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Conference proceedings

Atlas for the communication of territorial identities

isbn 9788883414596
language Inglese
type Contributi in atti di convegno
volume LIVING LANDSCAPE. The European Landscape Convention in research perspective. Volume II: Short communications.
authors D. Calabi; M. Quaggiotto
Year 2010
editor Bandecchi & Vivaldi Editori
pages 6


Contemporary urban criticism focuses on the stereotype of a modern, multiform and widespread city; a fragile soft-city, where architecture and urban can no longer reflect or generate identity alone. The historical city centre, traditional expression of the identity of the city, loses its importance in the metropolis, where temporary patterns take shape, unfinished, hypothetical, in constant change. The urban environment as a whole interlinks social and territorial transformation that determine powerful mutations in the landscape. A common metaphor for the urban environment is that of city as organism because of its system characteristics and its incessant transformation. Whereas during mutation organisms keep some coherence that makes identity recognizable, not always the urban politics coherently preserve present social identities. In the inhabited spaces the sense of belonging is comparable to people, to their cultures, to their memories. Nowadays the quickness in which transformations happen doesn’t create easily the necessary conditions for acceptance of change: from one side memory needs continuity and linear returns; from the other transformations create new necessities and new attitudes to answer the complexity in evolution. In this context, the search for identity in the architecture or urban plan appears to be more often than not, an inadequate strategy. In place of the strong identity of the traditional city, based on typical elements (buildings, avenues) one can substitute a network of a multitude of weak identities, fragmentary, temporary, sometimes even, in conflict with each other. The city appears as a collection of “mute” areas, often localized outside historic centres, with no strong identity: they are abandoned areas of industrial archaeology, interesting but crumbling; “isolated” residential areas; places of historical interest but not enhanced by explicative itineraries whose inhabitants, recently immigrated, don’t even know their existence. A series of hidden cities exist alongside the ‘obvious’ city, the traditional city, waiting to be discovered: the city of institutions, the city of community services, the city of homes, the city of the consumer. Distinct demographical groups create and live in the different cities, which all coexist on the same area of land, sometimes even without overlapping each other.


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