Val­letta 2018 Con­fer­ence opens

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Val­letta 2018’s con­fer­ence ‘Cities as Com­mu­nity Spaces’, which ex­plores the power of com­mu­nity spaces in trans­form­ing cities and the ev­ery­day lives of their res­i­dents, was opened at the King’s Own Band Club by Val­letta 2018 Chair­man Ja­son Mi­callef, to­gether with the Head of Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Malta Elena Grech.

Val­letta 2018 Cha­ri­man Ja­son Mi­callef said: “The build­ing of func­tional, in­clu­sive and pro­duc­tive cities is one of the great­est chal­lenges fac­ing modern man to­day. Safe and well-func­tion­ing public spaces are a vi­tal in­gre­di­ent of suc­cess­ful cities. They help build a sense of com­mu­nity, civic iden­tity and cul­ture.”

Mr Mi­callef added, “It is of paramount im­por­tance that we start to se­ri­ously con­sider what kind of ar­chi­tec­ture will best serve the com­mu­nity. Ev­ery city should be­come an ad­di­tional liv­ing room. Healthy cities need peo­ple.”

Head of Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Malta Elena Grech said “In the very last year be­fore Val­letta be­comes the Euro­pean Cap­i­tal of Cul­ture, all eyes in Europe and be­yond will be on Malta as it hosts the Pres­i­dency of the Euro­pean Union.”

This is a very ex­cit­ing time as the Val­letta 2018 pro­gramme in­ten­si­fies, call­ing for ev­ery­one to par­tic­i­pate.

This con­fer­ence brings to­gether ex­perts hail­ing from a va­ri­ety of fields such as ur­ban­ism, art, dig­i­tal me­dia, com­mu­nity work and crit­i­cal the­ory to dis­cuss the evolv­ing role of public space and the ways in which dif­fer­ent com­mu­nity groups make use of their ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment for cre­ative, po­lit­i­cal and com­mu­nal ex­pres­sion.

The con­fer­ence has dif­fer­ent par­al­lel ses­sions which fo­cus on a va­ri­ety of top­ics in­clud­ing com­mu­nity re­gen­er­a­tion, the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween phys­i­cal and vir­tual space, the use of public space for protest and con­tes­ta­tion, and the use of space for cre­ative ex­pres­sion.

The ses­sions will be held at var­i­ous com­mu­nity spaces around Val­letta, in­clud­ing the King’s Own Band Club, Splen­did in Strait Street, San Ġorġ Preca Col­lege Val­letta Pri­mary School, Spazju Kreat­tiv at St James Cav­a­lier and the Crypt of the Church of St Au­gus­tine.

Con­fer­ence key­note speak­ers in­clude au­thor, edi­tor and ur­ban flâneur Shawn Mi­callef, ur­ban­ist and co-founder of the Ur­ban In­sti­tute (Riga) Jonas Būchel, artist Ta­nia El Khoury, Open Works Lab co-founders Gi­u­liana Fenech and Renzo Spi­teri, Yes We Camp co­founder Ni­co­las Détrie, ur­ban­ist Chris­tian Dim­mer and po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural so­ci­ol­o­gist Paolo Ger­baudo.

The con­fer­ence will be run­ning till the 25th Novem­ber.

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