Confronting the certainty of uncertain times, urban spaces constantly change, challenging conventional paradigms, leading to re-assess our relations with our environment. Facing an ever-growing social complexity, empirical evidence shows that vulnerabilities are framed within a political system promoting adaptation to disasters generated by the system itself, and by doing so, distorting the value of urban resilience. Opposing such dominant systems, ephemeral and transitional phases of urban spaces celebrate the legitimacy of engagement and creativity. Their fragility reflects our vulnerability but is in no way a sign of weakness. They are the matrix of new forms of human behaviors building on the sense of care and alterity.
As a metaphoric illustration of ephemerality, “Hanging by a thread” questions the opposition of value between what will last and what will disappear in time. Some will consider that ephemerality underlines our powerlessness. But paradoxically, it may raise the recognition of a time inconsistency by revealing our society crisis and changes, stimulating further commitments to reconsider what needs to be reconsidered.
“Only the ephemeral is of lasting value.” Eugène Ionesco, playwright, 1909-1994
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