“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 London as part of UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility and within LSE’s public lecture series.
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.