Children and the City

2nd Architecture & Behaviour Colloquium
October 10-12, 1994, Monte Verità, Ascona

Children and the City was the theme of the 2nd Architecture & Behaviour Colloquium held at Monte Verità.  Many Colloquium participants felt the genius loci of the hill and undoubtedly the place contributed to the Colloquium’s successful atmosphere.  Being away from an urban centre gave us an ideal distance for reflecting on cities.  There was a strong feeling that dramatic changes in cities could come about if children were given their due priority as structuring actors in urban life.  The Colloquium had also a direct connection with the city through the opening on the first evening of an exhibit in Locarno.  Children living in a recently built neighbourhood had been working on a small-scale model of this part of Locarno to express their wishes for improvements.  The work was done by pupils of 8 to 10 years of age from two classes of the local school under the guidance of Adolfo Tomasini.  This work was inspired by a similar school-children’s project supervised by Liisa Horelli in Kitee, a small town in Finland.  The Locarno exhibit showed both the Swiss and the Finnish scale models and other material from the children’s work.  In Finland the involvement of children has already had a practical impact on city planning.  An international project involving children as urban planners will move on to other European countries and hopefully inspire children all over.  The exhibit aroused considerable local public interest so unexpectedly the Colloquium received attention from the Locarno newspapers, radio and television.

Architecture & Behaviour, issue 4, Volume 10, 1994, as well as issue 1, Volume 11, 1995, were published after the Colloquium and contain the papers that were discussed.  The issues were edited by Kaj Noschis (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne).  They have also been republished together in a single volume with the title Children and the City by Comportements.

Participants: Michel Bassand (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne), Pia Björklid (Stockholm Institute of Education), Lydia Bonanomi (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne),
Louise Chawla (Kentucky State University), Annie Coulomb (Ville de Caen, France), Sanford Gaster, (The University of Utah), Dimitri Germanos (Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki), Vittoria Giuliani, Vittoria (Istituto di Psicologia, C.N.R., Roma), Liisa Horelli (Helsinki Institute of Technology), Selim Iltus (City University of New York), Birgit Krantz (University of Lund), Terence Lee (University of St. Andrews, Scotland), Gary T. Moore (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Maria Nordström, (University of Uppsala), Norman Pressman (University of Waterloo, Canada), Bodil Rasmusson, (University of Lund), Ann Skantze (Stockholm University), Kyriaki Tsoukala (Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki), Hanne Wilhjelm (Ministry of Environment, Norway), Wolfgang Zaumseil (Stuttgart, Germany)