Any analysis of today’s reality of European or Spanish cities and their current urban trends will entail placing them in a context of crisis that globally implies, among other structural issues to be taken into account: climate change –with unforeseeable characteristics and demanding modifications to be made to energy and consumption models- or the enormous concerns for the collapse of world economy and the crisis of financial systems and their direct or indirect impact on urban ways of life. This very complex moment forces us to be more conscious of our limits and announces the end of an era of apparent safety and the beginning of another that ranges between the unforeseen and the uncertain.
The current crisis is particularly serious in Spain due to the economic model of preceding years, strongly based on building construction and exploitation of resources, in particular the resource of land. In this context of required change it is necessary to try to focus on a fixed reference point or frame where the basic axis for urban interventions can be set. The current scenario is a complex one, there are few certainties and time and processes are key characters. However, this crisis, like any other crisis, is not only useful for correcting trends but mainly for detecting opportunities. A time of large changes and few certainties is probably when the greatest demand for creativity, innovation and prospecting for opportunities for the future should occur, as well as when time should be taken for thinking before acting, making the most of a moment of lesser economic acceleration. continue reading