Urban Cultures of Collapse

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The forecast that by 2030 two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities is well-known. What is equally remarkable, and often overlooked, is that this increase in urban inhabitants will mainly be confined to informal settlements in developing countries. At the same time, countless planned districts resulting from economic opportunity, easy credit, and real estate speculation, face today an inverse process and threaten to remain vacant for a long time. Even though these are both extreme situations, the frequency of their manifestation is telling too much about the disconnection between real needs and applied means that shapes the urban landscape in the 21st century. Most of the interpretations that aimed in the past to explain the contemporary city are no longer useful to portray recent urban transformations. Is it possible to formulate another kind of narrative to address urban landscape for the forthcoming years?

Currently, the interest in the urban fact has been renewed. However, it is no longer focused on models of growth and efficiency, as happened in the 70s. The economic growth that had characterized late capitalism and much of the postmodern cultural production manifests some symptoms of fatigue, giving place to a global unease on a possible system collapse. Once the economy does not grow but threatens with its imminent breakdown, the architectural concern has shifted to those places that display, somehow, an urban culture of collapse.

This notion of collapse is not the result of a sudden and unexpected event, but an urban condition beyond what is desirable that remains over time. It does not involve the suspension of urban activity, but the emergence of other models of development. These places persist in a permanent state of exception and. in them, the exception becomes the norm. They break with the reductionist and restrictive idea of unlimited growth that has ruled both the economic system and urban planning in recent decades, which is not always sustained or sustainable. For this reason, they reveal its perversions and denounce its principles. The 70s collage city has led to the present-day collapsed city.
Publikationsdato25 aug. 2017
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 25 aug. 2017
BegivenhedRe-City 2017 – 2nd International City Regeneration Congress: (Im)Possible Cities - University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
Varighed: 24 aug. 201725 aug. 2017


KonferenceRe-City 2017 – 2nd International City Regeneration Congress
LokationUniversity of Tampere

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

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