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Urban growth must deliver urban quality

Salon 2 on the theme of “Build: The Reality of Cities” was held in the context of the Venice Biennale 2014 . The Salon concluded with a panel discussion “Interactions, Commons and Public Space” featuring Marc Angélil (Switzerland), Member of the Board and Head of the Academic Committee of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction; Jan Gehl (Denmark), Founding Partner of Gehl Architects – Urban Quality Consultants; and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Japan), Founding Partner of Atelier Bow-Wow. 

Cities are defined not just by built density, but also interaction intensity. Only when urban growth results in urban quality will it be accepted by its inhabitants. In the context of the loss of local identity and the globalization of architectural styles and technologies, the research of Yoshiharu Tsukamoto shows that progress and local identity do not need to be mutually exclusive.

Jan Gehl has documented how modern cities repel human interaction through a lack of human scale and an overabundance of infrastructure. He argues that we can build cities in a way that takes human needs for inclusion and intimacy into account. This has little to do with style or ideology but rather with how architects and urban designers think about people and their interactions.

Organized by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and curated by Zurich-based architects and urbanists Hiromi Hosoya and Markus Schaefer, the program of events focusses on questions of urban development in Switzerland: “Scenarios for an Alpine City State”. Salon 3 on the theme “Use: The Culture of Cities” will include Harry Gugger, member of the Board and the Academic Committee of the Holcim Foundation, and a concluding event will be held mid-November.

“Salon Suisse” takes place at the Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi in the heart of Venice’s old town, offering a platform for exchange on contemporary architecture and thought in a relaxed atmosphere. For more: 


Last Updated: October 13, 2014
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Venice, Italy
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