Arte y ciencia en la construcción de la ciudad

letterEisnteinBerna. Junio, 1907

“Estimado Sr. Einstein […] Sentimos que sus conclusiones sobre la naturaleza de la luz y la conexión fundamental entre espacio y tiempo son algo radicales. A grosso modo, nos parecen, de hecho, más cercanas a lo artístico que a la Física.”

Dr. Wilheim Heinrich. Decano de la Facultad de Ciencias

Estas semanas ha circulado por las redes la (famosa) falsa carta que Einstein recibió rechazando su solicitud para el puesto de profesor en la Universidad de Berna. En su lacónica, y ficticia, respuesta, el decano tachaba las ideas del genio alemán relacionando el espacio y el tiempo como radicales, pisando más el terreno del arte que el de la ciencia. Como sea que otro genial visionario, Marshall McLuhan, nos recuerda que los artistas están precisamente dotados de un poder anticipatorio para la ciencia, es fácil ponerse en la piel del pobre decano imaginario y comprender sus reticencias a contratar al físico-artista Albert Einstein. ¿Cómo contratar a un profesor para enseñar a los alumnos misterios del universo que no se descubrirían sino décadas después? Hasta el propio Einstein reconocía que su cerebro no era lo suficientemente maduro; que, en cierta medida, su mente era la de un niño. Continue reading

Share

The art of city making. Charles Landry

artOfCityMaking“The art of city making”, by Charles Landry, is a brilliant attempt to understand cities with the declared and simple objective of making them better. In its pages, the reader should not expect to find a step-by-step recipe of how to make cities from scratch. The book is targeted at those readers concerned, instead, with reconfiguring existing cities so they can fulfill their role of solution providers for its own people and, ultimately, for the world.

In an increasingly urbanized planet, understanding cities has never been so high in the agenda. Cities are the result of a multiplicity of relationships, flows, interests, layers, forces, all intertwined in intricate networks where phenomena from a variety of domains like psychology, physics, sociology, culture, politics, or biology combine to make every city unique.

Continue reading

Share

How to face globalization (I): what can we expect from cities?

matrixWestern societies, especially in southern Europe, are facing a double crisis: on the one hand, an abrupt economic downturn that, as a consequence of the austerity agenda adopted by the European Union to fight it, has not only been technically aggravated, but has produced the collateral effect of undermining the confidence of the people in their institutions. This has led to a remarkable erosion of the legitimacy of otherwise solid public and private agents such as governments, politic parties, trade unions, banks, media, big companies, justice, etc.

This loss of legitimacy, alongside with the aforementioned economic and social problems, threatens the very foundations of our democracies and should be a primary concern for those who seek to renew our hibernated western societies to face the unstoppable challenges imposed by globalization, all without losing our identity of wide civil rights and strong democratic principles. Continue reading

Share