Cities that combat to keep up their essence: from the standard outlets of Madrid to the inexperienced roofs of Copenhagen | The weekly nation | EUROtoday

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In her textual content for this Cities Special, architect Victoria Garriga reminds us that cities reside entities. But as Bruce Springsteen sang to us in Atlantic City, a track a few metropolis that isn’t a metropolis: “Everything dies, it's a fact…, and maybe everything that dies one day comes back.” This situation is in regards to the latter, about how capitals run the danger of dying as a consequence of franchise, as a consequence of vacationer asphyxiation, as a consequence of schizophrenic growth… We needed to go to locations the place what we perceive as an issue has been reworked into an answer (the PAU Zabalgana in Vitoria) , the place a postcard area has mutated right into a neighborhood space (the Seine in Paris) or the place the cutting-edge spirit of a spot will be utilized to any space (Copenhagen sublimates its idiosyncrasy with gardens or rabbit farms on its rooftops). Recover the essence of the previous and provides essence to the brand new. If it doesn’t wish to die, town should be capable of acknowledge itself once more. Only then what we already take into account useless could someday return.

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The metropolis is a residing, altering and very advanced organism. Loaded with inertia, it adapts to every society and its time. It is a portrait of who we’re and what we wish to be. An eternally unfinished undertaking. Any intervention should be based mostly on common and native values. Only after we know one thing in depth can we love and respect it. And deal with what is efficacious in every individual, in every place.

Seine Paris

The Seine is a mirror through which Paris is mirrored, its superb hours and its most dramatic. In current years, Parisians have reclaimed the quays for pedestrians and cyclists, and have launched into a large effort to scrub it up and convert it right into a swimming space. This summer time it will likely be the scene of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and several other occasions. The metropolis pours itself into its river and makes it what it at all times was: certainly one of its nice symbols.

March - May 2024 - Report on the increase in green spaces on roofs and terraces in Copenhagen - ©Manuel Vázquez ----PIEFOTO---- A newly built green roof in Copenhagen.

Architects, biologists, anthropologists, philosophers, engineers, landscapers, attorneys and politicians come collectively in Copenhagen to construct a brand new metropolis searching for biodiversity. Returning to Le Corbusier's idea of “fifth façade”, they get better the roofs as a habitat of happiness. In them, orchards, gardens and rabbit, rooster and bee farms proliferate.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - APRIL 09: Decorated Tuk-Tuk tourist vehicles wait for fares in Praça Camoes in Lisbon on April 09, 2024, in Lisbon, Portugal. Tourism generated 25 billion euros in Portugal during 2023, and it was the best year ever. According to Portuguese government throughout 2023 several tourism demand indicators have broken records. There were more than 30 million guests - an increase of around 10 percent compared to 2019, which had been the best tourist year so far - and 77 million overnight stays. Revenues of around 25 billion euros represent growth of 37 percent compared to 2019 and 18.5 percent compared to 2022. This growth extends to the whole country and is seen throughout the year. Tourism is expected to grow even more in 2024. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)     ----PIEFOTO----    Varios tuk-tuk estacionados en la plaza de Camões aguardan la llegada de turistas. El turismo generó 25.000 millones de euros en Portugal en 2023.

A standard mixture of authenticity, melancholy, rusticity and modernity, the Portuguese capital has turn into a mecca for worldwide tourism. But it has paid the toll within the type of gentrification and lack of its essence.

Liu Thai Ker

He is the person who made Singapore a mannequin of humane urbanism, based mostly on an efficient public housing and transportation system and its management by the federal government.

May 2023 - Report on classic and traditional establishments in Madrid - ©Ximena and Sergio ----PIEFOTO---- Lampas Céspedes.  The grandfather of Rubén Céspedes (Madrid, 50 years old) opened this establishment just 200 meters from Gran Vía in 1912. Rubén emphasizes that “aid policies are designed for large businesses.”

Every yr Madrid loses extra conventional companies positioned in neighborhoods careworn by actual property hypothesis and tourism, which in a really modern paradox, finally ends up destroying the authenticity it got here to hunt. We tour the middle of the capital to study in regards to the previous and current of previous taverns, century-old pharmacies or basic canvas or fan outlets.


What the illustrator Luisa Vera created throughout confinement as a recreation has turn into a collective undertaking, The Barcelonian, through which totally different cartoonists reinterpret Barcelona, ​​its character and in addition its issues.

A group of Zabalgana residents works in the neighborhood garden

The neighborhood motion has managed to humanize the younger neighborhood of Zabalgana, probably the most populated in Vitoria. More public housing, inexperienced areas and residents who’re conscious and educated in participation have given a peculiar form to a kind of city developments born 20 years in the past within the warmth of the actual property bubble.


From skyscrapers constructed with wooden to playgrounds manufactured from rubber, to rubbish transformed into manhole covers or bus stops made out of bamboo. These are the weather with which cities are being reworked into extra delicate and smart areas.