event photo

The Quito Papers: towards the open city (Beijing)

Film screening and panel discussion

Film screening and discussion hosted by Theatrum Mundi

“The Quito Papers” is a research collaboration between Theatrum Mundi, NYU and UN-Habitat, developed in the run-up to the United Nations Habitat III conference held in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. With funding from the Kaifeng Foundation, Theatrum Mundi – based at LSE Cities and New York University – presented “The Quito Papers: towards the open city” film, directed by Dom Bagnato and Cassim Shepard, with the collaboration of filmmakers in Beijing, Karachi, Lagos, London, New York, Quito, São Paulo and Mexico City.

The film was presented in Beijing, on February 25, 2016 with the support of the Kaifeng Foundation.

In 1933, Le Corbusier and other members of the architectural modernist group CIAM, contemplated the problems facing cities before World War II. The result was a document called the Charter of Athens which proposed a radical restructuring of the city based on rationalist principles. Since then, the Charter has influenced urban development in cities across the world. Heavily critiqued for its inflexible and rigid planning doctrines, the “Quito Papers” has revisited what a present day manifesto for cities would be. Its ethos is to explore the qualities of public space and urban life, arguing for a more open, pliable and incremental approach to city-making, avoiding the prescriptive pitfalls of the original. The short film was conceived to interpret and communicate the papers’ to a wider audience of citizens and city-makers.


  • Shi Nan

    Shi Nan

    Shi Nan is Vice President of International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP), Vice President and Secretary General of the Urban Planning Society of China, and Executive Chief Editor of City Planning Review.

  • Saskia Sassen

    Saskia Sassen

    Saskia Sassen is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and co-chairs its Committee on Global Thought. Her research and writing focuses on, immigration, global cities, the new networked technologies, and changes within the liberal state that result from current transnational conditions. Her most recent book is Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press 2014). She has received multiple honours, most recently the 2013 Principe de Asturias Prize for the Social Sciences.

  • Richard Sennett

    Richard Sennett

    Richard Sennett writes about cities and about labour. He is Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Visiting Professor of Architecture at Cambridge University.  He is currently completing a trilogy of books about craftsmanship, the third volume of which, Making and Dwelling, is about the craft of urban design.  At LSE Cities, with Saskia Sassen and Richard Burdett, he is advising UN Habitat about the Habitat III the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development.

  • Zhang Yonghe

    Zhang Yonghe

    Zhang Yonghe is an architect, Professor of Tongji University and Peking University and Former Head of the Department of Architectural Design at MIT.