The City That Complains Together…
‘We want to highlight that the city is yours,’ says Marianna Christofi of the evocatively named project City of Errors. The Athens-based initiative aims to give urbanites a voice in shaping their cities. ‘Instead of just complaining, we hope that people will be motivated to take action.’ Well, that sounds like a good plan. But just how does Christofi propose to give the city back to its people?
With the internet, of course. Based around a user-friendly website and an interactive smartphone app, City of Errors provides a platform for people to share the things they do to make their city better.
It allows people to upload video and pictures of a seen social ‘error’ along with — and here comes the important part — a proposal for its solution. To trigger the public’s complaining (and problem-solving) appetite, the platform has created a series of ten short documentaries, each focusing on an error of the city through the eyes of a person who actively fights to correct it. These faults include ‘Loss of Humor’, ‘Rudeness’ and ‘Disregard for Art’.
While these titles may sound lighthearted, the project’s driving force is serious and urgent. We all know that cities are being rapidly overpopulated and have come to face immense challenges. And yet still, unsustainable growth, social crises and massive commercial exploitation remain unchallenged not only by authorities, but also by citizens themselves.
Ultimately, the main goal of City of Errors is to fight this by facilitating a social network through which citizens, cities and innovators can exchange ideas, examples and lessons of sustainable urban living.
Despite some resistance from those who either question the benefit of highlighting problems, or the project’s online medium, City of Errors is currently being piloted in Athens. Try it out for yourself and download their app on iTunes.