Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

A City from three points of view

Ron Kenley

Resum


The paper proposes a presentation of a pedagogical methodology for the understanding of place and site in contemporary network conditions. A number of seminar sessions were held on London, to introduce the city to fifth year Architectural students enrolled in a course entitled “Territories of the Contemporary City”, that took place at the Paris - Malaquais School of Architecture in 2001. As an instrument, the material was prepared on CD-ROM, allowing consultation away from the classroom. It consists of three distinct parts that introduce the current condition of the city, the tools of reference (cartography, imagery, legislation), discusses key initiatives and proposals, while opening the potential links between the different elements of the study. Chronologically, the first part is ludic in character allowing sequential and aleatory navigation, the second is a collaborative case study around a report produced by a partner University (UNL), while the final part presents the documents which constitute the substrate for urban regeneration activity in the United Kingdom. They are exemplified by projects on the Waterfront of Liverpool, in Manchester and the Thames Gateway London, described as “ Europe’s largest and most ambitious regeneration initiative. Extending from Tower Bridge eastwards to Thurrock and Bexley, the area has a powerful strategic location offering outstanding development opportunities for new jobs and homes, as well as environmental improvements” (Thames Gateway London Partnership presentation). The English texts are summarised in French and appear in distinct windows or screens, allowing annotation from discussion and persisting between the parts as an aide-memoir. The work has as an objective to identify the relevant systems and phenomena involved in urban practices, whether of a professional nature, or belonging to the urban experience. At the same time, at stake is understanding how respectively complex systems exemplified by the potential of networks, may be at once consistent and coherent, as well as defining their relationships (transformations, pluralism, proximity, simultaneity, autonomy, dependencies, associations...)

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