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Earth Sciences & Geography - Geography | People and Space - New Forms of Interaction in the City Project

People and Space

New Forms of Interaction in the City Project

Maciocco, Giovanni, Tagliagambe, Silvano

2009, VI, 246 p.

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  • Analyzes new modes of interaction between city dwellers and the urban environment
  • Explores the concept of the city as an intermediate world between global and local with fluidity of social aggregation
  • Examines ways of creating shared values and new institutions in cities that are composed of minorities
  • Sees the city as the arena of a new form of social cohesion that will create the urban space of the future

This book explores new forms and modalities of relations between people and space that increasingly affect the life of the city. The investigation takes as its starting point the idea that in contemporary societies the loss of our relationship with place is a symptom of a breakdown in the relationship between ethics and aesthetics. This in turn has caused a crisis not only in taste, but also in our sense of beauty, our aesthetic instinct, and our moral values. It has also led to the loss of our engagement with the landscape, which is essential for cities to function.

The authors argue that new, fertile forms of interaction between people and space are now happening in what they call the ‘intermediate space’, at the border of "urban normality" and those parts of a city where citizens experiment with unconventional social practices. This new interaction engenders a collective conscience, giving a new and productive vigor to the actions of individuals and also their relations with their environment.

These new relations emerge only after we abandon what is called the "therapeutic illusion of space", which still exists today, and which binds in a deterministic manner the quality of civitas, the associative life of people in the city, to the quality of urban space. Projects for the city should, instead, have as their keystone the notion of social action as a return to a critical perspective, to a courageous acceptance of social responsibility, at the same time as seeking the generative structures of urban life in which civitas and urbs again acknowledge each other.

Giovanni Maciocco obtained a degree in Engineering at the University of Pisa and in Architecture at the University of Florence. He is Full Professor of Town and Regional Planning. Among his works: Les lieux de l’eau et de la terre, (Lybra Immagine, 1998); Wastelands (Dedalo, 2000); Il progetto ambientale nelle aree di bordo, with P. Pittaluga (FrancoAngeli, 2006); Fundamental Trends in City Development (Springer, 2007); Urban Landscape Perspectives (ed.) (Springer, 2008); The Territorial Future of the City (ed.) (Springer, 2008).

Silvano Tagliagambe, graduated in Philosophy, specialised in Physics at the Lomonosov University in Moscow and then at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is Full Professor of the Philosophy of Science at the Faculty of Architecture at Sassari University. Among his works: Le due vie della percezione e l'epistemologia del progetto (FrancoAngeli, 2005); Come leggere Florenskij (Bompiani, 2006); La tecnica e il corpo. Riflessioni su uno scritto di Pavel Florenskij (FrancoAngeli, 2007); Lo spazio intermedio (Università Bocconi Editore, 2008).

Content Level » Research

Keywords » City project - Cohesion - Social aggregation - Spatial - Urban landscape - urbanism

Related subjects » Geography - Population Studies

Table of contents 

Background. The therapeutic illusion of space.- 1. The crisis of aesthetics and the 'death of the landscape'.- 2. The aesthetic crisis as the crisis of the glance.- 3. Projectual intention and collective will.- 4. What we want, or the kitsch city and the city of conformism.- 5. Loss of the centre.- 6. The dialectic of recognition: places and attrition.- 7. The local-supralocal relationship.- 8. Connective intelligence and articulation of the concepts of identity and belonging.- 9. The relationship between individual subjects and collective subjects and the 'community of practice' concept.- 10. City project and structure-subjects.- 11. Dissolution of the dual city, or the new suburbanism.- 12. Changes in the communication model: from Jakobson to Lotman.- 13. Intermediate space as the space for effective communication.- 14. 'Mondialisation', globalisation, localisation.- 15. The border 'takes shape'.- 16. The city project: intermediate space and symbol.- 17. Project as social action: the art of moving the boundary of the body.- 18. The city as an intermediate world between global and local.- 19. The eye and the brain.- 20. Civitas alone can save the urbs.

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