Shaping the City, forum for sustainable cities and communities

Shaping the City, forum for Sustainable Cities and Communities is a forum organized by the European Cultural Centre tackling contemporary urbanization and other key issues in the city.

This edition of Shaping the City x Chicago is in dialogue with this year's theme of the Chicago Architecture Biennale, The Available City. 

The two sub-themes for this forum are: Architecture for the People and Re-imagining the City - presented and debated by a selected group of academics, urban planners and designers, architects, policy makers, and scholars from all over the world. 

9.00am - 1.00pm

Session 1 | Architecture by/for the People

This theme of Shaping the City is explored through the social lens of architects and urban planners within our contemporary world. It focuses on social issues in the city, urban inequity, emerging issues of the displacement of communities, new architectural values, and spatial identity.

Architecture for the people explores how regeneration projects, social housing, and urban policies are reactivating the neglected parts of the urban fabric of the city and promoting dynamic and social transformations, where architecture and urban planning are seen as a catalyst for an inclusive city.

The panel will tackle mainly inclusion, social, racial, and gender equity in the city and their intersectionality with space activation and gentrification in the urban space. By looking into public participation processes and community regeneration in different cities across the world, Architecture for the People crosses between the theme of the Chicago Architecture Biennale “The Available City” and the aspirations for shaping future cities in the future.


2.00pm - 6.00pm

Session 2 | Re-Imagining the City

The transformation of our cities is a dynamic process, where the physical form and the respective citizens’ interaction are constantly changing with the planning, policies, urban design, and architecture at the given era of regeneration. Accumulating the heritage, physically and spiritually inside the city, plays a vital role in shaping the image of the city and the collective identity of the metropolis.

This theme explores how the morphological dimension, engulfing both the architectural character and the urban environment, creates an image and an identity for the city. It also focuses on the sensory and experiential qualities in architecture and the distinctive qualities of the urban space, where daily life unfolds.

The panel will tackle mainly visionary views of cities in a speculative and critical way while taking into consideration the issues of inclusion and equity at the urban scale.

A dialogue between architects, academics, and policymakers will discuss the projected urban future in a visionary way and reflect on the respective relationship of the people and their physical space is re-imagined in the future.