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Cities Should Allow People to Shine

Feeling free and safe in the city. How many times have we felt fully free when walking through our neighbourhood, when returning home, when sitting in the park? Some urban spaces give us more autonomy than others. Some areas seem more comfortable and calm. But, to keep that calm, to what extent do we express ourselves and to what extent do we hold back? What safeguards do we take to feel as good as possible when inhabiting our environment?

Nikos Salingaros: 'Contemporary Public Spaces Are Designed For Lifeless Beings, Without Any Sex Or Sexual Desire'

Within the framework of Espacios Oscuros research project, focused on observing and analyzing the experience of sexual diversity in public spaces of Santiago de Chile, architects María González and José Tomás Franco spoke with Nikos Salingaros, a mathematician and thinker known for his alternative theoretical approach to architecture and urbanism. Salingaros promotes design focused on human needs and aspirations, combining rigorous scientific analysis with a deep intuitive experience.

Our cities are, for the most part, hostile to the sensibilities of their citizens. (...) Almost everything has been aligned, standardized, emptied. So, how to meet different people, and how to expect a mix between strangers?

In this interview, Salingaros not only questions the way in which architects are designing the private and public spaces of our cities, ignoring –perhaps unconsciously– the human being in its diversity, but also suggests the emergence of a series of private community spaces that would be supplying the needs of expression and appropriation of all the inhabitants of the city.