Cities are diverse and complex continuums in whose planning and growth different actors interact. Architects are one of them, having a defining role in imagining the spaces and buildings that make our cities physically. In that regard, Martha Thorne — Dean of Madrid-based IE School of Architecture and Design and Advisor to the world-renowned Pritzker Architecture Prize — points out sustainability as a key and absolutely necessary element for current architecture to contribute to greener and decarbonized urban fabrics. «Global warming will not be remediated in any sense of the word unless architecture is sustainable», she argues.
However, sustainability is multidimensional. It is essential that present and future architecture meets optimal environmental criteria, but also that it takes into account its links with the space in which it occurs, that it culturally and socially enhances the urban fabric and, ultimately, improves the life of the community who will use it. The Pritzker Architecture Prize — of which Martha Thorne was Executive Director until March 2021 — has been considering this trend for years, with laureates such as Glenn Murcutt (2002), Shigeru Ban (2014), Frei Otto (2015), or Alejandro Aravena (2016) having been rewarded by their social impact and their orientation towards community sustainability. «I’m hopeful that in the future, the discussion about what is sustainable and how it can be extended will be even more relevant», Martha Thorne adds.
Focusing on the future of public space and how architecture can help build better, more inclusive and human-friendlier ones, Martha Thorne is clear: hybridization is the word. «Public space needs to be able to enable many types of behaviors and embrace many types of public. We can’t have just a playground for children, an area for resting, another area for other activities — we have to see public space as a space for multiple and compatible activities that change throughout the course of the day, as a space that enables the idea of community», she points out. «Having open spaces within the city can certainly make it much more humane, and hopefully people will be happier», Thorne concludes.
Interview, text and edition by Sergio García i Rodríguez,
Communications Manager at Anteverti & CitiesToBe Executive Editor
Video by Eloy Calvo
💭🏗️ The future of #PublicSpace is hybrid, enabling many types of behaviors, public and activities in a same place. Learn more on #architecture and the future of cities with @Martha_Thorne, Advisor to the @PritzkerPrize | via #CitiesToBe & @Anteverti Clic para tuitear
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