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The Inclusive Enclave: Cultivating Urban Togetherness In Public Interiors

12/13 Friday | 12pm

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join a discussion with Mathieu Berger and Benoît Moritz on a paper they co-authored entitled “The Inclusive Enclave: Cultivating Urban Togetherness In Public Interiors”.

The discussion will focus on the presentation of the socio-architectural concept of the “inclusive enclave”, recently developed on the basis of action research carried out in the interdisciplinary laboratory Metrolab Brussels. Berger and Moritz define the inclusive enclave as an urban space that is morphologically enclosed, but publicly accessible, hospitable to a diversity of users and attentive to the most vulnerable. This notion, which may seem paradoxical, is actually much needed for an urban planning that would be more sociologically realistic, more thoughtful with regard to the spatial and formal requirements of urban togetherness.

In Brussels as in other metropolitan areas, over the past 30 years, the urban policies that aimed at strengthening community living have focused on improving “public spaces”, understood as outdoor/open spaces (squares, streets, green spaces). According to Berger and Moritz, it seems, on the one hand, that excessive expectations have been placed on the capacities of outdoor/open spaces to frame public life and foster social interactions; and on the other hand, that “public interiors” have been underestimated in their role as social infrastructure, in their ability to host, protect and cultivate the encounter between diverse and unacquainted people.

Mathieu Berger is Professor of Sociology at UCLouvain & Metrolab, Brussels.

Benoît Moritz is Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at ULB & Metrolab, Brussels.

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