The following essay addresses the discourse around the good city, trying to understand the importance of having a thinking on the topic rather than providing solutions for a good city.
Providing solutions for the good city pose questions such as: good for whom? what is good? etc. These questions prompt that good and city are two words that form more questions than answers. In these nebula of questions urban design plays an important role because its nature is in the urban and therefore in the city. As Madanipour points out, urban design occupies a potentially strategic place in shaping the city of the future (Madanipour, 2006).
Madanipour uses two words that are fundamental in this conversation: city and future. It is therefore important that urban design is concerned not only with the present but also with a long term thinking about cities: the future that is open-ended, even though not infinitely malleable (Friedmann, 2000).
The questions that arise are: What does thinking about the future means? How is possible to imagine something in the future? What is the role of this exercise?
City and Society
When thinking about the good city naturally every person imagines a physical condition to be improved but the physical environment is not the only force that shapes the city. For example, city and urban society cannot be detached (Lefebvre, 1970/2003). Hence the urban society is, combined with the city, an important force in urban development.
“Thus, no discussion of the good life can ignore the particularities of the urban way of life” (Amin, 2007, p.1012).
To aim for a good city therefore a good society has to be formed.
Towards a better view: Utopia and its importance
'Good society for a Good city' ...
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Boyer, M. Christine, 2008, "The many mirrors of Foucault and their architectural reflections" in Michiel Dehaene & Lieven De Cauter, Heterotopia and the city: public space in a postcivil society, Routledge, London.
Prozorov, Sergei, 2010, " Why Giorgio Agamben is an optimist" in Philosophy and Social Criticism, Vol. 39(9), 2010, Sage, University of Helsinki, Finland.
Wilkinson, Julia, 1993, "A Chinese Magistrate's Fort", in Greg Girard, Ian Lambot, City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City, 1993, Chiddingfold: Watermark.
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Kipfer, Saber, Wieditz, "Henri Lefebvre: Debates and controversies", in Progress in Human Geography, 37(1), 2013, Sage, pp. 115-134.
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