Fragile City

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As the most eminent expression of anthropocentrism are urban areas Rebecca Ballestra undertook together with the artist Rachela Abbate her Journey into Fragility to Sao Paolo, Brazil questioning how human consciousness could change reality. Cities are agglomerations of a multitude of physical and intellectual expressions in which socio-historical developments direct all spheres of human lives. The fact that more then half of the world population lives in cities with an increase in the next future, makes a city even more powerful and significant.The introduction of digital technologies is changing life, work, economies, thinking and perceiving as digitalization facilitates access to knowledge, information and communication. With the floating city map Rachela Abbate and Rebecca Ballestra are depicting the changes of perception: instead of the historical map - a clearcut organization of a city - the animated map shows the perception change by combining environmental, historical and architectonic data with critical thoughts about culture and economics as a continuous re-organization of different clusters. These changes influence significantly our time-space perception and management as well as our mind structure. Space and time are becoming permeable, porous, blurred; limits are not insurmountable anymore, but penetrable. And this new mindset of limits, space and time has a repercussion for any regulation: The whole city structure becomes… fragile. Like in a flow of consciousness new combinations of data and visions, of ideas and facts are possible. Combination of diverse activities and realms as well as the communication and information flow generates new alternatives in respond to social, economical and environmental emergencies. Being fragile means to be more sensitive of where changes have to be done and combine diverse political, economical and environmental strata of a city. Fragility leads to more sensitivity and resistance. There are no lines dividing the social justice from environmental issues, from political decision taking and regulation. Maybe we all need to use a fragility map to understand where our consciousness is heading for.