Six Quotes on Regenerating Cities to Tackle the Climate Crisis from reSITE 2019

As we forward from REGENERATE, some quotes, thought and ideas hang in our minds. When we think about regenerating our cities - making the old new again utilizing repurposed space with rejuvenated programs, a crucial question was how to incorporate climate action into city-making.

We already explored Eight Quotes Still Stuck in Our Minds from reSITE 2019, but here are a few more - all dealing with what is on all of our minds - climate change.

Studip Precht founder Chris Precht giving at lecture at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
Studip Precht founder Chris Precht giving at lecture at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
We care about fictional stories. Our planet doesn’t. 
Chris Precht, Studio Precht

Studio Precht founder, Chris Precht considers himself part of a generation of architects who recognize the objective reality beyond our fictional stories. Utilizing natural materials with a low carbon footprint, his spaces are designed to bring back nature, and agriculture into the city, reconnecting us with the very sources that sustain life. His work acknowledges the importance of not just our own health and well-being, but our environment as well.

Helsiniki's Deputy Mayor for the Urban Environment, Anni Sinnemäki, speaking at reSITE 2019 | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
Helsiniki's Deputy Mayor for the Urban Environment, Anni Sinnemäki, speaking at reSITE 2019 | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
We are destroying the things we love by the things we love.
Anni Sinnemäki, Helsinki’s Deputy Mayor of the Urban Environment

Anni Sinnemäki is the Helsinki’s deputy mayor of the urban environment and she has set her sight on making the Finnish capital carbon neutral by 2035. Our dependency on fossil fuels is doing just that - destroying the things we love. She acknowledges the ambition in their goal - and that climate action demands change from the way we do things, and at an accelerated speed.

She acknowledged systematic planning as being both a Finnish strength and weakness. Ultimately, nothing in society is ever resolved exclusively in government cabinets, it is also people on the streets demanding the change. We need everyone at the table. How’s that for taking notes from one of the happiest countries on earth?

Stanislav Chvála, CEO of Nano Energies speaking at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
Stanislav Chvála, CEO of Nano Energies speaking at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
I can’t imagine that we could regenerate cities without considering energy. 
Stanislav Chvála, Nano Energies 

When we think about regeneration, words like sustainability should become the norm. We dove into how we can achieve green energy as being the norm with the CEO of Nano Energies, Stanislav Chvála. He stated that we cannot continue to build and rebuild without considering the environmental costs and impacts, as well as energy conservation. He argues that no one knows just how much of a footprint we are creating, but that technology is key. We can use technology to find the answers and to understand how we can work alongside nature for a long-term, positive change.

Architecture critic and founder of McMansion Hell, Kate Wagner speaking at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
Architecture critic and founder of McMansion Hell, Kate Wagner speaking at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
The idea of urban sprawl manifested in a single house.
Kate Wagner, McMansion Hell

Founder of the architectural criticism blog McMansion hell, Kate Wagner, makes such criticism palpable to the non-architecture community through humor, revealing the trap these structures create way beyond passed their hideousness. While there are several arguments as to why the McMansion phenomenon that has its grips on suburban America is unfavorable, perhaps the biggest dangers they hold are in terms of climate change.

These structures often found in mono-zoned developments not only amass a lot of resources to build but also have an astronomically large footprint with the number of energy resources it takes to maintain them per person that lives in them. As these structures age, it is a question of what will become of them - and how they can be regenerated.

Beatrice Leanza, Co-founder of B/Side Design and Executive Director of the MAAT Museum speaking at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
Beatrice Leanza, Co-founder of B/Side Design and Executive Director of the MAAT Museum speaking at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
We can’t keep urbanizing at the expense of the environment.
Beatrice Leanza, MAAT Museum

The newly appointed executive director of Lisbon’s MAAT Museum brought her inspiration from her professional background largely spent in China to the reSITE stage. She posed questions that the Asian province struggled with - how do you design for 1.4 billion people in terms of a country that faces a lack of spaces for the younger generation while not urbanizing more at the expense of the environment?

2019 MacArthur Fellow and co-founder of the Sweetwater Foundation, Emmanual Pratt speaking at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
2019 MacArthur Fellow and co-founder of the Sweetwater Foundation, Emmanual Pratt speaking at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE | Photo courtesy of Tomáš Princ
Architecture should have an emotional connection to nature.
Yosuke Hayano, MAD Architects

The relationship of architecture and nature has been a theme in city building over recent years, however, that only seems to reflect it as essential to terms of regenerating. MAD Architect’s principal architect, Yosuke Hayano makes the case of creating architecture that creates an emotional connection to nature - and for people to have an emotional connection to that architecture.

We all have the power to REGENERATE...

Our trailblazing reSITE speakers, whose ideas, thoughts and questions left us to revitalize our own and reminded us of the fluidity regeneration holds. We all have the power to REGENERATE the way we engage our communities, utilize technology, and creatively innovate to redefine the spaces we live in for generations to come.

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