I had a bad summer, and so did you. Long was the litany of bad news from Nice to Istanbul to Dallas and Milwaukee. Between spectacular attacks on people in the public realm and the everyday violence inflicted on those “driving while black” or at the beach in burkinis, public life feels fragile. And hot were the months of August and July. They tied for the hottest month in recorded history, and temperatures will continue to rise into the fall, winter, spring, and beyond. Stateside, the presidential election brought a season of discord and intolerance, where the only infrastructure on the national agenda was a wall.
One night last week, a group of activists projected images of immigrant workers onto a wall opposite Trump Tower. The figures held signs reading: “Sin manos no hay obra.” There is no project without people. It was a rebuke, and also a powerful reminder that our urban society is a collective work, a joint project in which we are all engaged. So many people are working so hard to make a city that is just, verdant, and beautiful. As Urban Omnibus’s new Editor-in-Chief, and along with our new Assistant Editor Olivia Schwob, I am so honored to be working with you.
Writing from New York City, we are grateful to live in a cosmopolitan metropolis where strangers coexist and are free to do their thing. We are also more aware than ever that the city is a boat, on rising waters, that we are all in together. In the months ahead, our job is to delve into new practices, question conventional wisdom, and make room for different perspectives on our shared environment. In that spirit, tell us what you think, and what you want to see.
Today, we are launching our first-ever video competition. Fittingly, it is an exercise in “radical empathy.” You’ll be hearing a lot from us. And we can’t wait to hear from you.
– Mariana Mogilevich
The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.