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Debates

Richard Sennett proposes to open European cities, democratize them and make them political subjects



The American sociologist established in London was the protagonist, last night, of the III Annual Conference of the Pasqual Maragall Legacy Program that was held in the RBA auditorium, at a public event co-organized by the Catalonia Europa Foundation and the RBA Foundation.

In a full Auditorium, the meeting brought together representatives of the political and civil society of the country -the town mayor Ada Colau also spoke; the vice president of the government Neus Munté; the director of Habitat, Joan Clos; and attended, among many others, José Montilla, Xavier Trias, Joan Herrera and Antoni Castells, in addition to the president himself Maragall - Sennett shelled the essential arguments of his continuous reflection on cities that is part of his thinking always linked to the terms of cooperation and openness, as pointed out by Oriol Nel·lo, professor of urban sociology, at the lecturer's presentation.

Sennett began by thanking Pasqual Maragall "on behalf of his friends and colleagues in Britain" for having inspired the program of cities of the London School of Economics (LSE), in which the sociologist works. In his speech, under the title 'A Europe of cities', he highlighted the importance of the network of European cities, many of which "are more linked to each other than to their national context". An interconnection through which, according to Sennett, flow the finances, the culture, the work, the tourism, etc., in spite of that the European political system does not take into account this framework.

In order to recover protagonism and exercise as a democratizing political subject, Sennett is committed to the empowerment of cities. For this, he asks to look at the cities of the global south, which are more porous, more open ..., opposed to the European cities that - in the opinion of the renowned sociologist - must be deconstructed to make them less closed, to erase their separation by classes and conform more open cities, standards of a new political project.

At the beginning of the conference, Josep M. Vallès, member of the advisory committee of the FCE, presented the main activities carried out this year within the Legacy Pasqual Maragall program, of which yesterday is an annual appointment. The presentation of "Catalonia, network of cities", by Marc Pradel, as the first book of the Research Collection of the program and the announcement of a publication in March of the political work of Maragall together with the Editorial RBA were the main novelties.

The president of the executive of the Catalunya Europa Foundation, Gemma Sendra, was in charge of moderating the act and introduced the present and future task of the FCE as a forum for debate on the ideas of rethinking Europe, facing social challenges and entangling cities.

For more information you can retrieve the note and video of the RBA Foundation.



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Cities  Europe  Pasqual Maragall