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Le projet urbain - Review

It is out of doubt that the "urban project" is now constitutive to the planning process; for that reason the "urban project" suffers and at the same time introduces mutations and innovation in the town planning methods.
The notion of urban project lives between continuity and innovation: continuity because of, since the beginning of the twenty century, the urban project has been a diffused practice to "modernize" the city; innovation because since the '80 years of the last century the notion of the urban project acquired a new force and significance, the concept became complex and interdisciplinary to identify the multiple operations that followed one another in European cities.
From this time, the concept of urban project evolves with deep changes: the opposition between urban project and town planning becomes inclusion, the urban projects play, very often, a very important role inside the planning processes.
Planum has the intention to open new spaces specifically dedicated to the topic "urban project". In this section "books reviews" Planum is pleased to introduce Patrizia Ingallina essay Le projet urbain edited by Presses Universitaires de France, collection "Que sais-je?". Patrizia Ingallina is an architect and planner, "maître de conférences" at the Institut d'Urbanisme de Paris (Université de Paris XII), and is in charge of a DESS (Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées) on urban projects.
The book, taking as a starting point the actual researches in France on the "urban project" theme, in particular the study done by the author with M.Roncayolo for the Dictionnaire de l'urbanisme et de l'aménagement (dir. P.Merlin and F.Choay), presents a deep reflection on the urban project notion, on its history, on the importance of this concept in the actual planning debate.

Book review

What does " urban project " really mean?
According to Patrizia Ingallina the multiple meanings of the urban project notion reveal how difficult is to understand the real potentiality of the concept and its global character.
The "urban project" is a concept and a way of doing that marks this period of transition, between the traditional way of planning and a new approach less fixed and more opened to transformations and to debates. This involves a vision of planning as a process: a complex process that is characterised by continuity and changes .
The urban project conception transforms the city concept, the city become the place of a collective project construction characterized by a long length. The process can't answer to the administration urgency usually invocated by mayors. A partnership among public institutions, multiple competences, a specific knowledge about the city, trying to integrate at the same time the three dimensions (economical, social, spatial), all these things are necessary.
The urban project involves all the problems of a territory and his population. Its sense come from the interaction of lots of disciplines, and involves directly the day life of people living in the city, in suburb or in rural zone.

Patrizia Ingallina is an architect and planner, "maître de conférences " at the Institut d'Urbanisme de Paris (Université de Paris XII), and is in charge of a DESS on urban projects.


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