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Carles Llop, urbanist A more environmental urbanism has to respond to a model of the “Territorial mosaic city “

“The landscape is the soul of the world” Architect doctor for the Superior technical School of Architecture of Barcelona (ETSAB), Carles Llop is Full Professor and Director of the Department of Urban Planning and Ordering of the Territory of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), and director of the Master in Urban and Territorial Development and of the Postgraduate Course of Architecture and Urban Planning of Mountain, both of the Foundacio UPC. He is also a member of the scientific committee of the International Center of Cultural Landscapes of Ferrara (Italy). Among his projects, stands out the Plan of the transformation of the neighborhood of La Mina of Barcelona, carried out with the architects Sebastià Jornet and Joan Enric Pastor, with whom forms a team that develops plans in the territorial and urban planning area. This project received the National Prize of Urban Planning 2006, conceded by Vivienda by the Ministerio. What has been the mark left on the landscape by the various development plans over the territory? Historically, land use has always followed an expansive trend. The city, however, until the last third of the past century has presented controlled forms. Now, the city and region are changing in an inexorable way, and therefore, its interpretation, that is what we perceive as "urban landscape" or as "regional landscape”, must be renewed . It is necessary to review the status of the city and of the territory in order to improve them, procuring to construct quality landscapes, applying the adage "the landscape is the soul of the world. " Which is the starting point? The effects of fuzzy / diffuse boundaries in land use, the great process of demographic growth and extensive urbanization, characteristic of the twentieth century, have broken the historical territorial structures/logics and have inaugurated a new paradigm of a city extended in the terrirory, and a territory interspersed with the city. This phenomenon affects the large metropolitan concentrations in every country. An urbis form increasingly larger and dilated, that poses in conflict the management of the balances among the territorial supports, that is the biophysical matrix, and the city. Has a "divorce" been produced? Well, yes. The city has withdrawn from the relation with its territory, and this has generated a multiplicity of heterogeneous forms, often fragmented and mixed. The indispensable link has been lost. Today the real city is a great urban nebula, which is necessary to know how to understand it to be able to act there. In this context, it does not even have sense to make an exaltation of the city surrendered to the chaotic order of the flexibility of the normative deregulation, and neither to praise the periphery as a new type of modern space. It is


necessary to observe accurately the forms of use of the territory to identify the problems and to search for solutions that optimize the project and the management of the territories, identifying the effects and proposing solutions for its environmental improvement, working on the articulation between the city and the territory. What does this articulation need to consist of? The new spaces and the new forms of city in the ordering of the territory need a new stage based on the environmental harmonization between the contemporary city and the permanent territory. The new paradigm for the project of the contemporary city should establish the t猫chnico-pol铆tical and social harmonization, that in the last years we have been constructing in the action of the regional government, in the urban and territorial plans, and in the civic proposals and manifestoes. All these platforms and agents, mostly speaking in the case of Catalonia -and, unfortunately, in this journey the other autonomous communities of the peninsula do not accompany us- have allowed to keep on creating a set of principles, conceptually solid and efficient when it comes to ordering, projecting and managing this phase of the city that we get to live. Which are, these principles? In the face of dispersi贸n, concentration; in the face of low density, the work based on new reasonably higher densities; In the face of the territorial fragmentation, models reasonably more compact; In the face in|on the hyperspecialization, the mixture of uses; In the face of social segregation, the project of the social space as incentive for the cohesion and the solidarity; In the face of megalopolizati贸n, the reticular polarization of the capital centers linked in network with the intermediate cities, making use of the principle of the theory of networks, autonomy of the parts and complementariness among them. Would it be an urbanism with more environmentalist options? Effectively, and more compromised and concrete. A more environmentalist urban planning, far from the conceptual rhetoric, passes through a renewed territorial project that promotes the urban containment, the articulation of the urban fragments, and the adequacy of the distinct forms of the city in a new system of organization, physical and functional, that responds to a model of a "territorial mosaic city ". That is, a structure at the same time morphological and environmental, that favors the mutual ecological adaptation and the coevolution of the natural urban ecosystems in interaction, based on a mosaic articulated of urban pieces and of the biophysical matrix of the territory environmentally balanced. How can it be achieved? To start off with, describing and constructing limits in the cities, creating well delimited borders between the urban and the rural, and in the empowerment of the values of proximity between the needs of the persons and the urban devices that facilitate the various services: work, leisure, health and culture. And it is necessary to reuse, to rehabilitate and to recycle the obsolete or infraused fabrics. An environmentalist urban planning has to preserve sine die


the spaces of extreme environmental quality, and favor the superimposition of uses and mixed spaces, to articulate the Edge zones. It is necessary to project and to manage adequently the urban zones of transition, to manage the wealth in biodiversity of the pieces of great quality that are part of the existing mosaics in the territorial spaces of the regional scale, and to restore the quality of the margins in the perimeters and the metropolitan interstices. What kind of use do we have to make of the landscape? The use of the landscape has to be a tool of social mediation for the transformations, since when we project territorial transformations we notice that new landscapes open up/ emerge. The landscape project is then a tool, a cultural mediation that facilitates the critical vision about the abuse of the territory and the definition of new criteria of use. Recycling the ill-treated territories of the metropolitan peripheries means generating a factory of landscapes that, besides new forms and spaces, will permit new ethical attitudes to flourish on behalf of the citizens who inhabit them. We all want quality of life, and the landscape where we live is a determining piece/element to attain it.

Interview by Maria Rosa SalvadĂł.

Highlights A more environmental urbanism has to respond to a model of the “Territorial mosaic city “ The city has withdrawn from the relation with its territory, and this has generated a multiplicity of heterogeneous forms, often fragmented and mixed. Recycling the ill-treated territories of the metropolitan peripheries permit new ethical attitudes to flourish on the part of the citizens that inhibit them

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Carles Llop, urbanist necessary to observe accurately the forms of use of the territory to identify the problems and to search for solutions...

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