The discussion about the ‘urban issue’, the challenges created by city living, now thrust upon us more than ever, is well known: its treatment is comprehensive and illuminating at the same time as asking still unanswerable questions. New institutions, organisations, educational courses and publications have all been set up in response to and in promotion of the discussion. We are thinking in new ways, and of new things, which reach into every aspect of experience and activity in order to understand and improve this urban life.
I have always loved cities, been fascinated by them and grappled to understand how they work as well as how the physical, built environment affects and shapes the social, emotional lives of its inhabitants. So I want to dedicate a forum to the thinking city; that is, thinking about what it means to live in, be part of and improve a city. It is London-centric, but finding ideas and reference around the globe. It is both a way to find out about projects and events, to discover different initiatives related to improving the urban experience, a place for discussion as well as personal reflection. I am most interested in how cities make us feel and in turn what we think about them, as well as how we can be more involved and integrated in urban life; this line of research can be vital in helping address problems of alienation and territory, especially in relation to young people as they grow up in a complex and overwhelming environment. I believe it is crucial to help support a sense of co-ownership and co-creation of space and place; this is something I practice in my community engagement work with make:good.
On this website, I will reflect on and link to projects and topics that take into consideration how we think about and think for cities and our place in them. This is not meant to be an academic forum; it is more a place for real-time issues, events and accessible discussions.
– Francesca Perry