4th Webinar - Moving Forward/2021 Edition: Creative Cities

18/06/2021     V21 / Moving Forward / Webinar / Creative Cities

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The fourth webinar of the "Moving Forward/2021 Edition" series took place on the 19th of May, webinars held by Vissaium XII and Altice Labs, along the same line of this new edition "New paradigms for the future of cities" with focus on the "Creative Cities" theme.

Opening this webinar, Paulo Pereira, Director of Technology and Innovation Strategy at Altice Labs, highlighted that the absolute need for evolution towards a more sustainable existence and in full digital transition, today's cities are characterized by their multiculturality, multicommunity and absolute diversity. Creativity will be the differentiating characteristic of the degree of satisfaction of the cities' clients: their population.

João dos Santos, Director of Caldas da Rainha School of Arts and Design – Polytechnic of Leiria, and moderator of this session, started by presenting an interesting metaphor: the excursion of the imagination, a journey on a transparent planet Earth, would bring the feeling that we are all neighbours in a global culture. He also presented his vision of the characteristics of a Creative City: attractive, inclusive, equitable, open to the world. They are distinguished by collaboration, elasticity and multiple contours. They are cities of the imagination. They materialize a vision of the future, they create the conditions for the future, now.

Having launched the motto, it was the turn of André Costa, from the Aveiro City Council, to tell us about the City's initiatives in the area of the Aveiro STEAM City project, namely:

In education

- TechLabs project for basic and secondary education, promoting the taste for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), fostering collaboration and problem solving;
- Development of effective work linked to the educational curriculum of schools.

In the cultural support strategy

- Aveiro Criatech residences - collaborative idealization, with results from the 1st edition already being presented in events. The application for the 2nd edition is under way; 
- Aiming to explore in the future the connection of Aveiro Tech City Living Lab with the cultural world;
- MTF Labs - innovation prototyping in a perfectly collaborative environment around the music theme.

Next, Guilherme Gomes, Actor and Director - Performing Arts in the Context of Digital Transformation, spoke about how the Digital Transition may give the temptation to create things that are not contextualized in time and space and the impact that this may have on the interpretation of the contents when presented in very specific places. He highlighted Shows (physical, face-to-face) as an encounter and their high transformation relevance to empower the digital transition. He presented the concept of "transmedia" narrative as an opportunity to tell a story over several different media and highlighted the possibility of reaching new audiences in new geographies. Digital transition offers the possibility to invent future places. He concludes that Digital Transition in the performing arts will never be complete!

Concluding a round of interventions from all the speakers, Luís Ferreira, Cultural Programmer, spoke about the way in which the Cultural programme of the city of Ílhavo, the "23 milhas" (23 miles is the distance at which it is possible to see the lighthouse of Barra de Aveiro, at night) thinks culture in a comprehensive way, with 4 networked equipments working on thoughts and creation, in an attempt to create a more creative city and with that "encounter" that is difficult given the individualism of today's society. In this sense, he highlighted:

- Public spaces must promote encounter, which is also difficult because cities still have a long way to go;
- The importance of Culture, as a tool for empathy, inclusion and belonging, helping to define the idea of the collective;
- Intercultural diversity implies that need for encounter, stimulates curiosity and acceptance of difference and of the other;
- The unison City is a mistake, and we have shied away from thinking differently today;
- Tribal way of making culture has to be changed and it is necessary to use the tools of digital transition.

He also highlighted that art and culture awaken the taste for the unknown and for the new, being an instrument that contributes to innovation, accustoming people to break comfort and to deal with the transformation that hurts.

In this domain, contents should promote diversity, pluralism and sustainability.

A moment of debate followed, with João dos Santos challenging the speakers to reflect on the specialization of regions and its reflection on creativity. André Cester Costa argued that the need for cities to be inclusive, intelligent and green requires the integration of policies and a holistic vision of development, but that the most important aspect of the project is to find projects capable of realizing this vision. Luís Ferreira highlighted that people should not be seen as a burden, but should be involved in order to think about the problems and find solutions and projects that stimulate their sense of belonging to the territory. Guilherme Gomes said that "we can all share the same stages, but in different ways, and there is always an unrepeatable side that depends on how the experiences are lived".

Finally, Sérgio Lorga closed the session by thanking everyone for their presence and making a summary of the speakers' interventions.

The whole session can be reviewed here.

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