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Little Things
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.....By......
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Point Supreme
Although we are actively thinking about cities and constantly looking for ways to improve them, our proposals always seem to have a certain size: in one way or another, they are big. It is inevitable; a certain dimension guarantees visibility. The effects can be drawn. But we are wondering if life in cities actually depends more on the little things.
For example, in Athens, small empty plots could become substitutes for missing public spaces. Not only are these available plots currently closed off and inaccessible, usually they are also made invisible behind walls. In other cities, empty lots at least remain a visible part of the city. And what about the street? Often obstacles on pavements are randomly scattered, rather than grouped into something coherent. The experience of walking would be so different if trash bins were attached to postboxes, if traffic lights and light poles hung from buildings. Where are the benches? What do they look towards? What are they used for? 
Architects aren’t taught to work or think through the city and its politics at this scale. We need new pedagogies that teach us to engage in the process of reorganizing the typical street and to do this with imagination and care. How do we visualize the impact of little things and convince people of their importance and urgency? We need new projects that promote an idea of small things in the politics of the city; that recognize the city as more than just big plans. Perhaps it is time to focus on change that would come from things we often don’t even notice. 
 
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