This understands the exercise of sustainability and sustainable design from the “reconstruction of human relationships at all levels of the socius.” (P. 45 Guattari) In this sense, this involves not only encouraging and enabling social relationships and interactions in living spaces (public or private) of any scale but above all, improving the degree of coexistence between groups of people with different income, gender, cultures, ages and professions through designs, actions and policies that promote integration, equitable redistribution of urban benefits and resources, social justice, solidarity, equality, inclusion, resilience, acceptance of the dispute or difference as a positive value, access to housing, consolidation and creation of equipment and public facilities, etc. Following this approach, the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen summarizes social sustainability in 6 dimensions: equity, diversity, social cohesion, quality of life, democracy and governance, maturity.
In short, this sustainability emphasizes the importance of fostering relationships between individuals and cohesion among these. So, to give a clearer example, is not just a matter of creating public space per se but also to design the necessary devices to allow society to “participate” in its management or “decide” their use and destiny. Likewise, this understanding of reality requests that these spaces are inclusive, enabling difference and diversity in the way of enjoying them. But this is not only unique of public space, also private; in the same way, infrastructures and transportation means should encourage social interactions and all these associated values: a tram route can integrate in its path neighborhoods of people from different income, age, culture, etc. So this idea of sustainability should not be limited only to public space because the living spaces are as numerous and diverse as the people themselves.
In conclusion, this reading of a socially sustainable development is twofold: firstly involves fostering INTERACTION and secondly, ensuring COHESION. Thus, this sustainability promotes a society that behaves collectively and cohesively, facing individuality and segregation typical of less sustainable models of urban development -such as the Anglo-Saxon, which promotes the “dispersed” consumption as its “capitalist therapy against the collective loneliness” it constructs.
This understanding of sustainability shares with the cultural those considerations concerning diversity and freedom of expression. However, it is important to clarify that in this case these issues would not be affected by conditions of identity and creative subjectivity but rather by the human condition itself and our need to relate, and to do so in a context of relatively stable coexistence.
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