprto mesto

Namesto „zaprtega mesta“ potrebujemo „odprto mesto“, v katerem meščani aktivno udejanjajo svoje različne potrebe in identitete in preizkušajo načine bivanja, ki jim omogočajo sodelovanje in vpliv. Richard Senett v svoji definiciji odprtega mesta zapiše:

“Zaprto mesto je možno načrtovati in upravljati od zgoraj navzdol. Je mesto, ki pripada gospodarjem. Odprto mesto se oblikuje od spodaj navzgor in pripada ljudem.” [4]

Urbanizem odprtega mesta omogoča in spodbuja dinamičnost mesta (nered, prekrivanje, nepredvidljivost, spontanost) na način, da je prilagodljiv, eksperimentalen in kontekstualen.

Digitalizacija ponuja priložnost, da se preseže prekletstvo sistemske zamude klasičnega urbanizma, ko načrtovanju ne uspe slediti hitrosti in dinamiki sprememb v prostoru in družbi. Digitalne tehnologije omogočajo neprestano in sprotno spremljanje in reagiranje. Odzivni čas urbanističnih in posledično arhitekturnih, gradbenih, urejevalnih, infrastrukturnih in drugih posegov se lahko iz okostenele zbirokratizirane neučinkovitosti linearnih metod premakne v dinamični preplet interaktivnega procesa načrtovanja in realizacije v realnem času. Sliši se lepo in logično, a obstaja neki »če«. Ta če je vezan na eni strani na priložnosti, na drugi pa na nevarnosti digitalizacije. Poglejmo najprej njeno problematično plat.

Negativna vizija prihodnosti digitaliziranega mesta

Digitalizacija družbe ni nujno na strani večanja svobode. Dogajajo se ravno obratni procesi. Upanje po napredku v demokratični smeri usiha. Alternativa optimistični viziji prerojenega urbanizma in mesta je distopična, negativna utopija, kot jo napovedujejo številne literarne in preroške pripovedi, kot je npr. film Petra Weira Trumanov show ali knjige Vladimirja Sorokina. Resničnosti ne razlikujemo več od zmanipulirane realnosti. Sodobni kapitalizem je odprl nov svet fantazmagorije, svet, v katerem je posameznik vedno znova očaran. V tej reakcionarni vnovični očaranosti je naš senzorij anestetiziran, posameznik pa depolitiziran, samo da bi se lahko podredil presežnemu užitku, ki služi kapitalističnemu profitu [5]. Socialni in ekonomski odnosi so vpeti v ekosistem povezanih digitalnih in medijskih platform. Od Facebooka in Twiterja, Airbnb in Uberja do lokalnih, platforme določajo naša življenja. Ustvarja se svetovna množica držav, ki na institute javne pravičnosti in enakopravnosti, kot so npr. temeljne človekove pravice in svoboščine gleda bolj kot na oviro kot vrednoto. Vse bolj se krepita nadzor in cenzura, pri tem pa informacijska tehnologija igra glavno vlogo. Države širijo digitalne kapacitete za nadzor subjektov in omejujejo pretok neželenih informacij. Proti tej rastoči nesvobodi se borijo posamezniki, kot sta Snowden in Assange, katerih usode spominjajo na krščanske mučenike v rimskem imperiju.

Po drugi strani pa velika tehnološka podjetja, npr. Google, prevzemajo naloge, ki jih je tradicionalno urejala država, in vse bolj drzno posegajo v urbani prostor. Pri tem sledijo logiki kapitalizma platform – modela, v katerem je nekaj globalnih firm pridobilo skoraj neskončno gospodarsko (in politično) moč z lastništvom in nadzorom večine digitalnih infrastruktur – tudi pri urbanističnem načrtovanju, kar se odraža tako v načrtovanju kot v financiranju t.i. smart city projektov. Na mestne pokrajine gledajo kot na potrošniški digitalni izdelek, kot je npr. smartfon. Mesto postane platforma, oblikovano, da se stalno prilagaja, kot lahko prilagajamo naše iPhone, in avtentično v tem, da ni samo odraz vnaprejšnjega načrta, da je prilagodljivo, interaktivno in skratka smart. Naša življenja (tudi z našo lastno privolitvijo) postajajo digitalna [6].

Okolje, v katerem platformna podjetja, t.i. tehnološki velikani (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft itd.) vse bolj akumulirajo in tudi izkoriščajo svojo moč, je podvrženo "demokratičnim tveganjem digitalne družbe" [7]. Platformnih podjetij ne moremo več razumeti kot "udeležence na trgu", temveč kot "proizvajalce trgov", ki prevzemajo vse večjo vlogo v družbeni mikrostrukturi, saj so mestni prebivalci vse bolj podvrženi korporativnemu in ne več demokratičnemu nadzoru, kar vse vpliva na sredstva družbene reprodukcije, od najema stanovanj do prevoza, od javne do zasebne sfere, skratka kompletnega dispozitiva nadzora oziroma oblasti.

Kakšni možni odgovori se ponujajo na ta spoj digitalne dobe in neoliberalizma? Mesta in države se na prvi pogled odzivajo podobno. Digitalizacijo razumejo in uvajajo kot še eno jagodo na torti v medsebojnem tekmovanju. Poskusom regulacije, na državni in mednarodni ravni, ne uspe slediti infiltraciji dispozitiva platform in družbenih omrežij. Benjamin Bratton to stanje slikovito poimenuje spletni fevdalizem [8].

Digitalna kultura oz. bolje rečeno subkultura ponuja logični odgovor – digitalni odpor. Ta je nekako paralelen z izkušnjami, kot so civilni odpor, ki se je spontano pojavljal v različnih družbah v zadnjem desetletju: v ZDA gibanje Occupy in zasedba Wall Streeta, v Sloveniji kot vstajniška in druga civilna gibanja (ki se niso nikoli zares profilirala, a morda še niso rekla zadnje besede). Množični protesti in upori so se dogajali na Islandiji, Portugalskem, Španiji, v Grčiji, Srbiji, Bosni in Hercegovini ter drugod po Evropi, zgodil se je niz revolucij na Bližnjem vzhodu (arabska pomlad), Daljnem vzhodu, v Franciji so dejavni Rumeni telovniki itd. Vse te proteste povezuje kriza neoliberalizma oziroma dve ključni zahtevi: bolj moralni kapitalizem in več neposredne demokracije.

V številnih državah se bolj ali manj organizirano in ozaveščeno razvija hekerska kultura upora. Lahko jo razumemo kot odgovor na digitalno družbo in družbo nadzora, odgovor, ki si prizadeva za svobodo in se zato izmika nadzoru ter vsiljenim pravilom. Citiram del preambule programa Piratske stranke [9]: “digitalna družba kljub nekaterim pastem ponuja priložnost za razvoj človeštva ter omogoča krepitev demokracije, svobode in državljanskih pravic, zlasti svobode govora in pravice do znanja. Sodelovanje vsakega posameznika pri odločanju o vprašanjih skupnosti vidimo kot glavni izziv sodobnega časa.”

Pri tem gre za razdiranje monopolov, še zlasti digitalnih. Poleg globalnih in podjetniških platform se rojevajo lokalne, ki omogočajo samoorganizacijo družbenih skupin. Potencial vloge teh platform v urbanizmu še zdaleč ni izkoriščen. Zanima nas, kako bi jih lahko vključili v koncept odprtega mesta in odprtega urbanizma, ali, drugače rečeno, kako bi bogastvo, ki ga ustvarja tržni kapitalizem in digitalizacija, uporabili v dobrobit večine?

Namesto odgovorov imamo še več vprašanj:

Kako lahko mesta še naprej sodelujejo v pomembnem javnem dialogu, ki obravnava utemeljene pomisleke o vplivu na zasebnost ali o uporabi urbanih podatkov za javno dobro?

Kako lahko mesta in korporacije odgovorno uporabljajo podatke v digitalni dobi? Kako naj se zbiranje podatkov v javnih prostorih razvija v skladu s hitrostjo današnjih digitalnih naprav in hitrim razvojem umetne inteligence?

Kje sta tu arhitektura in urbanizem?

Ko se srečata digitalizacija in neoliberalizem, kot korporativni odgovor nanjo, se nadzor premesti v digitalno polje, ideal modernizma kot boljšega življenja za vse se ukine in nastane prosti lov, oziroma kot ga imenuje Koolhas, urbanizem prostega sloga. Pri tem smo žrtvovali marsikaj: ideale enakopravne družbe, strokovni kredo prizadevanja za boljši svet v celoti, in celo svojo sposobnost učenja iz lastnih napak, ponavljanja uspehov in dejanskega reševanja svojih perečih vprašanj ali, z drugimi besedami, našo skupno inteligenco. To je žal bridek, a še kako resničen opis sedanje pozicije in vloge urbanistk in urbanistov, z arhitektkami in arhitekti ni dosti drugače. Uspešni so lahko le v omejenem okolju, ki ga določajo naročnik, parcela in projekt, vse širše dimenzije pa so prepuščene »prostemu slogu«, beri kapitalu. Strokovni credo in inteligenca sta suspendirana.

Vizija mesta prihodnosti

Ideja, da samo urbanizem in arhitektura lahko rešita okoljske in socialne probleme, je seveda naivna. To pa ne pomeni, da se stvari dajo rešiti brez njiju. Urbanizem je po definiciji posvečen načrtovanju prihodnosti. Predpostavlja razumevanje odnosa med urbano obliko in urbano družbo, torej med življenjem in fizičnim okoljem. Moral bi temeljiti na družbeni ureditvi, ki temelji na demokratičnih načelih in se zavzema za ljudi in svobodo. Iz predhodno napisanega, kot tudi iz večine sodobne teoretske prakse urbanizma, izhaja nuja po odpiranju mesta za vse, kar pomeni, da prenehamo mesta podrejati kapitalu in jih podredimo potrebam ljudi. Da bi to naredili kakovostno in smiselno, je poleg politične akcije, ki poskrbi za vsebino in metode, ključna usposobljenost obeh strok, urbanizma in arhitekture, ki temu mestu lahko da obliko, umetniško vrednost in esprit.

Kako bi lahko strokovno inteligenco reanimirali v današnjih pogojih, in jo udejanjili v mestu prihodnosti? Ali lahko (ponovno) izumimo politiko vednosti, politiko resnice, ki bi se valu družbe in mest kot simulakrov [10] uspešno postavila po robu? Kaj morata pri tem razvijati urbanizem in arhitektura? To so vprašanja, ki naslavljajo družbo kot celoto, v prvi vrsti politiko.

Brez socialne ekologije, od spodaj navzgor urbanizma, uveljavitve participativnih praks, in brez pozitivne vizije možnosti in nuje razumnega urejanja ne bo šlo. Mesta so razumne strukture in (tudi) umetniška dela. V tisočletni zgodovini so se oblikovala kot taka. Urbanizem je v jedru razumnega odgovora na ta vprašanja, saj so stanovanja, infrastrukture in razumno načrtovanje med najmočnejšimi sredstvi, s katerimi lahko človeštvo odgovori nanje.

Tu vidim novo vlogo urbanistov in arhitektov, ki je v družbeno odgovornem delovanju, ki pa se ne odreka strokovni in umetniški kompetenci ter moči. To je na prvi pogled podobno utopična želja, kot je želja po omejevanju prostega trga in (samo)omejevanju kapitala. Po drugi strani pa smo, upam, toliko odrasli, da znamo vzeti usodo v svoje roke. Pri odgovorih na pereča vprašanja okolja, globalne (ne)pravičnosti, vojn, lakote, migracij itn. je več kot očitno, da nam ne gre vse kot po maslu. Pa vendar so številni pokazatelji pozitivni: revščina se zmanjšuje, tehnologija rešuje številna vprašanja in kar je najpomembnejše, družbena zavest o nujni večji globalni odgovornosti se širi. Trajnost v kompleksnem smislu, ki ima v vidu kakovost življenj ljudi in planeta in to ne zgolj za posameznika, pač pa predvsem za skupnost, postaja vse bolj pomembna.

Politična odločitev za drugačno smer upravljanja družbe in prostora je pogoj, da se uresničijo pozitivni scenariji digitalne in drugih revolucij in evolucij. Scenariji, ki udejanjajo vizijo odprtega mesta, odprte družbe in demokratičnega razvoja, zahtevajo veliko več, kot so oaze (otoki) trajnostnih zaprtih skupnosti, zahtevajo »pravico do mesta za vse« [11], torej resnično, neposredno demokracijo, kot alternativo obstoječi, v zbirokratizirane vzorce ujeti real politiki, tudi pri urejanju in gradnji mest. Urbanega življenja ne smemo več deliti na posamezne funkcije, saj se v pogojih večje kompleksnosti lahko razvije robustnost oz. odpornost (resilience) na ideološke manipulacije struktur moči.

Odprto pomeni nedokončanost, konflikt, učenje iz napak, kreativnost, nedoločenost, kompleksnost, nelinearne procese. Ni vnaprej definiranega končnega stanja, saj je mesto vedno nedokončano. Sam proces šele definira cilje in pot. Da bi izboljšali mesta, bi jih morali usmerjati, da bi postala odprti sistemi. To ne pomeni zavzemanja za prosto tržno pobudo in svobodno podjetništvo, pač pa sistem, ki je socialno odprt za vse in omogoča medsebojno interakcijo, namesto izolacije. Lahko bi temu rekli tudi vključujoče mesto. Gre za mesto, kjer se na ulicah in trgih vzporedno odvija veliko različnih reči. Vprašanja, ki se tu postavljajo, so, kako povezati načrtovalske in vizualne prakse, kot sta urbanizem in arhitektura, ter socialne prakse? Kako intuicijo in kreativnost arhitektov in potrebe meščanov? Kje se srečajo stroka in uporabniki, življenje, ne da bi to srečanje spodletelo, kot je že tolikokrat?

Procesi morajo uporabljati nove tehnologije, ne pa da jih te tehnologije diktirajo. Za urbanizem in arhitekturo z javno vsebino bi moral biti naročnik javni sektor, da se poveže politično delovanje s strokovnim, da se zagotavlja sprotni nadzor in javni interes. Politiki in načrtovalci bodo razvijali ukrepe, kot so odprtost vseh podatkov in planov vsem meščanom, transparentnost in skupno določanje prioritet in ciljev, pa mestni javni transport, ki se prilagaja potrebam ljudi.

In še, kako bi prišli do uresničevanja pozitivne vizije možnosti in nuje razumnega urejanja? Najprej se vprašam, kaj je to vizija? To je srečanje med politiko, stroko in ljudmi, ki ima potencial, da se uresničuje in uresniči, vsaj delno. Vizije so vsebina, ki jih oblikujemo strokovnjaki, arhitekti in urbanisti, skupaj z uporabniki kot naloge za politike, s ciljem in z odgovornostjo, da se ljudje z njimi poistovetijo. Za to morajo biti usposobljeni vsi trije dejavniki: prosvetljena, dobronamerna in učinkovita politika, kakovostna stroka in ozaveščeni, zahtevni, razumni ljudje. In optimizem. Ljubljana ima še srečo, da v njej še vztraja bavbav družbenega optimizma, na različnih nivojih, med katerimi niso le aktivisti med ljudmi in aktivisti v stroki, pač pa tudi del mestne politike. Tako se uresničujejo nekateri projekti in vizije. Ampak, kot razmišljajo avtorji številnih prispevkov v tej številki revije, ima Ljubljana, kot večina mest, veliko zadreg in tudi še neizkoriščenih priložnosti.

Pravzaprav je družba na nekaterih poljih prehitela urbanizem in arhitekturo, pa tudi politiko. V trikotniku med politiko, stroko in ljudmi je vloga NVO [12], se pravi tretjega dejavnika, bolj aktivna, kot je vloga institucionalizirane stroke. To, da so arhitekti in urbanisti pogosto iniciatorji in aktivisti teh gibanj, vzbuja upanje tudi na postopno pomladitev in preobrazbo poklica od znotraj. Arhitekti in urbanisti bi morali aktivno organizirati in suportirati kolektivno inteligentno delovanje “od spodaj navzgor”, ki temelji na sodelovanju, analizi in povezovanju dejavnikov, ki so merljivi in obvladljivi, pa tudi tistih, ki to niso, s pomočjo aktivnih mrež, ki so sposobne operativno delovati v različnih pogojih in merilih.

Osnovna teza načrtovanja je, da se mesto, v vsej njegovi kompleksnosti, obravnava s stališča absolutne sedanjosti. Tak pogled neha privilegirati določen tip mesta (npr. historično, strnjeno mesto) in obsojati druge, pač pa prepoznava kakovost in potencial vseh oblik urbanizacije in razvija ustrezne strategije za vsako od njih. Zato je treba izhodišče, očišče (urbanistovega, arhitektovega, pa tudi političnega) premisleka in pogleda iz centra prestaviti v periferijo – na ta način se na novo premešajo prioritete in možnosti [13]. Za urbanizem, ki je predolgo temeljil na statičnih, linearnih in proti abstrakciji usmerjenih procesih, je odprto, ciklično delovanje, ki omogoča tako feed-back kot stalno prilagajanje, možnost, da znova dobi družbeno relevantnost. Vsaka situacija je priložnost. Proces urbanizacije se je v zadnjih letih bistveno spremenil: po vsem svetu se razvijajo novi vzorci urbanizacije. Obstoječe urbane oblike razpadajo in oblikujejo se polimorfne urbane regije in mikro regije. Po strukturi so zelo raznolike, vključujejo stara mestna središča, pa tudi nekdanja obrobna območja.

Torej, odprto mesto zahteva tudi odprt urbanizem in arhitekturo, takšna, ki nimata vnaprej znanega izida v nobenem smislu, pač pa se oblikujeta skozi kreativni proces. Arhitekt, urbanist bosta, če bosta hotela zgraditi uporabnost in relevantnost, morala znati kreativno sodelovati pri tem procesu, zanj prevzeti odgovornost, tako v estetskem in tehničnem kot v trajnostnem, socialnem, simbolnem in ekonomskem smislu, seveda ob upoštevanju in vključevanju drugih strok in zlasti uporabnikov ter naročnikov.

Skratka, želimo si mesto, ki bo morda manj »smart«, a zato bolj socialno. In še, potrebujemo več kreativnosti, več kreativnega urbanizma in arhitekture.

  1. https://sl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splošni_gravitacijski_zakon
  2. Jevgenij Zamjatin, Mi, Cankarjeva založba, 1988, v izvirniku izšlo 1921
  3. Henri Lefebvre, Produkcija prostora, Studia Humanitatis, 2013
  4. Richard Sennett, Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City, Allen Lane, 2018
  5. Nadir Lahiji, An Architecture Manifesto: Critical Reason and Theories of a Failed Practice, Routledge, 2019
  6. Od pojava Netscape in Yahoo pred 20 leti je bil razvoj mreže linearen, tempo pa neusmiljen. Leta 1995 sta prišla Amazon in Craigs list; leta 1997 Google in Netflix; leta 1999 Napster in Blogger, leta 2001 iTunes, leta 2003 MySpace, leta 2004 Facebook, leta 2005 YouTube, leta 2006 Twitter, leta 2007 iPhone in Kindle, leta 2008 Airbnb, leta 2010 Instagram, leta 2011 Snapchat, leta 2012 Coursera, leta 2013 Google Glass. Vrtoglavo.
  7. http://www.inepa.si/component/content/article/159-demokraticna-tveganja-digitalna-neenakost.html
  8. http://bratton.info
  9. https://piratskastranka.si/programi/drzavnozborske-volitve-2018
  10. Baudrillard, Jean, Simulacra and simulation, University of Michigan Press, 1994
  11. David Harvey, Rebel Cities : From the Right to the City to Urban Revolution, Verso, 2012
  12. https://www.informacijska-druzba.or
  13. Uroš Lobnik, Odpravljanje dihotomije mesta – zmagoslavje hibridnega mesta, ab 221 222, 2019

leader

Open City, Open Urbanism

Miha Dešman

»Good urbanism is eighty percent down to correct observation of life.« - Kevin Lynch

What direction are contemporary cities evolving in, what future awaits them? With digitalisation, cities have entered a new period of their development. In one sense, this change is similar to the revolution prompted by Einstein's theory of relativity, when the entire scientific field had to reposition itself; up to that point, Newton's concept of gravitation assumed a gravity force that was supposed to obey his formula [1], but it proved valid only to an extent, and in restricted conditions. New worlds have opened beyond the conventional understanding of the old world.

A similar shift, resulting from widespread digitalisation, is happening at an ever-increasing rate in the understanding and regulation of cities. Granted, this shift has been in anticipation for a few decades in various areas production, society, organisation, politics with the digitalisation adding the dimension of a true quantum revolution in the last decade. The development of digital tools and a digitised society means that we see and live our time and our world in a new way. On the other hand, both people and cities are still just We [2], socially and historically conditioned and committed to a quest for meaning which I would, in very simplified terms, describe as the quest for truth, beauty, and justice. These ideals have been set forth in a clear manner by Enlightenment philosophers, who followed the wondrous potentials of human reason, and deemed science and art to be the crown of human achievements and objectives. What does this mean for cities, for their regulation, for urbanism and architecture, and the topic of the present issue for the future of cities?

We are witnessing the 4th technological-urban revolution in modern history. After the steam engine, the power grid, and the car comes the computer and with it the digital revolution. We live in an information economy where it is information that is increasingly proving to be the true currency. We are entering the period of the Internet of Things. Greater and greater portions of key infrastructure are online, from nuclear plants, hospitals and state administration systems to agriculture and households. Machines and cities, people and relationships, everything is becoming part of a network. For a long time, the vast majority of money has been in digital form.

But we're also in a time of temporal phase-mismatch, both regarding cities and the society. Simultaneously, some of us live in the 19th century or even in an earlier time, while others live in the 21st century and beyond. The current nationalisms of the populist type seem desperately backward, yet continue to gain ground on the global scale. The cities of today are quite ill-adapted to digitalisation, but when people cease to use cars the way we know them today, the disparity will be even more drastic. As people, we are completely unable in the mental and anthropological, as well as in the social and political sense to keep up with the rate of change and make sense of it. There is something in the structure of the society that is becoming increasingly defective.

Francis Fukuyama got it wrong by announcing the end of history as a consequence of global domination of liberalism, which he saw as the final chapter in the development of politics and society. Instead, authoritarianism and also totalitarianism are on the rise world wide. To give just one example: the state is desperately trying to adhere to rules, such as the golden fiscal rule, in order to balance the budget.

Any expenditure for the common good is seen as a threat or as a black hole which only sucks in money. The entire public sector is perceived as such, including health and social spending, as well as urbanism and architecture intended for the public good. Investments are blocked, spending is cut, and there is no social dynamic to foster development. All of this contributes to stagnation with far greater consequences compared to an easing on austerity which would jump-start development with everybody benefiting. The same goes for public spending regulated by the budget: the political balance requires the lowest common denominator, which must be maintained by making concessions to everyone, which means that no one thing ends up being really good. The public procurement system (where the lowest price criterion trumps all and there is no value higher than saving money) is averageness by the letter of the law and a recipe for low quality and projects that don't get realised. To put it simply, the problem is that cities and nation states continue to largely operate as closed systems, which causes systemic disruption.

The cities are therefore at a crossroads. Already Lefebvre [3] demanded that we talk about urban structure rather than the city. Classic cities were designed and managed as closed systems: segregated, ordered and controlled. By moving away from the notion of the city in favour of urbanity, a change of paradigm is expressed that is similar to Einstein's, which turns from the absolute to the relative by spatialising the curvature of time and space. Serving as the foundation is the understanding that capitalism no longer operates in the absolute space, in a passive environment, but rather that space and time are also capitalist constructs as the mass and velocity of capital and financial processes form a market universe which follows its proprietary space-temporal logic. The virtual reality of capital and the global market has broken through the barriers of classic, closed systems such as classic cities, and nation states even more so. The answer cannot be retrograde, it is not possible to move backwards on the evolution spiral. It would also be naive to believe that there is only one ultimate answer. But I do believe that all positive answers are to be found within the wide scope of the Enlightenment thought and by keeping the faith in humanism and science.

The Open City

Instead of the "closed city", we need the "open city" in which its citizens actively realise their different needs and identities, and try out modes of living which enable them to co-operate and have influence. In his definition of the open city, Richard Sennett states: "The 'Closed City' can be designed and operated top-down. It is a city which belongs to the masters. The 'Open City' is a bottom-up place. It belongs to the people." [4]

The urbanism of the open city enables and fosters the dynamism of a city (disorder, overlap, unpredictability, spontaneity) in such a way to be adaptable, experimental and contextual. Digitalisation offers an opportunity to overcome the curse of systemic delay of classic urbanism with the planning not being able to keep up with the speed and dynamism of the changes in the space and society. Digital technologies enable constant and on-line monitoring and reaction. The response time of urban-planning interventions and the resulting interventions of architecture, construction, regulation, infrastructure et al. can shift from a rigid bureaucratic inefficiency of linear methods to a dynamic intertwining of an interactive design process and real-time realisation. This sounds nice and logical, but there is an "if", and it is one contingent on the opportunities of digitalisation on the one hand, and its dangers on the other. Let us look at the problematic side first.

The Negative Vision of the Future of a Digitised City

The digitalisation of a society is not necessarily conducive to greater freedom; exactly the opposite processes are taking place. The hope of progress in the democratic direction is on the wane. The alternative to the optimistic vision of the rebirth of urbanism and the city is a dystopian, negative utopia as foreshadowed by numerous literary and prophetic narratives, such as Peter Weir's film The Truman Show, or books by Vladimir Sorokin. Reality is no longer distinguished from manipulated reality. Contemporary capitalism has opened a new world of Phantasmagoria in which the Subject is re-enchanted. Under this reactionary re-enchantment the human sensorium is anaestheticized and the Subject is depoliticized only to be subjected to a "surplus-jouissance" in the service of capitalist profit [5].

Social and economic relations are embedded in the ecosystem of connected digital and media platforms. From Facebook and Twitter, Airbnb and Uber to local examples platforms define our lives. Around the world, there is an emerging multitude of states which see institutions of public justice and equality, such as basic human rights and freedoms, more of an obstacle rather than a value. Surveillance and censorship are on the rise, with information technology playing the central role. States are expanding their digital capabilities for personal surveillance and limiting the flow of undesired information. Fighting against the growing encroachment on freedom are individuals such as Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, whose fates are reminiscent of Christian martyrs in the Roman empire.

On the other hand, big technology companies such as Google are assuming roles which have been traditionally regulated by the state, and they are increasingly audacious in their interventions in the urban space. In doing this, they follow the logic of the capitalism of platforms, a model which led a few global companies to acquire almost limitless economic (and political) power by owning and controlling the majority of digital infrastructures including urban planning, which is evident both in the designing and the financing of the so-called smart city projects. They regard cityscapes as a digital consumer product much like a smartphone. The city becomes a platform designed to be perpetually customised the way we can customise our iPhones, and authentically at that in the sense that the city is not merely and expression of a prior plan but rather that it is customisable, interactive, and, in a word, smart. Our lives are becoming (also by our own acquiescence) digital [6].

The environment in which platform companies, the so-called technology giants (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc.) increasingly accumulate and also leverage their power is subject to "democratic risks of the digital society" [7]. Platform companies can no longer be regarded as "players in a market" but as "market makers" assuming an ever-growing role in the social microstructure being that city dwellers are increasingly subject to corporate, rather than democratic control. All of this affects the means of social reproduction, from renting flats to transportation, from the public to the private sphere in other words, the comprehensive deployment of control, or indeed power.

What are the possible answers to this amalgamation of the digital age and neoliberalism? At first glance, cities and states are responding in a similar manner. They see and proceed to introduce digitalisation as another feather in their cap as they compete with one another. Attempts at regulation, either at the state level or internationally, cannot keep up with the infiltration of the apparatus of platforms and social networks. Benjamin Bratton graphically labels this state as cloud feudalism [8].

Digital culture, or better yet subculture offers a logical answer digital resistance. It marks a rough parallel with the experience of civil resistance which has occurred spontaneously within various societies of the past decade: the Occupy movement in the United States with the occupation of Wall Street, and the Uprising and other civil movements (which have failed to gain a distinct profile, but may not yet have had their final say) in Slovenia. Mass protests and resistance have taken place in Iceland, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and elsewhere in Europe; there has been a string of revolutions in the Middle East (the Arab Spring) and the Far East; the Yellow Vests continue to be active in France, etc. What all these protests have in common is the crisis of neoliberalism and two key demands: a more moral capitalism, and more direct democracy.

Many states are witnessing a more or less organised development of hacker culture of resistance. We may understand it as a response to the digital society and the society of surveillance, a response struggling for freedom and therefore evading control and imposed rules. Here is an excerpt from the preamble to the programme of the Pirate Party of Slovenia [9]: "In spite of certain traps, the digital society affords an opportunity for the development of humankind and enables the fostering of democracy, freedom, and citizens' rights, particularly the freedom of speech and the right to knowledge. We see the participation of each individual in deciding on communal issues as the key contemporary challenge."

This is about the breaking-up of monopolies, especially digital ones. Beside global and entrepreneurial platforms, there are local ones springing up, enabling the self-organising of social groups. The potential of the role of these platforms in urban design is far from being adequately tapped. We are intrigued with the possible ways of integrating them in the concept of the open city and open urbanism, or, in other words, of using the wealth created by market capitalism and digitalisation for the good of the majority.

Instead of answers, we pose further questions:

How can cities continue to take part in the important public dialogue which addresses justified concerns regarding the impact on privacy or the use of urban data for the public good?

How can cities and corporations use data responsibly in the digital age?

How should the gathering of data in public spaces develop in relation to the speed of contemporary digital devices and the rapid development of artificial intelligence? Where do architecture and urbanism come in?

When there is a point of contact between digitalisation and neoliberalism as a corporate answer to it, the control is shifted to the digital realm, and the ideal of Modernism a better life for all is suspended, giving rise to a free-for-all, or, as Koolhaas calls it, free style urbanism. A lot has been sacrificed: the ideals of a just society, the professional credo of striving for a better world as a whole, and even one's ability to learn from one's mistakes, to repeat one's successes and to actually tackle our burning questions in other words, we have sacrificed our collective intelligence. This is a dire but an all-too-true account of the current position and role of urban designers, with the architects' situation being much the same. They may be successful only in a limited environment defined by the client, the plot, and the project, while all the broader considerations are left to the "free style", i.e. to the capital. The professional credo and intelligence are suspended.

A Vision of the City of the Future

The idea that environmental and social problems can be solved solely by urbanism and architecture is, of course, naive. But this doesn't mean that things can be put right without them. Urbanism is, by definition, dedicated to designing the future. It presupposes an understanding of the relationship between the urban form and urban society, i.e. between life and the physical environment. It should be based on a social system which is founded on democratic principles and which stands for people and freedom. The above discussion, as well as the majority of contemporary theoretical practice of urbanism highlight the need to open the city for everyone, which means that cities stop being dominated by capital but rather by people's needs. In order to do this well and meaningfully, there must be beside political action, which furnishes the content and methods know-how present in both professions, urbanism and architecture, which can imbue this city with form, artistic quality, and spirit.

How can we re-animate professional intelligence in today's conditions, and apply it to the city of the future? Can we invent (again) the policy of knowledge, the policy of truth, which could successfully stand up to the wave of the society and cities as simulacra [10]? What is that which urbanism and architecture ought to be developing? These are questions which address the society as a whole, and chiefly politics.

Without social ecology, bottom-up urbanism, the empowerment of participatory practices, and without a positive vision of possibilities and the necessity of sensible regulation, we will fail. Cities are sensible structures and (also) works of art. In the thousands of years of their history, they have developed as such. Urbanism is at the heart of a sensible answer to these questions as housing, infrastructures, and sensible planning count among the most powerful means with which humanity can answer them.

This is where I see a new role of urban planners and architects, i.e. one of acting socially responsible without relinquishing professional and artistic competence and power. At first glance, this is a utopian wish, a bit like the desire for reining in the free market and the (self-)restraint of capital. But on the other hand, I do hope that we're sufficiently grown up to take fate into our own hands. As we try to address the pressing issues of the environment, global (in)justice, wars, famine, migrations etc., we're clearly stumbling. Yet many indicators are positive: poverty is being reduced, technology has found answers to many questions, and what is most important, there is growing social consciousness about the need for greater global responsibility. Sustainability in a complex sense, which takes into account the quality of life for the people and for the planet, and, crucially, not just for the individual but primarily for the community, is becoming ever more important. The political decision for a different direction of the regulation of the society and the space is a precondition for the positive scenarios of the digital and other revolutions and evolutions to come true. Scenarios which implement the vision of the open city, open society and democratic development require much more than oases (islands) of sustainable closed communities, they demand "the right of the city for everyone" [11], i.e. real, direct democracy as the alternative to the current realpolitik bogged down in bureaucratised patterns, including when it comes to regulating and building cities. Urban life must no longer be separated into individual functions as the conditions of greater complexity may generate robustness and resilience to ideological manipulations of power structures.

Open means incompleteness, conflict, learning from mistakes, creativity, inexactitude, complexity, non-linear processes. There is no predefined end state as a city is always unfinished. Only the process itself defines the goals and the way. To improve cities, they would have to be steered towards becoming open systems. This is not arguing for free economic initiative and free enterprise but for a system which is socially open for everyone and enables interaction rather than isolation. We could call this an inclusive city a city where the streets and squares play host to numerous things happening in parallel. Here, the question is how to connect planning and visual practices, of which architecture is one, and social practices? How to connect the intuition and creativity of architects and the needs of the city dwellers? Where is the rendezvous point of the professional community and users, life, without this rendezvous failing once more?

Processes must use new technologies rather then these technologies dictating them. For urbanism and architecture with public content, the investor should be the public sector in order for political action to connect with professional operation and in order to guarantee continual oversight and public interest. Politicians and planners will develop measures such as the openness of all data and plans to all the inhabitants, transparency and the common setting of goals and priorities, and city public transport which adapts to people's needs.

How do we get to the point of realising the positive vision of possibilities and the necessity of sensible regulation? Firstly, I ask myself: what is vision? It is an encounter between policy, professional community, and people which has the good fortune of being in the process of realisation and gets realised, at least partially. Visions are the content shaped by professionals, architects and urban designers, together with the users in the shape of tasks given to politicians, the goal and the responsibility being that people should identify with them. For this to happen, all three factors need to be enabled: an enlightened, benevolent and efficient politics, a competent professional community, and informed, demanding and sensible people. And optimism. Ljubljana is lucky to still be haunted by the ghost of social optimism, on various levels, embodied not only by activists among the people and activists within the profession, but also a portion of the city's politics. This way, certain projects and visions are realised. However, as reflected on by the authors numerous articles in the present issue, Ljubljana, like most cities, has many difficulties and also still-unrealised opportunities.

In a way, the society has overtaken urbanism and architecture in certain areas, as well as politics. In the triangle between politics, the professional community, and people, the role of NGOs [12], i.e. the third factor, is more active than the role of the institutionalised professional community. The fact that architects and urban designers are often the initiators and activists within these movements raises hope of a gradual rejuvenation and transformation of the profession from within. Architects and urban designers should actively organise and support collective intelligent action "from the bottom up" based on co-operation, and the analysis and linking of factors which are measurable and manageable, but also those which are neither, with the help of active networks which are capable of operative action in different conditions and on different scales.

The basic premise of planning is to consider the city in all its complexity from the standpoint of absolute present time. Such a view ceases to privilege a certain type of city (e.g. historical, high-density city) and condemn others, but recognises the quality and potential of all forms of urbanisation and develops suitable strategies for each of them. Consequently, it is imperative to shift the vantage point of (an urban designer's, an architect's, but also political) consideration and view from the centre to the periphery; in doing this, the priorities and possibilities are reset [13]. An urban design which has been based on static, linear and abstraction-oriented processes for too long may regain its social relevance by means of open, cyclical operation which allows both for feedback as well as constant adaptation. Every situation is an opportunity. The process of urbanisation has changed dramatically in recent years: all over the world, new urbanisation patterns are evolving. The existing urban forms are disintegrating while polymorphous urban regions and micro-regions are being formed. They are very different in their structure, they include old town cores as well as former peripheral areas.

The open city therefore also requires the kind of open urban design and architecture whose outcome is not known in advance in any sense, but rather that they are shaped by means of the creative process. The architect and the urban designer will have to if they want to build utility and relevance know how to creatively collaborate in this process, take responsibility for it, both in the aesthetic and technical as well as in the sustainable, social, symbolic and economic senses, while accommodating and including other professions and especially the users and investors.

In short, we want a city which may not be as "smart" but which is more social. And furthermore, we need more creativity, more creative urbanism, and architecture.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation
  2. Yevgeny Zamyatin, We, originally published in 1921
  3. Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space
  4. Richard Sennett, Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City, Allen Lane, 2018
  5. Nadir Lahiji, An Architecture Manifesto: Critical Reason and Theories of a Failed Practice, Routledge, 2019
  6. Since the emergence of Netscape in Yahoo 20 years ago, the development of the web was linear and the pace relentless. In 1995, Amazon and Craigslist arrived; in 1997 Google and Netflix; in 1999 Napster and Blogger, in 2001 iTunes, in 2003 MySpace, in 2004 Facebook, in 2005 YouTube, in 2006 Twitter, in 2007 iPhone and Kindle, in 2008 Airbnb, in 2010 Instagram, in 2011 Snapchat, in 2012 Coursera, and in 2013 Google Glass. The mind boggles.
  7. http://www.inepa.si/component/content/article/159-demokraticna-tveganja-digitalna-neenakost.html (Slovene only)
  8. http://bratton.info
  9. https://piratskastranka.si/programi/drzavnozborske-volitve-2018 (Slovene only)
  10. Baudrillard, Jean, Simulacra and simulation, University of Michigan Press, 1994
  11. David Harvey, Rebel Cities : From the Right to the City to Urban Revolution, Verso, 2012
  12. https://www.informacijska-druzba.org (Slovene only)
  13. Uroš Lobnik, Odpravljanje dihotomije mesta zmagoslavje hibridnega mesta (Overcoming the Dichotomy of the City the Triumph of the Hybrid City), ab Magazine 221 222, 2019