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Transformations around the world

by Marina La Palombara

"The territory has changed. The urbanization interests the whole territory and creates unknown problems to the planner. Now the territory is marked by the presence of multiple and contrasting landscapes. [...]
My intention is to refer to the breakdown in the models that have characterised the urban scenario, to the processes of disintegration which, affecting the thousand-year urban space, have generated a new contemporary city and the multiplication of the physical forms and lifestyles that accompany it, making it increasingly difficult to recognise the boundaries between city and countryside - dynamics that do not substantially differentiate metropolitan areas from cities, cities from towns and towns from urban areas
" (Patrizia Gabellini)

This section is devoted to collect materials that describe meaningful transformations around the world: changes that cross urban agglomerations, but can also concern urban countrysides, or natural landscape, manufacturing and work landscapes... They all insist on physical space but reflect also changes in action on the economic and social front.
Documents here collected are proposed by Planum readers and are of different kind: photos, papers, case study defined for a research, institutional report or travel notes.


By now we introduce 6 urban situations, that are very distant the one from the others: Alger, Bologna, Cape Town, Dubai, Lipetsk, Tirana.
Distant in terms of distances, of economic and social profil, of problem list to be faced.

Algiers, from city to agglomeration (*)

It is given a general information of the urban reality of Algiers, by deepening some aspects, namely:
- the main social and political problems;
- the way the projects, the plans and the management of the town planning condition the evolution of the city.
A very brief historic outline (of the Kasbah, the social housing, the peripheral growth), just to explain the phenomena - social, economic, physical, environmental - of the current events.

(*) Papers originally published in Alger, réalités et perspectives de développement urbain (Dossier of Urbanistica Pvs).

A new Plan for Bologna
by City of Bologna. Territory and Planning Division

Twenty years after the last general urban plan, Bologna has commenced the programme for the approval of a new instrument governing the territorial area. This period has been marked by important changes in the city and territorial area and by a new urban planning law that has radically changed the relevant institutional framework. The proposal for the new urban plan is an important event in the history of the city and of urban planning in Bologna.

State of Cape Town 2006
Development issues in Cape Town
by City of Cape Town

The State of Cape Town report 2006 - an istitutional document published by the City of Cape Town - can be downloaded.
The report provides an outline of the state of the city. It includes information and commentary on a range of developmental themes: Environment, Spatial and Regional Planning, Integrated Human Settlements, Transport, Economy, Human Development, Crime and Governance.
The report highlights some of the opportunities and challenges the city faces, contextualised within an international, national and local context. It attempts to provide practical suggestions that need to be considered to address these challenges. It is intended to serve as a base to inform discussions on the choices that the city needs to make in relation to urban management issues.

Metropolitan Dubai
and the Rise of Architectural Fantasy
by George Katodrytis

Dubai is a prototype of the new post-global city, which creates appetites rather than solves problems. It is represented as consumable, replaceable, disposable and short-lived. Relying on strong media campaigns, new satellite cities and mega-projects are planned and announced almost weekly. This approach to building is focused exclusively on marketing and selling.

Kazinka 2006,
a new industrial city based upon sustainable development
by Giovanni Sergi

It is presented a realty of the easthern Europe, characterized by a past of industrial state economy center.
Lipetsk in the Russian Federation, 400 kilometers south of Moscow, has been a very important iron and steel complex realized in the Thirties; today it is partly trasformed into a new "industrial district" thanks also to the investments of the Indesit Company spa (ex Vittorio Merloni's group).

Tirana. Four materials with an impermanent title
by Federico Zanfi

Today Tirana lacks a representative image, which would depict its character and guide the transformation energies towards a shared course.
Production, Housing, Public Space and Nature – the four inherent elements of the albanian capital, as its last Regulatory document predicts, have today a provisory and iridescent nature; to comprehend and describe them is the main bet that any new form of urban government will have to face.