Cities have to be a moveable feast – a bounty that supports life and happiness but is flexible enough to change to the needs of human beings. Cities have to be able to implement fast urban change with local people to improve quality of life for all.
As a result of 2020, next year and for years to come, quality of life will increasingly be the battle ground on which cities compete for visitors, residents, businesses, investment and success, as we search for environments that support our health and allow our families to flourish. This means cities will have to evolve quickly, to refocus on shaping themselves as primarily places where people flourish – shaping themselves as extraordinary human habitats.
Some cities like Vienna have a head start on this reimagining, so we wanted to speak with Maria Vassilakou (Vice Mayor 2010-2019), about implementing fast urban change with local people to improve quality of life, and how other cities might get up to speed.
Maria also served as Executive Councillor for Urban Planning, Traffic & Transport, Climate Protection, Energy Planning and Public Participation where she oversaw highly ambitious programmes that reimagined the city and sustained it as one of the leading cities in Europe today in terms of quality of life.
Since leaving office she has founded Vienna Solutions where she applies these lessons around the world.
IdeasSPACE is a collaboration between the Urban Design Group, UrbanNous and Christopher Martin of Urban Movement.