News & events > Shaping European Cities debate and Young Talent Architecture Award
28 Oct 2016

Shaping European Cities debate and Young Talent Architecture Award


As a collateral event of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, the European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe present a debate on “Shaping European Cities. Urban confrontation, democracy and identity” and the Young Talent Architecture Award (YTAA) ceremony.

Shaping European Cities

The European Union strongly believes that architecture is one of the most powerful and at the same time one of the subtlest ways of building communities and integrating people in society.

In line with the topic of the Biennale Architettura 2016, the European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe organise this debate to discuss the role of architecture in fostering growth, social inclusion, democratic participation and – ultimately – individual and societal well-being for city residents.

The utility of public spaces in cities, urban regeneration in the context of cultural heritage and the involvement of public administrations distinguish the European territory when seen from elsewhere. Today’s challenge for contemporary architecture is not only about creativity or conceptual, technical and constructional qualities: it is also about being in an urban environment made up of cultural heritage and public spaces. The relationship between the contemporary “geste architectural” and the existing urban context may be conflictual, but also fruitful, especially when citizens are involved in the decision-making process, contributing to urban democracy. The key objective of the debate is to highlight concrete examples of such achievements, in particular in recent prize-winning buildings, and to help understand how they have been made possible and what change they brought about for their communities.

“Shaping European Cities” will take a broad view of architecture – from the first steps of the profession to its maturation, its multidisciplinarity and the dialogue with policy makers and other sectors. It will also highlight the changes of the social, political and economic context which the architects need to grasp and take into account.

This comprehensive approach to architecture is reinforced by the newly created Young Talent Architecture Award (YTAA) of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award, which puts the architects’ education and their first steps into professional life under the spotlight.

The event on 28 October in Venice is open to everybody who is interested in the profession, its multidisciplinarity and in the dialogue between architects, policy makers, politicians and representatives of other sectors. It will culminate in the Young Talent Architecture Award ceremony, with three students receiving a prize that strives to bring the academic and professional realms closer together.