Rethinking the open city
Planners, privatisation, and police surveillance are laying siege to urban public spaces. The streets are becoming ever more regimented as life and character are sapped from our cities. What is to be done? Is it possible to maintain the public realm as a flexible space that adapts over time? Can disorder be designed?
Fifty years ago, Richard Sennett wrote his groundbreaking work The Uses of Disorder
, arguing that the ideal of a planned and ordered city was flawed, likely to produce a fragile, restrictive urban environment. The need for the Open City, the alternative, is now more urgent that ever. In this provocative essay, Pablo Sendra and Richard Sennett propose a reorganisation of how we think and plan the life of our cities. What the authors call 'infrastructures for disorder' combine architecture, politics, urban planning and activism in order to develop places that nurture rather than stifle, bring together rather than divide, remain open to change rather than rapidly stagnate. Designing Disorder
is a radical and transformative manifesto for the future of twenty-first-century cities.