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Planning the Unplanned: the Paradox of Creating Urbanity
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9435-1490
2008 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are an increasing number of city building projects, which in the wake of modern­istic planning are trying to create an “urban atmosphere”. However, these planned environments are in general too one-sided in terms of their functional diversity, too neat in their creation of public spaces, and too empty of people to meet the various definitions of urbanity. Still, the archi­tects behind these projects portray their creations as urban. What we encounter is in fact a problem that is well captured by the theory of perspect­ivism. In particular there is a wide gap between how I as a city dweller ex­peri­­ence and relate to the built envi­ron­ment, on the one hand, and how practicing architects understand the concept of urbanity, on the other. In this paper I introduce how I explore this gap between ideals and realities in my forthcoming thesis. In short, I am moving back and forth between two fix- points – one the Body of the Walker, the other the Eye of the Architect – all with the hope of eventually reaching a synthe­sis. The prob­lem is well captured by the opposed forces of Apol­lo and Dionysus, where the first perspective represents plan­ning and architecture, while the latter symbo­lizes urbani­ty. The outcome will be a number of paradoxes related to the task of “crea­ting urbanity”: a/ planning the unplanned; b/ crea­ting dyna­mic social proces­ses through the manipulation of physical form; and c/ genera­ting chaos through order.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
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Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-99529OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-99529DiVA: diva2:208073
Session: Spaces of architecture/architects of space, 2008 RGS/IBG Annual Conference, August 27-29, 2008, London, England
Available from: 2009-03-16 Created: 2009-03-16 Last updated: 2016-04-14Bibliographically approved

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Westin, Sara
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