E17 Living Cities

Caring for inhabitable milieus

The vulnerabilities of our living world have become drastically apparent due to the climate emergency, the latest pandemic, global instability, and conflicts. EUROPAN17 is focusing on the topic of "Living Cities" for the second time, with a crucial emphasis on the aspect of "care" in this extended round. The aim is to create a good basis for all life on our planet, and as planners and decision-makers, we have a responsibility to develop integrative strategies for a just and caring coexistence.

EUROPAN urges us to challenge our familiar repertoire and ponder about inclusion beyond the human species. By providing space and a voice for all living entities, we can improve our conduct and well-being. Measures of care are necessary to protect coexistence from the climate emergency, overexploitation, pollution, inequality, and injustice. A new understanding of coexistence must emerge instead of "business as usual". EUROPAN calls for a radical paradigm shift and associates itself with Joan Tronto*, a significant political theorist of "care ethics."

Tronto defines "care" as the characteristic activity of the human species, encompassing everything we do to maintain, preserve, and repair our world so that we can live in it as well as possible. The habitability of planet Earth is at stake, and we need to reconcile humans, animals, nature, and resources. Could "care" be the common anchor in the effort to create a synergistic balance and interplay? As planners and decision-makers, we must pay attention to initiating sustainable, inclusive, and equitable urban processes and projects while incorporating the principles of care.

In this Europan session, we are delighted to be partnering with Slovenia! Together we have assembled an exciting potpourri of four sites: Vienna, Graz and Lochau in Austria and Celje in Slovenia. All four places bring to the table challenges on different scales that are looking for holistic and caring solutions. We are grateful to all partners, actors and organizations for being prepared to enter a sphere of productive uncertainty with EUROPAN — the only starting point for honest and responsible innovation!


Expert’s input from the Intersession Forum, Jan2021:


Elke Krasny
Throughout history architecture has always been entangled in the production of capitalism and thus part of the system that has led to the current state of the planet.

“[…] architecture has a very specific responsibility to find new ways of producing, using materials and finding ways to make sure that the environment will no longer be destroyed by architecture.” Elke Krasny comprehends the notion of care as a “new lense to understand the practice of architecture”.