Details of the working sessions
During these two days two working sessions have been held by the representatives of the WDO and the bid team in Valencia. Among the minor objections posed by the WDO in the beginning, explained Pau Rausell, one of these referred to the difficulty in finding a main challenge to be faced by the city as design capital, but with the arguments put forward, this was overcome.
“There is no doubt that being named world design capital is a good pretext to visualise that design is, mainly, a tool to solve problems and European cities face great problems in the twenty-first century, such as environmental sustainability, population aging, inclusion and inequality, the management of multiculturality, the generation and management of public space, among others. Valencia, as an average European city, faces many of these problems, but we cannot diagnose any one of them specifically as the cause of the ‘urban disease’,” explains Pau Rausell.
“From this perspective, the cultural capital status of Valencia is not proposed as an invasive and targeted chemotherapy to deal with a single urban cancer but rather, from a Mediterranean and tempered perspective, as a cross-disciplinary daily treatment to tackle urban dissatisfaction and improve the quality of life of normal people.
Naturally, design must contribute to finding ingenious, disruptive, beautiful and efficient solutions to tackle the energy transition, sustainable mobility, efficient transport, the route towards a circular economy, and naturally there are experiences that require and use design for urban regeneration as is the case of Cabañal, or the activation of public space, such as the Valencia Marina or the use of the concepts of sustainable development. But what we set out to do as capital is to show that design is not only an extraordinary reaction to global challenges, but that design can also be a shared device for daily application that solves a multitude of problems and improves the wellbeing of residents,” explained Pau Rausell.
Two intensive days for which the organisers had prepared a very detailed schedule, full of meetings, visits and encounters, during which the committee was able to verify in situ all the contents of the bid explained in a 500-page report, which was presented to the organization last March.
“These two days have enabled them to know the real link between the city and design, history and architecture, with sustainability, business and industry. And they have also been able to meet in person those who make up the design ecosystem, the world of business, innovation and entrepreneurship. In short, they have met the people who make this bid possible because this is a project of people,” concluded Xavi Calvo.