Medellin, 9 April 2014: Renowned architect, urban planner and architectural pioneer, Leon Krier, has said that we should look at cities in the past to learn what works – and what does not – when planning cities for the future.
He made the comments during the second edition of the Urban Talks; a series of informal public presentations and discussions at the World Urban Forum 7, hosted in Medellin, Colombia this week.
In a casual, but lively debate with UN Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr Joan Clos, Krier said “City planning should be left to the planners and not to the architects and definitely not to constructors”. He stressed that allocating small architectural plots instead of large ones creates diversity in a city.
Considered to be the “Godfather” of the “New Urbanism” movement, Mr Krier has combined his practice with writing and teaching, serving as a professor at the Architectural Association and the Royal College of Arts in London, Princeton University, the University of Virginia and Yale University. Since 1987, Mr Krier has been H. R. H. the Prince of Wales’ advisor, and responsible for the master-planning and architectural coordination of Poundbury, the Duchy of Cornwall’s urban development in Dorset, U.K.
Other key events at the Forum during the day included special sessions on the Post-2015 Agenda and Development Goals and Urban Data for the New Urban Agenda as well as the first ever dialogue addressing legislative issues in urban development; Equity in Urban Development Law.
Colombian television actor and model, Taliana Vargas, brought a touch of glamour to the proceedings by appearing as an advocate of the I’m A City Changer Campaign for Colombia in the Special Session for the World Urban Campaign. The session presented The City We Need; a document that lays out the Campaign partners’ vision and groundwork needed to realize a new urban paradigm.
The panellists, representing urban private sector partners, Arcadis, ISOCARP, Slum Dwellers International, Huairou Commission, the Youth Advisory Board, Habitat for Humanity, Global Parliamentarians on Habitat, and UCLG, highlighted that the current model of urbanization produces segregation, unemployment, and crime, and stressed the importance of engaging constituents from the bottom up and collaborating with other networks through the World Urban Campaign in order to elaborate on this framework in the run up to the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in 2016.