German publication exploring urban issues through specific, changing themes; reflecting the urbanising world and the global imperative for change.
Like the urban environment, our perception and experience of the world around us is ever evolving. Seen through lenses, tunnels and snapshots, heard blaring in the streets or muffled through walls, felt and smelt and sometimes imagined, the urban context provides endless inspiration for examining the idea of the city and our relationship to it. We are surrounded by things which are immediately familiar and mundane, particularly as we rush by them, getting on with it, getting to work, going to see a friend or family; going, going, going.
The Cities+ platform encourages us to play with our urban environments - to pause to look again, to adopt different attitudes, to seek differences of opinion and to explore the idiosyncrasies and anachronisms of the 'global urban experience'. Through this play, we broaden our understanding of the urbanising world around us, and we share it here.
Cities+ is a bi-annual publication that explores urban issues through specific, changing themes. The themes are often abstract but immensely familiar at the same time; they reflect the urbanising world we live in, and the global imperative for change. Each edition brings innovative and surprising perspectives on urbanity from across the globe, presented as a delicious assortment of photos, essays, creative writings, poems and drawings - the media as varied as the cities they convey. Contributors to Cities+, and our audience, are those with an interest in exploring, changing or recording the urban environment and their interactions with it. The publication is increasingly broadening beyond a niche urban planning interest to include architects, musicians, students, artists, teachers, poets and those with a broader academic bent. If you want to explore something about your city, a city you've visited or a city you've imagined, we welcome your contribution and look forward to what you can share with us about your urban world. Or if you just want to escape for a few minutes, click on an issue and see where it takes you.
The Cities+ recipe calls for chunks of Colombia, a generous helping of Brazil, something from Austria to get things cooking, chips of Pakistan and a dusting of the United Kingdom and Australia. The editors (and co-founders!) have long since left their Mundus Urbano roots in Darmstadt and Barcelona, and gone truly global. We are all employed in a wide variety of roles (we have to put bread on the table) but in professions that contemplate the idea of the city.
David Kostenwein (born in Vienna, Austria) is an urban planner and is currently working for the Interamerican Development Banks Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative in Bogota, Colombia. There he works in medium sized cities in Colombia and the Caribbean on topics like housing, public space and mobility. Besides his job, David is involved in projects at the fringe of urban planning and arts, like in his favorite project, Streetsequencer (streetsequencer.tumblr.com), which translates urban attributes into music. David is co-founder, part of the editorial team and constant contributor of Cities+.
Lina Gast (born in Medellín, Colombia) is an anthropologist and architect currently based in Barcelona, where she works for UCLG, the Global Network of Cities, Local and Regional Governments, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and practices between local governments worldwide. Part of the Mundus Urbano Masters Programme Alumni, Lina blends, professionally and personally, unique artistic, social and management skills. As a co-founder of Cities+, she has been responsible for the design and layout of the magazine since its first issue.
Daniela Sanjinés (Bogotá, Colombia) is an architect and urban planner and is currently employed at Findeter, the Colombian development bank in the implementation of the sustainable cities initiative, a programme of the Interamerican Development Bank. Besides her experience working for the Colombian Ministry of Housing and for the city government of Bogota, Daniela worked for the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Programme of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the West Bank. She collaborates with art collectives in both Colombia and Palestine as she has an interest in inclusive participatory planning processes including art and education as alternative disciplines to tackle urban issues.
Sahar U Ahmad (Lahore, Pakistan) is an Art Educator and currently employed as Arts Program Manager by The Little Art, a non-profit that works with children and young people through various innovative arts education projects in Pakistan. She manages a visual arts program and Pakistan's largest International children's film festival. She has been an activist advocating for children and youth rights in Pakistan for over 10 years. Sahar has a special topophilic attachment to Lahore, it's labyrinth of history and cultural memory and thinks it's one of the most photogenic cities in the world. She is a welcome volunteer for Cities+ and designs the cover images for each issue.
Richard Shepherd (Sydney, Australia) is currently employed by Transport for NSW, the government agency responsible for the operation and development of the state's transport system. He works as a Senior Manager in Station Access Integration - ensuring new and upgraded interchanges are stitched into their urban environment through integrated development and the creation of good public space. He deplores the collapsing affordability of his hometown, but is excited to see Sydney continue to emerge on the global stage.
Shareen Elnaschie (London, UK) is a freelance architectural designer, planner and researcher. She has worked with various private and NGO organizations including TAO-Pilipinas, Azafady Madagascar, SCABAL and Publica. She specializes in undertaking original local research for spatial, historical and cultural profiling and analysis, creating detailed land use and character maps and establishing evidence-based design principles and strategies for change. She is co-founder of DRRlab: Design and Research for Resilience (www.drrlab.com)- an action based research and design collaborative. DRRlab is currently working on an in-depth study of a large resettlement and social housing project threatened with condemnation in Manila, Philippines.
Lia Brum (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) holds a degree in Journalism and International Relations. She is currently working for METROPOLIS, the World Association of the Mayor Metropolises, a leading international organization that gathers cities and metropolitan regions with more than one million inhabitants where she accompanies cities in mutual learning, governance, innovation, international presence and debate. Prior to her postgraduate studies Lia worked in biodiversity conservation and the facilitation of environmental finance networks. Lia is an active member of the editorial team and co-founder of Cities+.