ReSITE festival is gearing up

Concept for Penn Station in New York by SHoP architects.
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Urban planning festival will offer dozens of positive and inspiring stories and a program for the general public

Prague – Marginalized groups, unemployment, excessive traffic, little or conversely too much greenery, urban sprawl and a passive citizenry are among the problems that appear with near certainty in commissions for those who prepare land-use and strategic plans and which can be addressed by studies.

On June 19-20, the reSITE festival and professional conference, which will take place in the new spaces of Forum Karlín in Prague, will offer countless possibilities for addressing these phenomena. The organizers have again managed to attract from around the world outstanding speakers who will share their experience not only at the conference, but also in the course of several concurrent workshops.

The conference will again be supplemented with events for the general public. Not only Prague residents can look forward to exhibitions, a bike ride, lectures and the video-mapping of the creative Lunchmeat unit. Two exhibitions at the Forum Karlín festival centre will be focused on urban planning and the future of cities. An exhibition titled “Think City” will present specific examples of the transformation undergone by ten cities, such as Paris, Lagos, London, São Paula, Barcelona and Bilbao.  Another exhibition, “Who Creates the City?”prepared by the Goethe-Institut in cooperation with the curators of the  Deutsches Architekturzentrum Berlin, will feature the winning urban-planning projects from the Weltstadt programme. More information on the festival and conference registration forms are available at www.resite.cz.

The organizers of the reSITE festival have also announced a photography competition seeking the most interesting photographs of exemplary public-space solutions and interesting details of cities. The winners will be selected by means of public voting via reSITE’s Facebook page. Detailed competition rules are available here. The winners will receive free admission to the conference and other interesting prizes.

The program of the reSITE conference was formulated to appeal not only to developers and investors, architects and designers, but also to representatives of municipalities – mayors and employees of building offices and development departments. How revitalized spaces can unite nearly an entire city will be the topic of a talk given by Benedetta Tagliabue, one of only a few globally successful architects, whose creation of the St. Catarina marketplace in Barcelona is considered to be iconic in terms of urban planning. A completely different formula for a prosperous and functioning city will be presented by Vladimír Ledecký, mayor of Spišský Hrhov, which in an exemplary manner integrated the local Roma community into the revitalization and management of property as well as social and cultural life in the city. Due to such positive results, people are moving to the city from outlying areas.

As has become tradition, reSITE will also feature global luminaries from the fields of architecture and urbanism, the most remarkable of whom indisputably include Adriann Geuze, co-founder of the West 8 studio, which is behind Amsterdam’s fascinating Borneo project consisting in a new city district on water. Many people are familiar with West 8 thanks also to the studio’s current project on Governors Island in New York, which will become a free nature park. Renowned architect Mark Johnson will deliver a lecture focusing on the revitalization of another island, St. Patrick’s in Calgary.

The two-day conference, which is the first event of its kind to be held in the new spaces of Forum Karlín, will feature roughly thirty experienced and practicing experts who will present more than one hundred implemented projects and processes. “We know that there isn’t time for theory. Our objective is to ensure that the expected seven hundred conference participants will take away tangible results, solutions and experience for improving life in cities. Space will be made for this not only within the conference, but also during the accompanying program,” says Martin Barry, founder and director of reSITE, which over the past three years has become Central Europe’s most prestigious event focused on planning, architecture, landscape architecture and environmental economics.

For the second time, reSITE is connecting visitors with the visions of foreign and domestic figures showing everything that is possible in the world of urbanism. Thought-provoking discussions between architects, politicians, urban planners, developers, landscape architects, ecologists, economists, scientists, students and everyone who is interested in improving the quality of life in cities.

Roughly forty world-renowned experts will share their experience. Guests include such luminaries as Edward Glaeser, professor of economics at Harvard University and specialist in municipal economics; Michael Kimmelman, exclusive critic from The New York Times for architecture; Michael Desvigne, the most important contemporary landscape architect; Adriaan Geuze, co-founder of the world-famous Dutch studio West 8; Moscow’s top architect, Sergei Kunetsov; and Margaret Newman, former head of the New York City Department of Transportation. Among others, Karel Schwarzenberg and Zdeněk Bakala will represent the Czech Republic at the conference.

Involvement of a civic initiative in the development of a city district in Berlin, conversion of industrial buildings in Canada, refurbishment of a district of St. Louis, a sheltered-housing project in Madrid and the conversion of Times Square are among the many topics that megalopolises like New York and London can share with Prague and smaller cities in the Czech Republic. ReSITE is a platform for sharing experience and both positive examples and methods that have proven to be wrong.


Press release from reSITE
 
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