What is amateur cities?

Amateur Cities is an online publishing platform on alternative ways of citymaking presented critically. It aims to connect city thinkers to city makers.

Amateur Cities publishes articles that collect, analyse and clarify contemporary urban and technological development interesting for learning cities anew – not as masters, but as amateurs. It provides a platform for a dialogue on urban collective intelligence by presenting side-by-side theoretical and practical voices. It stimulates cross-sector exchange by engaging experts from architecture, urbanism, art, science, information technology, media, sociology and philosophy.

The platform has been set up and developed by Cristina Ampatzidou and Ania Molenda with a generous support from Creative Industries Fund NL. In the near future Amateur Cities will also comprise of a yearly printed magazine, which will complement content published digitally.

 

Where does it come from?

Amateur Cities is inspired by two parallel processes currently occurring in urban environments: large-scale privatization of urban planning and (re)emergence of community based local engagement.

Recent societal changes have been so dynamic that urban planning ceases to keep up with the pace of the urban growth. Soaring development of commercial real estate disregards both the local context and the inhabitants instead focusing on maximizing profit with grand, fast and cheap plans to accommodate millions. Effectively urbanism becomes a practice that responds only to the market demand that actually does not respond to a real social demand.

On the other end, social and mobile media enable their users to map problems, propose solutions or express desires about their neighbourhoods, and empower them to come together in action to realise their needs. Effectively, communities ingeniously able to adapt to the changing conditions are able to create responses to specific problems. – We think that an extended use of such technology in city making will make urban planning more open, transparent and effectively push the practice a step forward.

 

Our goal

Amateur Cities will research, clarify and popularize new ways of city making related to technology and social participation. It will not simply document the new initiatives, but search for the bigger picture and a critical point of view. It will aim to give insight in how architects, designers and urban planners can make use of the impact of current societal dynamics and new technologies to redefine their role in city making. Amateur Cities will aim to hear and allow the collective intelligence to be heard in order to stimulate a new type of planning process that is open-ended and collaborative.

 

Working with Amateur Cities

Amateur Cities aims to create a network of affiliated people and organizations that share the passion for better understanding of contemporary urban environments. We’re always open to collaborations. Amateur Cities welcomes contributions, opinions from writers and practitioners. If you want to share your work or opinion with us please send an email to editorial@amateurcities.com. Before submitting article proposals please check our submission guidelines.

 

Advertising with Amateur Cities

Amateur Cities is open to advertisements on our website from parties with a similar focus. For information please email advertising@amateurcities.com.