Maciocco, Giovanni (2008) Fundamental trends in city development. Berlin, Springer. p. 220 (Urban and Landscape Perspectives, 1). ISBN 978-3-540-74179-4 online. Book.
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What do phenomena like sprawl, "generic city" or "urban segregation" have in common with the concept of the city? This is not an easy question. It is nevertheless the inquiry this book is based on, mainly because of the bewilderment we feel when faced with these phenomena that are spread throughout the urban world and constitute a tall order for our concepts of the city. Expressions like "discomposed city", "generic city" and "segregated city" refer to entities that share the loss of the city as a space of communication and social interaction and as the space of the public sphere. In order to explore what we call the city adrift, certain positions of scholars of the city are analysed, using the utopia as an analytical category and referring to three kinds – the conservative utopia, liquidatory utopia and resistant utopia – which can perhaps significantly distinguish the different positions on current spatial trends of the city and, more generally, the phenomena emerging in the urban world. This book investigates how the city can be re-established as the space of dialogue and communication, how the spatial conditions of the public sphere can be created and the city retrieved, and what the features might be of a city retrieved and restored to its citizens. The author adopts the concept of externity as an innovative element for the project for the city, a constituent feature of all those situations traditionally considered non-functional, therefore external, to our contemporary post-cities, which are consigned to us adrift through decomposition, genericity and segregation
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