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    Rethinking La Rambla

    Some years ago, La Rambla, a much-loved thoroughfare in the centre of Barcelona, ceased to be an everyday space for citizens to become an iconic street of the global metropolis devoted to tourist monoculture. Now, the crisis caused by COVID-19 and the absence of tourists has left it in critical state. How can it be brought back to life, and how can one of Barcelona’s historic and symbolic streets be returned to its citizens? Rethinking La Rambla is the theme of the monographic issue Nº 43 of the “El món demà” (The World Tomorrow) series.

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    How post-pandemic architecture has always shaped our cities

    “The history of architecture is the history of infectious diseases”, says Beatriz Colomina, theorist of the relationship between architecture and public health, in a video for El Confidencial. The struggles against cholera epidemics that devastated cities around the world in the nineteenth century brought about sweeping changes in urban planning. Later, the tuberculosis pandemic paved the way for modern architecture, introducing elevated buildings with large windows and terraces to combat the disease. Now, COVID-19 is making us rethink homes, offices, schools, and public space in order to adapt them to the new conditions. Architecture and urbanism have once again taken centre stage in the struggle against a pandemic.

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    Balcony rights and wrongs

    During the pandemics, balconies have offered a platform for display, solidarity, communication and protest across a planet. They have become a symbol of a developing global and local togetherness, says visual artist and writer Will Jennings in the essay published in the journal Landscape. He reflects on the history of balconies, their essence between inside/outside, private/public, voyeur/viewed and their role through Covid and also raises the question about their future. After lockdown recedes, and noise and pollution return, will these balconies be vacated once more, or will they remain occupied as a critical component to urban life, community, and nature?

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    Homo Urbanus

    A vibrant ode to the public space that was denied to us by the pandemic: this is the effect of the exhibition “Homo Urbanus” with which Arc en rêve d’Architecture in Bordeaux, France has decided to reopen its installations after the confinement. The exhibition presents audiovisual material from ten cities around the world, and as widely differing as Rabat, Tokyo, Bogotá, St Petersburg, and Venice. Capturing moments, gathering impressions, listening to noises, the exhibition is an invitation to observe individual and collective behaviour, relational dynamics and social tensions, and the complex relationship between humans and the built-up environment, all of which are played out on the vast stage that we call public space.

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    Debate The Future of Cities: A View from the Global South

    Teresa Caldeira, an anthropologist and Professor of the University of California-Berkley is a reference in contemporary urban thinking. She has spoken with Judit Carrera, director of the CCCB about the challenges confronting cities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the peripheries of megalopolises in the Global South.

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    "Domi manere convenit felicibus": Notes on the Health Crisis and Public Space

    Public space tends to be valued as a democratic place par excellence. Now, confinement has made us idealise it as a space of freedom as well, in contrast with the home to which we have been restricted for so long. Xavier Monteys suggests that we need to rethink this overvaluation and speaks out in favour of stigmatised domestic space. Our home, inviolable and guardian of our privacy, he affirms, is our true space of freedom. Those who are happy at home should stay there , as the old saying advised.