We entered the third decade of this century in the shadow of a global trauma that has fundamentally transformed our living space. A return to normalcy will not be easy – if it is even possible. It was primarily the city-dwellers that were hit hardest by the isolation. We had to learn to be alone again, shore up our relationships with our loved ones, and cherish those who take care of us or others. Children had to learn how to learn again. Our relationships to food, work, and communication all changed, and new demands also left their mark on our relationships with our partners. Even our life goals and the ways we want to achieve them were transformed.
Most of all, we were forced to re-evaluate our relationship with spaces, both private and public. We were helped by good neighbourly relations, functional infrastructure, and quality public space. We began the long process of transforming these places and the ways we use them, and our demands and expectations shifted as well. We also think more about where we actually want to live. For many people, a change in working conditions allowed for the possibility of working somewhere outside of the centres of large cities.
It seems as if we are standing at the beginning – at ground zero. Along with considering the challenges that await us in the future, we must also critically review our own past and discuss what knowledge and experience is worth developing and what ideas, on the other hand, lead nowhere. We were bound to face certain dilemmas sooner or later anyway; the pandemic simply accelerated and intensified everything. Utopian fantasies of organising society are suddenly on the table, and once-marginalised ideas about how to transform cities are coming to the fore.
The first issue of the online magazine Superland is our manual for reading our own history. We are selecting ideas and projects from our archive that are relevant for the future of society and the public space.