Sunday, May 27, 2007

2007: Tipping Point in Urbanization

2007 is a tipping point in history: for the first time more than half of the world's population lives in cities. Before most of the world's population lived in rural areas. It is the theme of the 3th Architecture Bienal Rotterdam, The Netherlands, which will be held on several location in the city from 24.05.2007 to 02.09.2007

This picture that is used for the Biennale painfully shows the contrast between the rich, with a pool on each terrace, and the poor next door. The divide between rich and poor in Brazil is the biggest in the world.


Pottovski said...

Hey Maurits,
It's an interesting site, and a lot I don't always understand because I'm not an architect. But one question just came on: you showed the difference of poor and rich.. but without the rich an architect doesn't have a job... And from that point: if one try to change the world from the view of an architect, doesn't one throw in their own glasses???

Maurits said...

Hi André, thank you for your interesting comment. I think you are right from one point of view: it seems people are building their own cities nowadays without the influence of designers, be it architects or politicians. But I don't think I am throwing in my own glasses. In fact, I think architects are in a state of denial when they think they can design for the rich only. Informal cities have long been regarded to be marginalities, but in some megacities on the southern hemisphere, it is the rich that have become marginal and live on islands in a sea of slums. As this picture (right side) shows. I think we have to come to a new understanding of design, of shaping society, not only including architects, but also politicians, sociologists, economists, and most importantly: the people in general. Everybody is a designer, as this picture (left side) shows.