What about Joy?

How movement and placing people first could save our relationship with our cities?

What is our current relationship to our cities? How has that relationship changed over time and has it changed for the better? A persons relationship to the city in which they live has to components which which I designated for my area of investigation, their static relationship and their moving relationship.The static relationship is simply a persons relationship to a specific place. Finding comfort in their home, perhaps a quiet retreat in a local park or even a space of inspiration in a gallery, all different yet for the human. However the prevailing way the static relationship has been viewed by those who plan the development of our cities is not for the human, but for the profit and to achieve that the focus becomes relenting density above all else.The moving relationship is how people travel through the city and with how significantly this has changed over the last 50 years, from primarily walking, trains and trams to cars travelling too and from satellite towns along motorways with no interaction. And within cities pavements feel like bolt-on extras to the roads, the cars routes go straight through whilst the pedestrian route feels purposefully inconvenient. How you travel is crucially important and can determine many things about your journey; how much you impact the environment, how long your journey will be and even to things such as your mood.My hypothesis is that in both the static and moving, our cities in their current setting are out of date and unsympathetic to those who occupy it and that with declining birthrates and the lasting impacts of a post covid world these components must evolve from there current state to ones with a human centric focus centring around open, publicly accessible and purposeful spaces which are well connected through green and human centric means.Within the theme of the year, ethics, the aim of the project is to utilise the new view of the above mentioned components to re-introduce joy back into the city by placing the human back at the centre of the discussion.This will be done by designing a new route through the city for people. Separate from the streets which have given way to cars, the proposed route will create a new plain where people can travel with the focus of their journey being them and the city. And to address the static, along the route there will be a series of buildings which, rather than focusing on density, will focus on activation of space and transition. Programatically, the buildings along the route will form a new education network, with a site specific educational building which connects to existing functions whilst promoting engagement between the users of the route, building and the city.