• Avant Urbanism

    • While thousands of us come together in cities to be “alone”, an activist is proposing we socialise with strangers that pass us by.

    Urban Spontaneity: the benefits of talking to strangers in the city / 

    The term ‘Urban Spontaneity’, within new city trends, refers to the importance of committing to actions that are “captivating and unpredictable” to activate people’s safety, their sociability, joy and social cohesion. For some activists like Kio Stark, the author of Don’t Go Back to School, the element of surprise is essential to reinvent the way in which we perceive our cities.

    It’s important to keep our connection with a sense of freedom and expression in public spaces. And when we do, then we are able to appropriate, in the fullest sense, those spaces. Curiously enough, art has always been linked, intrinsically, to the practice of “urban spontaneity”: street theatre, happenings, performances, spontaneous dancing, etc. However, everyday life requires “cultural injections” that will result in an uninhibited population that wants to coexist, thus building open, tight and dynamic societies.

    After over a hundred interviews, Stark discovered that the greatest learning experience that people express having during their university education is linked to socialising skills, developed because of all the coexistence that occurs in college —or related to the “bonds” that resulted during this coexistence.

    Taking all the necessary precautions, since we should not necessarily trust every single person that crosses our path, performing acts of spontaneous socialisation can help us have more confidence, empathy for others, develop our inspiration, increase our joy, generate relations and help us get to know ourselves. 

    Tagged: urbanism, avant urbanism, cities, empathy