TOWARDS A NEW DIMENSION
Authors: Antonella Contin1, Pedro Ortiz Castaño2
1. Politecnico di Milano School of architecture and society, LMS – Measure and Scale of the Contemporary City Laboratory. Milan, Italy
2. Pedro B. Ortiz Castaño, Senior Urban Planner at the World Bank, Washington DC, USA
Our research focuses on how cities balance both macro/micro-economic factors and their spatial structure according to cultural factors: the underlying form of residential/public areas and landscapes. It discusses the relation between new settlement, activity, and space, and it rises from the way different cultures and their activities require diverse demands on movement, a new settlement of formality, gradients, and co-presence. Finally, we have to determine both the way how patterns of infrastructure/space integration influence the location of different settlements, classes, and social groups in the city and how it is possible to solve the pathology of housing and public realm estates. The spatial form needs to be understood as a contributing factor in forming the patterns of sustainable urban metabolism, integration, or segregation in the city. The starting point of this work comes out from the necessity of defining the contemporary city within its territory through clarification of a new scale of intervention. The framework of our research coincides with the formal and structural dimensioning of the city territory. The need for a cultural "jump" is necessary in order to identify a range of elements and relations in the urban context, rather than simply upgrade the instruments of intervention and investigation. This means a better definition of the structural pattern and spine of this reality so as to show the discontinuity occurring in the urban development and in the cultural awareness of such phenomena.
Our incoming research on Dar es Salaam follows the strategic modeling document by World Bank Senior Urbanist Pedro Ortiz, the document that is utilized as a methodological indication in the development of a settlement. Its design in the urban context of Dar es Salaam will follow the idea of a variable formality gradient, conveniently located as proposed by the metropolitan spatial strategy suggested by Ortiz. Such a scheme guarantees the connection of every settlement to the bus rapid transit system (BRT) and the integration with the surrounding peri-urban agriculture through a local form-typology specificity. Such an approach may envisage a sustainable relation between grey and green infrastructure, the latter intended as the hydro-geological system of the territory. A strong economic attractor related to the infrastructure system should foster the reversal of spontaneous settlements back into legality, providing them with services aiming at improving the sustainable level of the entire city. In order to cope with the historical structural transformation of the type of settlements, some guidelines on methodology and scale will be suggested so as to structure the basis for intervention and, as a consequence, of a specific form of the city-territory.
We promote the appearance of a new scale of settlement typologies and their consequent interrelations and a change in the urban/rural relation. A formality gradient type, which capitalizes on its city-center proximity and its advanced services, will be determined in relation to mobility structures. Such a device should also be able to communicate with the agricultural landscape, which doesn't just have the potential to provide products for consumption and sale for local communities (urban agriculture), but becomes, on the other hand, an element of urban regeneration, as it has always been i.e. in the tradition of the Italian landscape.
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