An Urban Parliament is an infrastructure for communication and knowledge that materialize one of the main aims of the Declaration of Urban Rights: discuss about the city in a place where all members are equal.
The Urban Parliament at MEDS Reaction 2013 is an initiative that seeks to activate the participants’ critical minds. It was conducted daily and it was planned to foment creative thinking after a day of physical work. Its aim was to collect opinions, thereby performing a qualitative research of the MEDS mindset, in order to found the MEDS Reaction 2013 “Declaration of Urban Rights”; a document to be presented at the upcoming Lisbon Trienniale of Architecture. In order to do this, the three promoters of the debate – Manuel, Anna and Aida – tried to provoke a certain level of critical thinking amongst the participants, which were recorded on video and transcripted while argumenting.
All these materials are now available on Urban Parliament MEDSReaction Blog in order to foment a discussion beyond the walls of the Convent of the Monicas, and the city of Lisbon
Parliamentary Sessions at MEDS REACTION LX 2013
The debates toke place every day from 19h to 20h at the Church of the convent. Our promoters directed these meeting and they hosted two different working teams. However, every student was invited to join the debate and participate. The aim of the debates was not to find solutions, but rather to discuss the different problems that related professions to the city may be facing, and to exploit the unique possibility of a varied debate between people of different nationalities and backgrounds.
With the contribution of all participants of MEDS Reaction Lx 2013 we created something more than a simply network of knowledge, action or empathy; we ended up with a full body of opinion from the conclusions obtained on each student meeting. Each session, as explained, was around a different topic and these become the “Declaration of Urban Rights”.
Topics considered for setting the Declaration of Urban Rights are around the concept of urban space as infrastructure, as follows:
Supplies and services (open urban facilities) (Active Programs) • Accessibility (City open to the public) (inclusive) • Expression and free communication • Meetings and citizen relationships • Energy and waste management • Living spaces (creating community and networks) • Communication between agents. (citizens vs. Administration) • Digital Space (transparency and open data) • Critical participation and civic autonomy (citizen curator) • Open source city • Co-responsibility and trust generation •
We proposed a schedule of meetings and discussions to be held during the two-weeks of the workshop. The conclusion from this MEDS Reaction LX 2013 – Urban Parliament were condensed to its presentation at the Lisbon Triennale of Architecture 2013.
5 AUG: Inhabiting controversy [City conflict process] & Hybrid City and Hybrid Communities [Multiformat and transmedia city]
6 AUG: Mind the Gap [Including maximum number of agents in the process of taking decisions]
7 AUG: Building doors in the countryside [Complex public space. Managing Projects with complex rules]
8 AUG: Equipped Square [Right to host infraestructures in squares]
9 AUG: “Commons” Sense [Regaining common sense in everyday life]
12 AUG: Hand Made Urbanism [Construction of urban space through direct processes and pedagogical environments]
13 AUG: Half-done city [The city has never been inaugurated and it will never be finished]
14 AUG: Transparency and Open Data[Communicating and making explicit what’s going on and how in the different parts of the city] & Open source city [A Creative Commons city, with building instructions that makes it easy to copy elsewhere]
15 AUG: Urban parliaments [New interaction, opinion and meeting spaces between physical and digital worlds]& “Declaration of the Urban Rights of MEDS-Reaction”
More information about MEDSReaction Lisbon 2013 on: