Venice Architecture Biennial, 'Out there: architecture beyond building'

14-09-2008 - 23.11.2008

Public space is dead, long live public space!
It is 2014. Europe has undergone 25 years of economic growth. It started with the disappearance of the Communist regimes. Then the neo-liberal system conquered the continent. By now 70 per cent of public services – including public space – have passed into the hands of multinationals. The government has retreated into the wings and the cities have given up long-term visions.
It is right now that international and local pressure groups have united. They are campaigning for the preservation of the democratic values of public space. The critical quantity of public space per citizen has been laid down in a UNESCO treaty. That quota offers protection against further privatisation and control. In addition, the Institute for Sufficient Publicness has been created.
This new wave of social alertness is called neo-localism. Neo-localism is the response to aggressive neo-liberalism and the dogmas of an exclusively economic perspective. Local governments support and adopt these movements. In doing so, they have rediscovered their public task.
Rotterdam was no exception: a new, dazzling business centre was created to attract international head offices, while local and public interests were initially ignored. But the opposition from the populace and an intensive public debate have laid the foundation for a new alliance in which the local and the global are united. The result is the Glocal District.

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Name: Venice Architecture Biennial, 'Out there: architecture beyond building'