The city as a blank screen

by Rosanne van Tilburg on March 3, 2011

Surfing through the internet sometimes you can find interesting ideas, if you know where to look for. A few days ago I stumbled upon this one: the city as a blank screen. It belongs to an architect, an urban designer, who is now one of the candidates for being Mayor in a Spanish city. But this does not really matter. The idea could have belonged to anyone from anywhere. The point is the idea itself.

 Urblog | the city as a blank screen

Sometimes we architects are so focused on our own ideas, obsessed on creating urban landmarks, chasing the beauty… that we lose perspective and we cannot see the final purpose of our work: people. Make the city thinking on the citizens, a city to live in, not a city as a monument, just to be admired, as an artwork in a museum.

“We are losing the culture in the city. (…) When watching a movie in a cinema, nobody says anything about the screen, although we all consider it as necessary. Why do not propose something similar for the city? We believe that the more prominence the city steals from its citizens, the less democratic culture will be in it. And therefore we propose a discrete city, not having sought to establish the cultural identity (…). Not following market rules, but effective, true and reasonable necessities. The city as blank screen to make markets more efficient, identities and shows more liberating, democracy more real; and culture more hospitable, to do more company. The city as movie screen, where action takes place without the support acquiring any role. A quiet city, as a gift, where everyone dedicating oneself to live.”

I found this breath of fresh air on But I have to warn you, it is all in Spanish.

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