/5xa/ City like a playlist ♯1

by 5xa

Good city to live in is a place where the city anticipates needs and creates
opportunities for habitants to develop themselves. City where people can feel free and besides economical, energetic, ecologic or logistic factors takes care of creating human conditions to live. Awareness, that architecture is designed above all for the people seams to be forgotten. The human factor is taking under consideration even by economists because they indicates quality of life in the country by the level of happiness1 of citizens.
“Los Angeles, metropolis, city of vexed citizens” – lyrics and photo of The Narrow Path – Blu song.

Sometimes it is worth to look at everyday’s life so you can see that the cities do not look after today’s problems. Nowadays we receive and send back a lot amount of data and it seams like we just need large flow of information through our everyday life via applications, social networks or programs which are inherent part of our life’s. Big data era, in which we live is a strange name because the real world seams to be separate from virtual one which do not affects our closest real surroundings. We can observe clear divide on those two and I am almost positive that virtual is much more interesting for the most of us. Real world which is also city structure should be more alike virtual and should try to compete with it. City life must be more interactive, digital and make more interactions with habitants. It should be simple, intuitive and people should feel freedom which I think may be the biggest advantage of the internet. For example great idea which public libraries implemented in life last year was putting posters with books on the shelves all over the bust stops in the city center in Cracow. Each book have its own QR code which we could scan and after that download certain position on the phone or tablet. Those types of systems for the city should be simple and intuitive and as well introduced content should be a little higher in the intellectual scale than it is expected to be by the receiver. Putting bar little higher than normal is the only way to develop yourself and city authorities should remember this thinking about habitants.


City of the future featured in the Deus Ex 3 video game.

Digital stimulus and internet helps us to find content that we would like to receive and surround ourselves with. This is how should city work in my opinion. City structure should be much more diversified as it’s habitants are but public spaces shall be unified in terms of cultural, national and historical factors because in the any other case it will separate people from each other and will create division on citizens and foreigners or people from the city and from outside which does not make any sense these days. This way of thinking also do not favors feeling of being united or rise of the trust in the society. Public spaces should be a core, platform for action, initiatives of habitants. City should share space for work, having fun or for organizing its habitants and there should be simple rules which everybody could understand. Public spaces which attracts people have what we may call strong personality and in this case aesthetic or form is meaningless. Those places are hard to compare with any other and have its only one features. Diversity of personalities of those public spaces could be very interesting and probably possible to formulate and categorize like peronality types which distinguished Carl Jung, and after him pair of lady psychologists in MBTI2 tests. Those areas would probably have its opponents and followers but could nicely show features of certain places and peoples who would value those more than others according to their natural preferences. This scheme could get people to see how diversity is important in cooperation on any problems and how helpful different point of view on any case could be. And also how important is to develop ourselves in directions that are not natural for us. People could complement theirs and others life by helping them in this development. I think this division may make sense and I assume that if those places will be not so far away from each other people may choose space that they want to be in according to their mood. It’s quite the same like while listening to music, it’s often determined by our mood. Definitely in this division for places in order to personality should be places for introverts. Those areas would have probably great privacy, will be quiet and safe, basically great places to read a book or stop and wonder for a while. Those spaces will be I guess somehow locked and separate from typical noisy city structure. There’s also lack of public spaces for extraverts, it’s very important matter especially because of loneliness that is huge problem in the cities right now. We should think about spaces that gets involved with the people. Form of it should be interactive or work like a flash mobs or even open sport places for citizens.

Graphic named “Girl with a headphones”.

Psychology thanks to inter alia Daniel Kahneman is a huge part of economics now and I think that it should have bigger role in architecture. Thanks to Christopher Alexander and new field of research called environmental psychology changes will be made in the architects approach and I think this is direction which can enrich our analysis of architecture with important and sometimes crucial information.


1 The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is anindex of human well-being and environmental impact that was introduced by the New Economics
Foundation (NEF) in July 2006.

2 The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.