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Tuesday
May202014

International Conference. 20th Century New Towns: Archetypes and Uncertainties [Presentation]

Next May 23rd I will be presenting my research on Bata at the International Conference 20th Century New Towns: Archetypes and Uncertainties, organized by the School of Architecture of the Escola Superior Artistica do Porto.

More info here

Archetypes and Uncertainties

The planning and settlement of new towns were originated by different reasons. In twentieth century cities perhaps the largest reason was to determine new territorial and urban planning structures that would allow a better organization of the territory, ensuring the development of more efficient and balanced socio-economic models.

In some cases the construction of these cities was inspired by the principles of the nineteenth century English utopias, reflecting a strong concern in integrating the urban and natural components and highlighting the role of the natural landscape, understood as a city matrix on which articulates the urban structures.

In other cases the inspiration come from the rationalist ideals of the modern movement, seeking to personify the idealistic and democratic spirit of a new world order, producing rational and functional solutions and even if sometimes they do not fully overcome certain obstacles, an important contribution to the urban and architectural theory and practice advance was made.

Furthermore, other cases relate to the post-modernism and the emergence of critical views of the modern movement. These towns were born to give an answer to the problem posed by the large settlements deindustrialization and de-urbanization, assuming the role of organized urban extensions needed for controlling the sprawl of existing cities which was made through a process of unordered and peripheral urbanization.

Some focused mainly on a completely physical, economic and administrative independency in relation to major urban centres. Others, even if based partially on these principles of independence and geographical isolation, were planned as secondary structure networks dependent from a main urban conurbation. Many of these experiments have already been object of diversified studies addressing more or less specific thematic areas, seeking to define and apply critical and analytical methodologies to better understand and decode the processes and design criteria that were the basis of their urban and architectural morphologies.

Opting for an analytical prospective directed to re-contextualizing the urban and architectural contributions of these experiences, the conference 20th century new towns – archetypes and uncertainties aims to discuss their real effects in the present being especially welcome papers focusing on the following two aspects:

I. Archetypes | Spatiality, materiality and identities which persisted over time, not only because they have a high symbolism or because they are the emblematic testimony of a precise thinking about how to re-understand the city in a particular historical moment, but also and especially to continue maintaining the answering capacity to functional and practical demands of contemporary society. They are, in short, realities that did not required significant or radical changes to fulfil their function properly. The reasons for these archetypes remaining active and appropriate may contribute to recognize them as meaningful and timeless, distant from temporal gestures which respond only to contemporary needs.

II. Uncertainties | Parts or components of the urban system that remained incomplete, leading to realities that persisted “open” or that were completed through different intentions, appropriation processes or intervention criteria from those planned in their original design. The nature of these uncertainties could be a further indicator of the effects produced by these archetypes in the city development.

Additionally the conference will focus three main thematic/panels covering the post-war satellite towns (as the New Towns Programme and other European similar experiences), the modern cities (as Brasilia or Chandigarh) and a more local perspective embarking the Lusophone New Towns (mainly in Lusophone Africa, but also in Brazil). The conference peer-reviewed call for papers will cover these topics and the communications will be organized under the respective panels, not excluding the possibility of accepting other related topics if they reveal pertinent for the global aims of the conference.

References (4)

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    Opting for an analytical prospective directed to re-contextualizing the urban and architectural contributions of these experiences, the conference 20th century new towns – archetypes and uncertainties aims to discuss their real effects in the present being especially welcome papers focusing on the following two aspects
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  • Response
    In twentieth century cities perhaps the largest reason was to determine new territorial and urban planning structures that would allow a better organization of the territory, ensuring the development of more efficient and balanced socio-economic models.
  • Response
    Response: oneplus 4 design

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