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Public Urban Happiness, that is the making of our own world

Abstract

For centuries the urban environment has been painted, designed, shaped and built in order to answer to specific needs and desires. Visions and drawings of ideal and perfect places still today behave as appealing images, offered to the public domain. During the last century, well-known icons, made of visionary and seducing scenarios, designed by avan-garde architects, acted as a vehicle able to symbolize the pursuit of public happiness: working on an urban imaginary, as a body of knowledge, efforts of architects and town planners were oriented to create a new world, based on ideals of progress and prosperity, with streets, squares, architectural complexes and housing estates for our everyday lives, for a wide satisfaction and consumption of urban users.
Far from utopias, the real world hasn’t developed the ability to grant all wishes, often revealing itself as unable to find a way to connect innermost emotions of collective expectations to the outward manifestation in the urban realm. Even in their imperfections, cities expanded beyond what anyone could have imagined, sprawling along territories, scattering over the known borders.

Published:
Pages:1 to 4
Section: Editorial
How to Cite
Bravo, L. (2018) “Public Urban Happiness, that is the making of our own world”, The Journal of Public Space, 3(2), pp. 1-4. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v3i2.1116.

Author Biography

Luisa Bravo is a global academic scholar, educated in Italy, France and the UK, a social entrepreneur and a passionate public space activist. After completing her PhD, with a thesis on contemporary urbanism, at University of Bologna in Italy (2008), she has been researching, teaching and lecturing in several Universities, in Italy and Europe, the United States, Middle East, Asia and Australia. Visiting scholar at IURD - Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California Berkeley (USA, 2012), Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture and Design, Lebanese American University (Lebanon, 2015), Endeavour Executive Fellow the Queensland University of Technology (Australia, 2018), Instructor for the Advanced Urbanism Studio at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden, 2018), Luisa is Founding Member and President of City Space Architecture,a non-profit organization based in Italy with a mission to studying, making, spreading and sharing public space culture, through an interdisciplinary approach, involving art and architecture. She is Founding Editor, Journal Manager and Editor in chief of ‘The Journal of Public Space’, established by City Space Architecture in partnership with UN Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. 
Luisa is a renowned speaker at major UN-Habitat global summits, such as Habitat III conference in Quito (Ecuador, 2016), 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia, 2018) and 2nd Saudi Urban Forum in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia, 2018). She was also selected and invited to attend the 26th UN-Habitat Governing Council in Nairobi (May 2017), the High Level Meeting on the New Urban Agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York (September 2017) and the Expert Group Meeting on public space promoted by UN-Habitat in Angelsberg (Sweden, 2018). She is part of the United Nations Global Urban Observatory, Expert Group on public space. Luisa’s lecture ‘Stand up for Public Space!’ - www.standupforpublicspace.org - has been included in the UN Habitat Global Urban Lectures series (season 4 - 2017), one of the UN-Habitat’s most publicly shared online outreach initiatives. 

References

Bravo, L. (2010), Genius loci and genius saeculi: a sustainable way to understand contemporary urban dynamics, 14th International Planning History Society (IPHS) conference proceedings, Urban Transformation: controversies, contrasts and challenges, ITU - Urban and Environmental Planning and Research Center, Istanbul, Vol. II, pp. 543-554.

Harvey, D. (2008), The right to the city, in New Left Review, vol. 53, Sept-Oct, pp. 23-40.

Montgomery, C. (2013), Happy city. Transforming our lives through urban design, Ferrar, Straud and Giroux, New York.

Romano, M. (1993), L’estetica della città europea, Einaudi, Torino.
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ISSN 2206-9658