Cuando: Miercoles, 2 de octubre de 2013, a las 6:00 pm
Donde: Auditorio Jesús Amaral – Escuela Arquitectura, UPR, Rio Piedras
The dominant account on European urban history sees the post-1970s period as the happy end of a changeful drama. Modernist town planning with its objectionable corollaries of top-down decision making, tabula-rasa urban renewal, functional separation, and the primacy of car traffic was finally renounced, and the paradigm change gave way to approaches such participatory planning, contextual design, respect for the historic city, and the model of a compact, mixed used, and socially inclusive city. So all’s well that ends well? Not quite. This lecture will show that the supposed fix of modernist shortcomings in the late twentieth century gave rise to an entirely different set of problems, including gentrification, disneyfication, and an environment that masks increasing economic polarization with reinvented historic façades and narratives of civic solidarity. It will also show that the “rediscovered historic city” in Germany, Britain, France, and other European countries has little to do with a return to the pre-modernist era but constitutes an unprecedented urban situation with its particular challenges and opportunities.
Florian Urban is Professor and Head of Architectural History and Urban Studies at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Berlin, an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA and a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Architecture from MIT. He is the author of Neo-historical East Berlin – Architecture and Urban Design in the German Democratic Republic 1970-1990 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009) and Tower and Slab – Histories of Global Mass Housing (Abingdon: Routledge, 2011).