SSU – Luca Bertolini (UVA Amsterdam)
Series of English lectures series STADSSALONSURBAINS, for urban professionals, students and all city lovers, just before the weekend starts.
The topic of this semester is ‘MOVING CITIES FORWARD, LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND: TOWARD FAIT & SUSTAINABLE TRANSITIONS’
Three key critiques question the potential of urban experimentation to trigger transformative change in cities.
First is the inability of experiments to activate radically alternative imaginaries of the urban future. Second is the lack of impact beyond the place and time of the experiment. Third is the denial of the intrinsically political nature of urban experimentation and urban change.
In this talk, I will first reflect on the relevance of these critiques and contend that they are intimately related. Next, I will suggest that the concept and practices of performative politics might provide a fruitful reference to explore ways to address the critiques and rethink urban experimentation to increase its transformative potential. Throughout the argumentation, I will use the case of current, burgeoning experiments with alternative uses, regulations and designs of city streets – ‘from streets for traffic to streets for people’ – as illustration.