The American sociologist Richard Sennett inaugurated on Wednesday the 2019 Kosmopolis literary festival of the CCCB with a speech in which he warned that "global capitalism is building the same city throughout the world."
"When a plane goes down, you do not know where you are because the physical forms of cities are standardized," the sociologist lamented, who has expressed concern that this formal homogenization of the construction will end up standardizing the inhabitants of the cities and their lives.
However, the speaker has acknowledged that you can not go back to the past, but has claimed that you must find some way to "break this hegemonic power that is eliminating the particularities of the cities."
Sennett presented his book "Build and inhabit, Ethics for the City" on Wednesday, an essay in which he rethinks the urbanism of the cities of the future and asks about one of the ethical problems of the current metropolis: the debate on whether urbanism It must represent society as it is or try to change it.
In these ideas, planners and architects play an essential role, who, according to the sociologist, should "create open, interactive and synergistic cities that promote the tolerance of differences and equality".
Regarding the problems of the big world capitals, such as mass tourism and gentrification, Sennett has assured that there are tools to combat them, but he has rejected design as a solution, simply calling it "an instrument to resist" for a while. the domination.
Asked about the ideal city, the North American has admitted that, in his opinion, "the best urbanism is one that does not force people to converse, but that allows them to feel the physical presence of others while each one lives his life".
In addition, Sennett has said that urban planners should not strive to solve the problems of social inequality in cities with their jobs, because "what matters to the lower layers of society is not where to live, but how to survive."
Richard Sennett (Chicago, 1943) is an American sociologist attached to the philosophical movement of pragmatism, which seeks to unite thought to the concrete practices of the arts and sciences, political economy and religion, in a search for philosophical problems anchored in everyday life
He is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the London School of Economics, Associate Professor of Sociology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Professor of Humanities at the University of New York, as well as being a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. , of the Royal Society of Literature of Great Britain and founding director of the New York Institute for the Humanities.
For its part, Kosmopolis, "the festival of amplified literature", is a biennial literary meeting held at the Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) since 2002 and has a program in which dialogue, exhibitions and projections, among other activities.