“Living together in our cities”
The theme that Rosario proposes to the IAEC for the XIV International Congress of Educating Cities 2016, is at the core of our beliefs, our values and our daily work: building fairer cities focusing on coexistence, solidarity and respect for diversity, emphasizing the value of equality of opportunities and social integration as the founding principles to this end.
The city is a complex space that harbours both spontaneous and planned or structured relationships. These relationships may be fluent or fragmented, and express the different dynamics that are the foundations of common and shared codes and display the coexistence of different, diverse and unequal times and identities.
These characteristics have led to the building of a global view of what happens in cities and, consequently, to the imposition of a model on a person’s day-to-day life, their life trajectories, traditions and conception of the world.
Thus, the complexity and diversity reached by society conceal, in many circumstances, the identities and expressions of each city, structuring territories towards their deeper parts which do not manage to hold a dialogue among them.
Therefore, the challenge is to emphasize the value of that heterogeneity that coexists, by fostering the construction of spaces for dialogue and encounters, promoting occasions for employment and education, cultural and personal development and any other contribution that makes it possible to turn the city into a more democratic space based on coexistence, diversity and equality.
So, we imagine citizens that have the tools to build an everyday life that creates a sense of belonging as well as of exchange, capable of enjoying a coexistence enhanced by diversity, of approaching differences in a harmonious manner with the goal of achieving more equalitarian societies.
To devise the city we build every day and yearn for, we propose to approach its diverse territories as spaces for encounter and dialogue that enable the promotion of agreements for living together and overcoming fragmentation.
This entails going beyond the geographic concept of territory, incorporating people’s life stories into their relationships, understanding that in these territories there are flows and exchange; a place where identities take roots and public policies are managed.