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Diver(City), sharing cities


The exhibition Mix(cité), villes en partage (‘DiverCity, sharing cities’) held in the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, from May 15th to July 15th 2012, is organised by the Observatoire de la ville (City Observatory), a Bouygues Immobilier Foundation. It is the result of a year-long process of hearings with major urban experts and stakeholders (elected officials, associations, …)

The Editorial Committee, a multidisciplinary team of architects-urbanists, sociologists and professors, leaded the process, with Peclers Paris’ support all along. The exhibition covers all sides of diversity (functional, social, generational, morphological) in France and around the world.
The Observatoire de la ville asked Peclers Paris to create a module on new ways of life in the urban diver(City) to address this theme from the sociocultural and foresight perspectives.

New ways of life and urban diver(city)

It is precisely because social diversity is a major issue, decisive for tomorrow’s cities, that it is today such a hot debate. Presented by the PeclersParis team, this part of the exhibition, through practical experiences, reveals new ways of life and future tools for mixing and co-mingling in tomorrow’s urban models.
We have deciphered sociocultural emerging trends throughout the world with the desire to focus on the human dimension. Our research is illustrated with public, private, associative, cultural and artistic projects, all asking the same question: “how to live together in tomorrow’s city?” These examples account for the great profusion of innovations inspired by a genuine desire of urban citizens to build their city together!
The first part of the exhibition is dedicated to new agoras, redesigned by urban furniture, to the key roles of nature and technology, and to so-called third places. A second part focuses on all possible means to stimulate and orchestrate citizen engagement. The third part presents a range of effective solutions to make dialogue, sharing, and diversity, fluid and easy in the heart of the city.

New places for diver(city)

New Agoras and Urban Furniture
By tradition, public space is an all-crossing, all-intersecting space. However, when it comes to building new agoras, conviviality comes before diversity. TXTual Healing, a project by Daniel Pelz and Paul Notzold, invites passersby to exchange text messages on the city’s walls, thereby creating a new approach to public space, and transforming urban furniture into a medium for diversity’s expression.

Green spaces & Blue spaces
In the same line, nature and water’s presence encourage urban citizens from all horizons to meet and mingle. New York’s “High Line” is a unanimous success. Shared gardens, more dynamic and self-implying, are true laboratories of togetherness.

Third Places
Halfway through private and professional life, third places open up new options. Stefan Shankland integrates art into the transforming city, with his Atelier/Trans305 project: a creation, research and exchange space.

1. Times Square “Meeting Bowls”, New York, 2011: three oversized capsules encourage social interaction © mmmm… 2. “TXTual Healing” by Daniel Peltz and Paul Notzold, Brooklyn, NY: a public, urban, interactive dialogue through text messages. © Paul Notzeld 3. “High Line”, Manhattan, wild and welcoming nature: rehabilitation of railroad tracks in New York, where architects James Corner and firm Dille Scofidio + Renfro kept the place’s wild, abandoned looks. © Iwan Baan 2009 4. Atelier/TRANS305, Ivry:  an artistic and cultural project in the heart of urban space © Stefans Skankland / Trans 305

Participative diver(city)

Creating The City Together
Everyday, more and more, information and communication technologies exhort us to express ourselves and share our resources. This participation urge is now shifting towards public life and the city, for the benefit of social diversity. In that line, “Wiki Rennes” project, co-managed by Bug and the City of Rennes, encourages citizens to gather all their information about the city, so that together, they can re-create a common and shared vision.

Temporary Actions
Cultural actions also encourage citizens to go out and meet others. Combined with interactive displays such as video projections with sensors, they naturally encourage visitors to share a true sensorial, physical experience, likely to break the most tenacious shyness or reluctance. “Night Lights” project in Auckland is a good example.

Rallying Players
At the same time, the private sector is not excluded from the mixing process and can choose to work toward a metamorphosis of the urban atmosphere. Just think of the tremendous “Let’s Color Project” from Dulux Valentine, where underpriviledged neighbourhoods throughout the world got re-painted and radically transformed in their atmosphere.

1. “Wiki Rennes”, participative encyclopaedia: a city’s autoportrait, by its inhabitants. © Association Bug 2. “Night Lights” by YesYesNo, Auckland : Video-projection augmented experience. © Interaction Design and Software: YesYes No 3. “Let’s Color Project” Dulux Valentine. Painting the city: Re-enchanting urban space through color. © Akzo Nobel / Dulux

Facilitating diver(city)

Making The City Better
Web 2.0 and social networks have taught us to spontaneously share our resources and collaborate with others, beyond the usual perimeters of the private or professional spheres.
These mechanisms of true mingling are now being deployed to the city, creating a new generation of urban services. Online collaborative platform Change by Us NYC invites new-yorkers to suggest ideas and take action in projects improving their city.

Feeling My City
Spotting San Francisco’s most popular areas through body heat sensors, “City Sense” is a Smartphone app demonstrating how technology can heat up  the city and make it tangible, with a view to social circles reconstruction.

Creating Dialogue
Finally social diversity is a matter of dialogue. Interactive interfaces in public spaces, such as  "nAutreVille" or the "Helsinki CityWall", are both very good information and dialogue tools, as well as playful learning devices for citizens to learn information technologies.

1. “Change by Us NYC”, New York: collaborative platform to share ideas and make the city better  © http://nyc.changeby.us 2. “City Sense”, San Francisco: detect activity hotspots © Sense Networks, www.citysense.com 3. “Helsinki CityWall”: multi-touch, collaborative wall display © Peter Peltonen, Esko Kurvinen, Aniti Salovaara, Giulio Jacucci, Tommi Ilomen, John Evans, Antti Oulasvirita, Petri Saarikko. 4. “ nAutreVille ”, Maria Laura Méndez-Martén : local interactive window, new technologies for urban citizens. © Conception design : Maria Laura Méndez-Martén / Paris Design Lab-ENCI, Les Ateliers

Mix(cité), villes en partage 15 May - 15 July 2012
Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine Palais de Chaillot – Hall du pavillon d’about 7 avenue Albert de Mun - Paris 16th (M° Trocadéro)
Open Monday-Sunday, 11am-7pm. Closed on Tuesdays. Late Night Openings: Thursday until 9 pm.
Free entrance