Mr Perez Reverte: I have read yesterday in his blog – of causality – the ironic article and descalificador for that we are employed at these topics, which you title “Urbanismo de Género y Génera”.
I write to him as arquitecta, as expert in kind and city and since socia founder of the Association The Woman Constructs, association in which I come working from 1995. And I write to him to illustrate it, since you – besides of asking for it clearly at the end of his text-, I believe that it confuses, with all respect, the yearling heifers with the merino ones.
It will see, the urbanism of kind or, rather, with perspective of kind it is a concept of the one that removes speaking in our country from 1995 at least. It began in Europe, when a series of professionals of the architecture and of the urban planning of different countries, met to elaborate a document that was explaining the ideas of the women on the urban question. This document supported by the European Community and by the program NOW, was called a “Letter of the Women and of the City” and sat a few bases, on the other hand logics, which today are still in force and which the town planners are taking nowadays in consideration and trying to put them into practice. Since you will know also, in the planning of the cities of last years they have come doing outrages of any nature, in favour of an urbanism speculative and removed from the desire of the citizenship. An urbanism to the service of the powerful ones and that finally has exploded as a bubble. This way it was of grown and of weakly.
Since you also will know, for his trips and the wide culture that one supposes him (though we state that not in certain matters), the women we have been silenced, ninguneadas and isolated from the public area in diverse parts of the world along the history. This is undeniable. Now we want to take part in the design of the cities, together with our companions, to create spaces and places that it are for all. This way we are trying it with our contributions.
To summarize, I will try, in several points, to explain to him what has to be a city designed with perspective of kind.
Inhabitable and designed to human scale. It seems to be obvious that these two concepts shape the first point, though in many cases the cities are not, on having prioritized the car, the executive or the tourist opposite to the citizenship in general or to the persons who use them in a daily way in the parks and the streets, the squares and other places of meeting, of purchase, educational, of culture, of health or of leisure. And they are the women those who have had a more near relation with the city, among other things, as the multiple distances that they realize, to the being cuidadoras traditionally of children and of major. His situation is favoured due to the intimate and practical relation that they support with day after day, for his vital experiences and elegant, deep-rooted habits of preservation of the life and other creative potentials of attachment to the reality that still they have not found way of expressing fullly in the area of the public thing, of the urban thing.
Igalitarian and diverse, including the different needs of the different groups that shape the citizenship. It is to say not only possessing those who go in car, if not with those who go afoot, in bicycle or in public transport; not only with those who live in socially higher neighborhoods, if not those who do it in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Having in it counts the emigrants, with his different customs, to the children and his special way of using the city, to the major ones and to the different groups of emergent families. Also to them without ceiling. To the merchants, pedestrians, assessors or demonstrators. To the women and to the men with his different tastes, trips for the city, dedications or works. Not only for the women, as he believes himself wrongly on having spoken about design with perspective of kind, but also for them. And with his active contribution, with his approval, since already it has been said.
Because the equality beside being a philosophical and juridical beginning, aspires to be a normal form of relation between the persons, a way of life and of social conviviality.
Participative. That is to say, implying to all the interested groups, in order that they work and decide about the matters related to the planning, the housing and the living conditions, on having joined also different multidisciplinary professions. Promoting a new and revitalized democratic capture of decisions, for the incorporation of the women and his contributions. The city like a common good for definition, belongs to any citizenship that can use her without exclusions. With the respect due, it yes, to other persons and to the environment.
Accessible. For the disabled persons, for whom the children have some handicap, for the babies who go in his carts and who lead them, more mayorcitos that walk with another spatial dimension. The major persons with his difficulties, the visitors who do not know the ways. An easily accessible city, without too many obstacles or inconveniences, easy to walk, favors to all the groups.
Sure. In order that all the groups, between which the women are the first victims of the violence, sit down without fear and calm, citizens of the first category.
Sustainable. Not only from the environmental point of view, if not from social and economic. In the cities, reducing the levels of environmental, sonorous and light pollution; stimulating measures to extend the alternative transport (bicycles, electrical vehicles, pedestrian) and to reduce the private one; propitiating the use of alternative energies in the buildings (based on solar plates, for example); planning multifunctional and flexible echo – neighborhood that promote the human meeting and shorten displacements And certainly, with the creation of green spaces, plantation of trees and vegetation that link the civil life with the natural way.
Place for the meeting. That the city forms a part of our collective conscience and that us it is necessary, not only to move from a site to other one, but to relate to the others and to us themselves in a free way. The public, at the time space, it is possible to consider to be a democratic and political space, which protagonist is this being (we) whom we are called a citizen.
Beautiful. Beside using, in the urban planning, economic, statistical, sociological or functional parameters, it is necessary to possess the emotions, the feelings, the poetry or the beauty, as essential food for the spirit.
Solidary. Where we can the citizens help some to others. To learn to know, to be accepting and to tending and “weaving” networks of approximation and of meeting. With worthy and accessible housings for all. The above mentioned is very important.
Flex. It is important to create neighborhoods that contain diverse functions and that it makes it improve and reduce the displacements. Nowadays in the Community of Madrid the average of journey time from the place of residence to the work is an hour and a half of going, and another hour and a half of return.
And finally the woman understands the design of the city as expression of a feeling love to the life. The love like an intelligent form of recognition, of respect and of acceptance of others and of one itself, as worry for the growth and development of that we love, it becomes necessary for the urban conviviality in the city. It is what has been given for calling “affective sustainability”.
I hope that by means of this text, that desire comes to his hands, or at least to his eyes, since his came to me, it makes him reflect on the article that yesterday he wrote. I seize the opportunity to wish him a happy day.
Cristina García-Rosales. architect
madrid. february 2012