Planning the public space: where actually is public opinion in this?
Residential buildings, offices or shopping centers: residents and users should like what is in the public space. But who actually decides what is built? Do jury meetings really hit the nerve of public taste? Or should such decisions not be taken at all behind closed doors? How would it be if the future neighbors themselves could vote on what is built?
In the era of Facebook and Co everyone can comment on everything; it is therefore obvious that decisions about buildings in the public space also be taken democratically. Especially with major projects that swallow tax receipts people having in a certain sense helped finance the building project. Instead, the public is often only informed once the winning design has been decided.
What could democratization of architecture look like?
Social networks obviously lend themselves as a medium for expressing opinions and for decision-making. But in principle a classic discussion would also be possible, e.g. in the form of a public meeting. Ultimately it comes down to assessing competition entries, identifying points of criticism and finding solutions to resolve them right from the outset. Demonstrations against Stuttgart 21 or many another citizens’ initiative might possibly have been prevented in this way.
What happens if suddenly everyone joins the discussion?
There are different perspectives on whether this diversity of opinions is really a plus. Some fear that the will of the people would not necessarily select the best designs. Johann Füller, Professor of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, counters that “prefabricated-slab buildings (…) came into being without the cooperation of the masses.” And without doubt everyone knows of a building in their own town that was decided by a panel of judges and didn’t go down well with the townspeople. So who should decide what is built in the public space?
Now we want to know your opinion!
- Should a jury of experts continue to decide the designs because it is not possible to please everyone in any event?
- Or does the participation of as many people as possible enrich each decision-making process – especially in the case of a building in the public space?
Join the discussion! We look forward to your opinion.