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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 (Refereed)
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. The problem is well captured by the theory of perspectivism and in this paper I introduce how I philosophically explore this gap between ideals and realities in my forthcoming thesis. In short, I am moving back and forth between two fixed points – the Body of the Walker and 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 represents planning and architecture, while the latter symbolizes urbanity. By highlighting the Apollonian nature of planning – which implies an emphasis on order and on form, on the visual and on the tangible – the paper points to the paradoxical nature of the aim of “creating urbanity”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
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Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-99533OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-99533DiVA: diva2:208076
The Sustainability and Development of Cultural Quarters, International Symposium, Visby 10-12 September 2008
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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