Sunday, March 6, 2011

double U.

The theory of Unitary Urbanism is a basic critique of the urban fabric. Ways of looking at the city through this critique include the notion of the modern city as a museum for tourist, the lifestyles of the city's citizens, the introduction of modern play into city life, urban sprawl, the car, and the role of public space as the theater of life.
They felt that the city was turing into a static object, like our National Parks (ref to landschaft), by becoming an area that bureaucrats who control money and have power, decide what we should look at and what will bring in the most money. The situationist felt that the city should be given back to those who know it best and have quilted themselves into the urban fabric. While the situationist interacted with the city and its resident they were still critical of the residents themselves. They studied citizens at random to see where they went over the course of weeks or in some cases months. In one stand out study they asked an outside friend, a student, to map her walking path for a three years. The end result was her, the majority of the time, leaving her home going out to eat and returning to her apartment. While this may sound unbelievable it still happens today and is even worse when looking at shopping center/ apartment complexes: where one can take an elevator to work and grocery shop and grocery shop next door. I understand that one purpose of a city is to centralize and to increase efficiency, but at least in a city you have to go outside.
This then goes into the issue of urban sprawl. When a cities population grows it can either be up, or out to often it is out.  As a city grows the residents need to be able to get to the city faster and more efficiently thereby perpetuating the car culture. Some solutions they propose as a solution for the car culture was having only a fleet of taxi's in a city or having every car on the street be public property so you could hop in, get to where you need to go, drop it off anywhere and go on to other business.

To the left is an image from my final project that illustrates several points about a typical Copenhagen street scene. The building adjacent to the red car is an example of Copenhagen's' green walls. This makes building facades more whimsical and can change on a seasonal basis.
The black and white buildings illustrates the ample amount of green space found in various housing communities of Copenhagen. Danish planners realize the importance of open space in the urban fabric  as the place for people to learn and share.
Others that are more tough to represent are soundscape. I have encountered this type outside of various subway stations, universities and regional rail ways.

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