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Communities need more than basic services. They need inspiration & hope too.




“Cities are often at the forefront of the delivery of cultural richness. In Mexico city, for example, there is a fantastic initiative which is called the ‘Fallon’, The Lighthouse, signifying hope; a stunning project designed by an architect called Callas. Next to it is an area of approximately a million people living under the poorest conditions, a lot of them using the nearby rubbish tip as a way of living, recycling whatever is there, living at the bottom. The Lighthouse is a cultural centre where kids learn how to paint and do art. Mexico City is a city of enormous violence; people don’t feel safe going out and whenever there is a crowd of people together the police try to break it up. So an outdoor music area is a no-go area. Outside the Lighthouse they have built a simple amphitheatre out of earth where they hold music concerts in the summer. This does more to lift the spirits of the community than any policy I ever saw the mayor or the politicians do. At the centre of this is the physical environment. By designing spaces you can make an enormous change.”

– Ricky Burdett