Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
The Metabolism of Changes
Changes in the city have occurred, and are still happening, in such a rapid and
uncontrolled way that it seems as if there has not been time for adequate
metabolism, either on behalf of governance or on behalf of the settlement com-
With regard to the former, the results are evidently ascribable to the very
poor quality of public contributions (in the form of spaces, relationships
between centralities, services) in new contemporary conurbations . Just to
give an example, new urban areas are progressively being transformed into
multicentric urban-territorial systems , but the supply of services has never
been adequate for this conformation of the city.
The consequences are even more disastrous with regard to the latter: the
lack of general organizational frameworks and shared strategic visions raises
an ever more imposing wall between a consistent part of building construction
and decision-making processes entrusted with the participating democracy.
Do Human Communities Still Produce Landscapes?
It seems as if the facts contradict Cattaneo who, more than 150years ago,
made the universal statement: “Human communities are constructing land-
scapes ” [1]. For the first time, one has the feeling that the relationships
between local communities (with their dynamics and socio-economic trends)
and the territory are not forming landscapes. It is probably necessary to ask
an essential question: if the landscape is determined by the encounter between
community and territory, why do we regard some current products of settle-
ment sprawl in different European cities as not pertaining to the landscape? Is
it not the result of the desire of those who spontaneously created it 1 ? Do we
1 In this sense, reference is made to the concept of “spontaneous conscience”, i.e. the attitude of a
subject operating by itself and using the internalized culture exclusively, without the aid of
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