Second and third days

Tuesday October 18

I had made a mistake thinking tnat Richard Sennett was talking  at the “Resistencia Habitat” at UCE today, Tuesday,  which I paid dearly with time that went by….

On the other hand, I was realizing that a tiny break would help, so I went to a cafe to relax and get some work done. Returning to Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, in the early afternoon was easier, because pf shorter waiting lines.


Upon my return,  I thought I might try the Mediterranean Cities, Union for the Mediterranean (UfMS), sponsored by the Agence Francaise De Development (AFD) the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) I read that the UfM is an intergovernmental organization bringing together 43 countries. In the session Egypt, Yemen and several other countries had a strong presence in the panel and the audience (Greece wasn’t there).

Wednesday October 19

No luck with Richard Sennett.This time we arrived only to find out that the event was cancelled!

Back to Cas de la Cultura Ecuatoriana to try to catch up with some of the main events: I thought that it would be a good idea to attend events on the fly. So I tried the Side Event “Crisis in cities or Cities in crises” for reasons that I thought would make sense, regarding the part of the world I come from, where “crisis” has become a household term. . But in vain… it was to me at least, a rather detached series of panel presentations. “Crisis in cities or Cities in crises” held at the UN Pavilion (13:00-14:30) was organized by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) with the Educational Concerns For Hunger Organization(ECHD), the Internationl Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), the Global Alliance for Urban Crises and UK BEAG.

Obviously the meaning to the word crisis was multi-faceted in a global context, not always relevant to one’s own experiences.  The person that caught my attention among panelists was the Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, regarding participation said that you first reach out at Universities. Look at the needs of the elderly. Deal witn issues of gentrification.

I didn’t leave getting the sense that this was a meeting out of which something significant might come out.

Finally, I had a  stop from the Seoul Side Event.  I wanted to get a sense of “the other side” of the discourse, that of Smart Cities. I attended only part of the discussion, so I missed the framework. But it did sound like the discussion was around indexes covering the population’s housing needs, topped with data being generated with or for the “smart city” concept. So I must admit that I was feeling somewhat out of it for most of the time. I decided to endure and to stay throughout the discussion at the end. After a few specific questions,  someone pointed out the use of these self-serving technologies, if in the end reality recedes to the background, in a condition of a multitude of persons in isolation, who while being in public, they function in complete addiction to their devices for every single minute of their day…


Time to go out, and enjoy some fresh air, and daylight I thought to myself!…

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