Alfonso Vegara and Josep Bohigas close Foros 2022 reaffirming the crucial role of cities in the transformation of modern life

Both speakers agreed that urban environments offer an excellent field of opportunity for architects in the context of socio-economic and environmental crises

On 26 April, UIC Barcelona’s Aula Magna hosted the closing session of the Foros 2022 series, organised by UIC Barcelona School of Architecture. Under the title “Evolutions of the metropolis”, this last session of the conference cycle was led by Alfonso Vegara, founder and president of the Metropoli Foundation, and Josep Bohigas, current director of the Barcelona Regional Strategic Planning Agency. Lecturers Jaime Batlle and Ignacio Arizu moderated the session.

Alfonso Vegara spoke first and presented some of the projects of the Metropoli Foundation, an international institution specialising in innovation and sustainable development in cities. “Never in the history of mankind have cities been subjected to a rate of change as fast as today,” he said. Based on his experience over more than 20 years, Vegara underlined the importance of connectivity and the ability to attract talent as two crucial components if a city is to have a successful transformation.

In the same vein, and using urban strategies being deployed in the region of Barcelona as a reference, Josep Bohigas claimed that cities should not be seen as a problem, but as the solution to the current crisis. “The challenge for cities is to improve the reuse, recycling, and regeneration of existing materials. We must reconquer cities by putting people at the centre,” he said.

This year, the Foros series was organised around the theme “The leap into the void”. This new series calls for increased self-awareness in architecture today in its different aspects and fields of application. As a new feature, at the beginning of February the series introduced a new format based on a two-way dialogue between industry professionals, who participate in sessions on topics linked to current architectural practice and the challenges facing the sector.

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