Once Upon a Time a Genius Loci Conceived a Place

Castello, Lineu and Back Prochnow, Simone (2021) Once Upon a Time a Genius Loci Conceived a Place. CITIES 20.50 – Creating Habitats for the 3rd Millennium: Smart – Sustainable – Climate Neutral. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2021, 26th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 1179-1184. ISSN 2521-3938

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Amongst the concepts employed in urbanism perhaps the most magical is genius loci. This paper, initially, will briefly recall some basic postulates of the old Roman concept, calling the published works of one of its more enthusiastic authors, Norberg-Schulz. Next, it will focus on the Real Corps 2021 call for papers statement that ‘more than 6 billion people will live in cities in 2050’, together with ‘how quality of life can be maintained and improved’ in this situation. On perusing about creating habitats for the Third Millennium, the paper observes two of the actions most typically employed in the changing cities realm. These practices usually comprise two remarkably simple actions: inventing and reinventing places – preferably in locations blessed with a touch of genius loci. Place is certainly my most challenging subject in contemporary urbanism, and recent literature in the topic is prodigal in presenting practical examples of the two circumstances, examining them as ‘placemaking’, in the case of inventing new places; and ‘resilience’ of disused spaces, in the case of reinventing them. In my personal writings I have observed both thoughts, trying to appraise them under two of the consequential configurational patterns they will tend to assume: punctuated creations and punctuated re-creations. As for their morphological results it will be enough to recall the insertion of newly invented places, so typical of postmodernist interventions; and to the reuse of existing structures such as old brownfields, also typical in postmodern environments. Sustainability and resilience are clearly implicated in both circumstances, surely encompassing beneficial accomplishments in terms of enhancing the environment, such as to refrain urban growth from land sealing and to control urban sprawl. Finally, the paper will also address trendy planning strategies studied in contemporary literature through ground-breaking strategies known as: ‘Loose space’ (FRANCK; STEVENS, 2007), ‘Tactical urbanism’ (LYDON; GARCIA, 2015), some new phenomena I personally call ‘placeLeaks’ (THWAITES et al., 2013), and innovative reflections about urban transformations in global cities (such as London) (ALLIES; HAIGH, 2014) and on the global south (such as Porto Alegre, south Brazil, exploring a recent project under the guidance of Jaime Lerner’s team).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainability, placemaking, genius loci, place, resilience
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2021 15:27
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2021 17:58
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/846

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