What legacies do city communities leave and how do we build better ones?
My great grandmother passed on her house, in a typical communal courtyard called Ezo, to my grandfather, my grandfather to my mother, my mother to me and I hope one day I will pass it to my children.
What we inherited, the building, was in shambles, and it was not my parents fault. Stagnant Soviet years followed up by the downhill spiral of post-soviet gloom days any ideas of working on heritage projects had to be put on hold.
But buildings were not the only things that all four generations have been inheriting. In fact we all inherited something greater than bricks and cracked walls – The Legacy.
What is the legacy exactly? Is it about leaving possessions to the generation or something else? hopefully something greater than that.
We, my generation, are the lucky ones – We leave in the age where consumerism for many has been questioned and live in the age where making things and building better communities have once again been re-emerging to the surface.
We, as a society have started to question more how the things we consume today have been created, sourced and delivered to us, anything from food to building materials. Craftsmanship once again is given a priority over mass production. That’s all very exciting, which brings up a question about the legacy.
How do we look after what we inherited and how do we make sure the legacy of our creations is once again passed on to new generations.
Cities and local communities are indisputably one of our great successes, they all fuel the prosperity, creativity and bring advancements to the society in many ways that no other place can deliver. If we don’t look after that vibe and creative urban energy there will be no legacy to pass on to anybody, the buildings will fall, cheap replacements will take place and functional existence will surface, grrr let’s not even go there!
So when it comes to building the legacy, one has to look at what already has been inherited, and one legacy I took away from my childhood was about the importance of the communities and how essential it was for the neighbourhood to keep on relying on each other in times of both fun and challenge.
Building on to existing tradition is important, even if the times move many apart. So whether it’s Tbilisi’s incredible remake of authentic courtyards or elsewhere the challenge is to balance the aesthetics, the community space for the people to gather, support to the local retailers and artisans so that they continue to thrive, offering travellers opportunity to experience piece of local culture, are all part of creating the legacy and we can all do our share to support creating such environment, that is our challenge.
With that in mind here’s our vision for a better urban communities…
Embracing the difference, multiculturalism and wealth of mixed backgrounds bring flavours to the communities that what makes great places so liveable.
Supporting local micro-businesses is something everyone can do by eating local, buying local.
Creating space to grow, unwind, laugh or cry together creates collective, happy, healthy energy.
Keeping tradition in mind and bringing to the new age without compromising on quality, modern comfort and aesthetics is what keeps things we cherish today so cherishable in the future.
Renovated buildings are one thing to pass to the next generations but we’d argue that leaving behind a healthier, more liveable environment is what really creates the legacy.