World of Cities
by Debra Moffitt
Staking its reputation around an ethical debate, Venice, Italy's 10th Biennale Architecture Show presents the successes and challenges of 16 of the world's cities and asks: "can architects make a difference?" The "Cities, Architecture, and Society" exhibit curated by David Burdett, architect and professor at the London School of Economics, stops short of providing solutions, but states, "how we shape cities will determine the future of our planet."
"The biennale celebrates cities," Burdett said in his introduction to the event, and its overall message counters a common doomsday attitude. But it broaches serious questions about transportation, pollution, economic development, social justice, and integration of ethnic populations. The biennale emphasizes the unique problems of these cities, from Shanghai to São Paolo, through video, 3D models of density, and charts.
Can cities change the future? The main exhibit in the Corderie dell'Arsenale, Venice's ancient shipyard building, presents a barrage of statistics on each of the 16 cities in search of an answer. China, Venezuela, Egypt, and 45 other countries provide some of their architectural responses in the pavilions located in the Giardini, Venice's public gardens.
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São Paulo was one of the cities highlighted at the Venice Biennale.
Photo: Luiz Arthur Leirão Vieira (Tuca Vieira)
The Corderie dell'Arsenale in Venice hosted an exhibition of 16 great cities at the 10th International Architecture Exhibition.
Photo: Courtesy Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia (Asac)
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