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Shared Cities

European Prize for Urban Public Space 2014

Shared Cities is an exhibition that includes all the works that have been awarded in the 8th edition of the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2014. The aim of this project is to recognise the improvements in the public space inside the european continent.

The form of the city is intimately related with democracy. This is the thesis of the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2014 which, since 2000, has recognised and publicised the processes of transformation and improvement of public spaces in Europe.

Cities are far from being an idyllic paradise. Now, when more than half the world’s population lives in urban environments, cities are facing threats that raise serious doubts about their future. Europe which, throughout history, has created cities that are exemplary in terms of density, human scale and complexity, is no longer exempt from these risks. Exorbitant growth, social and spatial segregation, neglect of outlying areas and predominance of the private vehicle are some of the problems that presently endanger the ideals of equality and freedom, which have been associated with the European city since its very beginnings.

Fortunately, however, Europe also offers many admirable examples of improvement in its public spaces. These are works which, sensitive to their context, value the political and social dimensions of urban spaces. They look respectfully back to the past while also holding out sustainable solutions with future generations in mind. They embody good practice in taking care of the limits of the city since they do so in the awareness that peripheral zones are part of its identity and that contact with nature, and with water, is a resource that must be conserved and integrated, in the best interests of everyone. These are proposals that understand public space as a place for equality, redistribution of resources and recognition of minorities. They are interventions that give priority to access over barriers of every kind, and encourage appropriation of the city by its citizens. From Glasgow to Istanbul, and from Lisbon to Bucharest, the European Prize for Urban Public Space has become a privileged observatory of the problems and solutions which have now come to characterise European cities.

Shared Cities” is an exhibition of the works that have been recognised as winners, Special Mentions and finalists in the eighth award of the Prize.

 An European Project

In the years since its inception, a number of European institutions have joined the project, which is presently co-organised by The Architecture Foundation (London), the Architekturzentrum Wien (Vienna), the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine (Paris), the Museum of Finnish Architecture (Helsinki), the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (Frankfurt) and the Museum of Architecture and Desing (Ljubljana). Over the last seven occasions on which the Prize has been offered, it has consolidated in institutional terms and this has enabled it to expand its geographic scope. In 2014, 274 projects from 30 European countries (in comparison with the 81 projects from 14 countries in 2000) were entered for the Prize, which might therefore be seen as a window on to the transformation of public spaces in Europe, and a gauge of the main concerns of European cities.

The exhibition will be open to the public until 4 June.
Free of charge.

Previous activities

Contemporary urban passages

Conference by Marcel Smets and launch of project Passages

The Future of the European City.

Conversation between Hans Ibelings and Eugeni Bach

European Prize for Urban Public Space 2014

Award Ceremony

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Collaborating media