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22 May 2015

"Rather than having closed boundaries, the city should be diluted a little"

Shared spaces with

[Catalan with English subtitles | 00:03:09]

The Catalan urban planner reflects on the role of public space in both the city and the metropolitan area – through the territory-city. His favourite public space is El peine de los vientos (Wind Comb) in San Sebastian, marking a point where the city meets the sea.

Shared Spaces recorded this conversation with Antonio Font in November 2012 when he visited the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) to take part in the conference at which Francesco Indovina gave a lecture titled “From Territorial Analysis to City Government”.

Font sees public space as “the element which connects and organises the different parts of the city”. Moreover, he highlights its role in guaranteeing “a certain public image of the city, a proper urban image and a proper urban landscape”. In contrast, he says, private initiatives tend to move in unpredictable directions.

Like Oriol Nel·lo, who has also been interviewed by Shared Spaces, Font talked about organising territories by way of a metropolitan-scale plan because territory-cities “will play a decisive role in the future”. Finally, he chooses the group of sculptures El peine de los vientos, by Eduardo Chillida and Luis Peña Gantxegi in San Sebastian as his favourite public space. It is a frontier space which brings the city into relationship with nature. “Rather than having closed boundaries, the city should be diluted a little.”

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