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URBAN TURN


4.

Cyprus, Nicosia

ABOUT SPEED

35”10’0 N 33”22’0 E Kathodon Restaurant, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2010 image by M. Prokopiou

GLOBAL TIME The concept of ‘space’ in the contemporary world has lost its rigid euclidean definition of a limited extent in one, two, or three dimensions. The dramatic increase of speed in all aspects of life resulted in the collapse of space in the pragmatic sense. Instead, other forms of space, such as virtual space and cyberspace, gain more and more ground. At any instant one can be (virtually) present in any part of the world. This high-velocity information exchange has reduced the world’s barriers to a minimum. Therefore today we talk about global time, since local time has merely no sense in the global scale. Time is now a GMT+- one, so one can experience various times simultaneously in different parts of the world. Hence this one-time system that has replaced local time frames and expanded space to a global scale, changes dramatically ones perception of spatial experience and orientation. According to Paul Virilio, this kind of “globalization and virtualization are inaugurating a global time that prefigures a new form of tyranny”.1 Consequently, the way today’s designers deal with the concept of space in time, cannot remain the same any more. One has to always have in mind what the possible consequences of an accident in this scale can be. G. Kallis 1

Virilio, P. (1995), Speed and Information: Cyberspace Alarm!, Le Monde Diplomatique, Paris.


50.

Venice, Italy

COMPACTNESS

45°26’15”N 12°20’9”E Venice, Veneto, Italy, 2008 image by G. Kallis

VENICE CHANNELS A highly touristic destination and a unique atmosphere, the city of Venice has a characteristic complexity in its texture and materiality. With a population of under 300 000 inhabitants it is the eleventh in size for the country of Italy. In terms of density, it is just over 650 inhabitants per km2, much less than other Italian cities such as Milan (over 7 000/km2) or Rome (over 2 100/km2). The great channel and the scattered islands that constitute the city reduce its total density by a great degree. However, the uncommon texture and morphology of the city, give a quite different sense of compactness to the visitor. The high proximity of the buildings, the narrow channels, the materials of the facades, give the impression of a condensed and impermeable structure. G. Kallis


32.

London, UK

ICEBERGS

51° 30’ 13” N, 0° 1’ 7” W Canary Wharf, London, UK 2007 image by G. Kallis

CANARY WHARF STATION, LONDON. On a former industrial docks area raises Canary wharf, both overground and very much underground as well. Today, one of the major neo-tertiary clusters worldwide, it is expanding continually as a contemporary global economic centre. The Canary Wharf station is one of the busiest of London’s underground. It links to many facilities, as well as a commercial centre, whose majority of the program is underground, under a public park. Over 40 million people pass through the station each year, flowing between the two overground canopies that mark the station’s entrance. The station is expexted to further grow with the complethon of a Crossrail station - to be functioning by 2017 - which is a major transportation project which will connect the east and southh suburbs of London. Canary Wharf’s crossrail station will also feature mainly underground facilities which will cover four out of its six floors. G. Kallis


24.

Cyprus, Nicosia

THE CITY AS AN OPEN SYSTEM

35”10’0 N 33”22’0 E Ledra Street, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2008 image by Ch. Pasadakis

LEDRA STREET OPENING, NICOSIA, CYPRUS, 2008 On April 3rd 2008, a rather unexpected political decision to open the Ledra Street barricade, showed how cities work as an open system, continuously exchanging energy, matter and information. The old city of Nicosia, divided since 1964 to a north and a south part, has been suffering abandonment in the last 40 years because of these road barriers. However, when in 2008 it was suddenly decided that one of the main commercial streets of the old town - Ledra street - would unify again, immediately new fluctuations were created between north and south, causing a gradual increase in the amount of retail and commercial activities in that street. It can be therefore seen how unstable the system of the city is and how reversibility can become a major issue when it comes to proposing for the city. G. Kallis


Urban Turn II