The mayor of Valencia proposes the creation of an ‘Alliance of cities for design’ to face the great urban challenges of the twenty-first century
10 Mar 2020 /

The mayor of Valencia proposes the creation of an ‘Alliance of cities for design’ to face the great urban challenges of the twenty-first century

The mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, has today proposed the creation of a great Alliance of Cities for Design “as an activator of urban innovation with the ultimate mission of confronting the great challenges faced by cities in the 21st century”.

The mayor was responsible for inaugurating the first forum on the relationships between design and public policies which was held at La Nau of the University of Valencia with the title ‘Design and Public Policy. A two-way street’, organised by the Econcult Research Unit of the University of Valencia and Valencia World Design Capital 2022. The conferences took place within the framework of the European project H2020 DESIGNSCAPES.

During his speech, the mayor encouraged the formation of this Alliance of Cities for Design, arguing for the important contribution of design in the achievement of two of the dimensions of urban organisation: efficiency and emotion. And furthermore, the need to share experiences efficiently between cities to accelerate the process for the resolution of urban challenges already faced by public institutions this century.

Ribó defended the merits of design, which he compared to democratic values, declaring that it is possible to solve shared problems, to understand and listen from the user’s perspective, making the user the ultimate judge and, furthermore, it permits dialogue and debate through experimentation.

In his opinion, “Design is an essential tool to articulate new processes of cocreation, social interaction, participation and governance to make more efficient, resilient, cooperative, attractive and sustainable cities a possibility.” That is the reason, he said, for which the Local Authority of Valencia has always supported the bid to be World Design Capital 2022. Now, the mayor considers, “is the time to go further, to convert the circumstantial in the short term into structural and strategic.”

Convinced that design crosses a new frontier in the management of cities, the mayor has listed the steps that must be taken to reach excellence in this respect: to activate the awareness of all the agents involved regarding the importance of design; to generate a favourable environment for the appearance and sustainability of training institutions; to explore the best organisation within the political structure to incorporate the design perspective clearly in the policies of cities and effectively implement policies at urban level through incentives. “We have to push design from budgets,” he declared.

For all of these reasons, he has proposed the creation of this Alliance of Cities for Design “as an activator of urban innovation with the ultimate mission confronting the great challenges faced by cities in the 21st century. And we want to launch this call to the shores of the Mediterranean, benefitting from being World Design Capital in 2022 to create a fertile global ecosystem.”

The mayor’s speech opened the conference “Design and Public Policy. A two-way street” where more than 50 experts from all over Europe debated on the value of design in urban spaces. On Wednesday at 10 a.m. it will be the turn of the regional secretary for Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors and Trade, Blanca Marín, who will open a second conference which will be held in the Multi-Use Hall of the Príncipe Felipe Museum of the City of Arts and Sciences.

Design is an essential tool to articulate new processes of cocreation, social interaction, participation and governance.

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