• Avant Urbanism

    • “Emotional Cityness” accentuates the need to generate more empathetic and humane encounters within a city’s everyday life.

    Emotional cities: personalising the interaction with others / 

    For Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and Emanuele Castano, a psychologist, creators of the People Make Parks project, it is imperative to promote an empathic and more personal treatment within cities. By definition, empathy is an individual’s mental and affective identification with another. This makes this type of encounter much deeper, and it implies more affective interactions than that of simple tolerance or respect.

    Zac and Castano explore the role played by empathy and compassion in urban life. From their trench they try to encourage citizens to participate in the design, location and creation of parks, since they are convinced of the need to have more profound social encounters —parks, for example, are the perfect stage for this to happen.

    Through their website, people can participate in the creation of parks. Which goes beyond merely triggering green forms of social coexistence, instead it also answers to a more precise objective: promoting “Emotional Cityness”, from an empathic point of view. To Zak and Castano, empathy is essential to a city’s healthy social dynamic.

    The frivolity or coldness with which we treat others in our city, because of everyday hurries or distrust, makes us lose sight of that which people can be experiencing as the emotional beings we naturally are. Far from being psychologists during every encounter, this means considering people we interact with as a priority. And beyond practicing education or tolerance, they propose an activity born from genuine interest, which despite its possibly ephemeral nature, turns out to be incredibly valuable to liven and honour every individual within contemporary coexistence. 

    Tagged: avant urbanism, urbanism, cities, large metropolis, emotional cities