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Order that seconds evolution but, at the same time, creates contradictions. Fundamentally, urban order is not independent from the requirements of various kinds economic, social, cultural and of life that the city produces; but none of these needs tends to fully prevail, precisely due to the opposing dialectics of the various requirements; urban order is not the outcome of mediation between the various requirements but, rather, gives rise to a solution that includes spaces for the interests of each to be realised, whilst simultaneously leaving antagonistic spaces.

The reality that springs from it is neither fortuitous or spontaneous ; its content is different in proportion to the growth of knowledge and the type of co-existence chosen or imposed , to the regime regulating production relations, but also the phase of culture. Each change, however, rapid or slow, does not wipe out the past organisation of space, but there are phenomena of continuous transformation and adaptability.

The organisation of space is a continuous task of conservation - destruction - innovation - construction : what is preserved is not always appreciated; often what is destroyed produces criticism, regret and the quest for revival; innovation, though real, is presented not rarely as an illusion; what is built seldom gains general approval. It is certain, however, that a static state does not exist; were this manifest it would be the sign of a remoteness from the continuous flow of evolution and innovation.

In modernity the instruments for giving order to space, apart from being refined, are a way of reducing discretion, namely the will to overcome, or more simply the achievement of the interests of one party to the detriment of those of the collectivity or of other single individuals. At least, this is their intention doubts and criticisms may be put forward on the respective realisation, but everything depends on political will or weakness.

We mean to maintain that in order to achieve urban order however defined the existence of a set of rules is taken for granted, which indicate the ways in which the city is organised so as to enable its efficient and effective functioning, with the satisfaction of everyone or preferring some this is a variable of politics.

While it is obvious that these rules vary over time and in space, it should be emphasised that their application is a manifestation of politics or, if preferred, a way of governing. The rules relating to space organisation have ambiguous features, they are both perceptive and programmatic, and this ambiguity can in no way be eliminated given the way they are applied. The guarantee of the results proves closely linked with the expression of a specific political will an intention and the management of transformation processes another aspect of political will.

But the ordered condition is only temporary; disorder tends to emerge from the tidy mesh. When the variation the urban dynamics is complex, of considerable size and speed, this cannot but cause disorder with respect to the previous order. In short, the characteristics of urban transformations that determine disorder are: quantity, i.

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In recent times, with the establishment of liberalism also at the level of organisation of the territory, so that organised spaces may seem like a conflict between individuals the other side of the coin is collaboration , it has not been possible to deny the existence of processes of exchange, integration, collaboration and competition, and conflicts between individual interests.

By this we do not mean to ignore the strength and importance of the individual and along this path the possibility of partial processes of self-organisation well-tempered individualism can be good for space organisation, too , but just to emphasise once more that space organisation responds to requirements of a collective, social, functional and cultural nature, and that as such, space cannot but be organised according to collective planned political processes. And that if self-organisation processes go beyond aspects of little importance they determine, even if not intended for this purpose, breakdowns in the collective organisation of space.

It cannot be picked out as an exclusively negative element, for it actually represents positive distortions, too, of the systems set up, and can introduce elements of dynamism and innovation and translate social transformations into spatial terms also; in a certain sense it corresponds to the vitality of a specific urban condition.

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The political nature of this demand places it on the terrain of the comparison and strength relations. The city and the territory are no more than an exercise field for various options maintained by different forces, often with alternative objectives; it is indeed due to the presence of opposed forces that the city, in general, and up to now, has never completely responded to the interests of one party.

Just as the Siamese twins seek but do not find a position that is comfortable for both, the city moves continuously between order and disorder, between ruptures and recomposition. Perception of order and its advantages and of disorder and its disadvantages is not only not immediately clear, but can only be the outcome of a reflective process, which cannot but bypass individuals to take on the complete, complex urban society and its values. If it were true, as we have mentioned more than once previously, that functional, aesthetic, social order did not, in the past evolution of the human species, constitute a spontaneous event but the outcome of a project, then we would need to devote some thought to this.

The City, Disorder, Harm and Social Control, 1st Edition

One might ask what drives a collectivity to a sort of Sisyphean torment, namely to the continuous repetition of an action that is useless: to set up, work for, commit oneself to the achievement of urban order that is not lasting. One might maintain that this need is the only one compatible with the possibility of survival of the species, which has on the one hand to oppose the forces of nature that would like to blow it away, but must, on the other, fight the stimulus towards the disintegration of coexistence with a counter-stimulus consisting of rules, of norms and values that are not stable but continuously renewed, though ever present.

To design and achieve urban order is fundamentally an option in favour of coexistence. A project that constitutes an attempt, not always perfect, to respond both to demand expressed or implicit, not just of functions but also meaning.


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As can be observed, even though ideas and specific situations may drive us towards individualist exaltation that tends to be unbridled, the species has an imprinting that urges it towards coexistence; contemporary life, increasingly complex, effectively imposes greater and better regulation in spite of different appearances , entrusting each individual or social group once more with full freedom in belonging to spheres previously regulated and taking on the need to regulate new, different spheres not considered before.

We have thus reached a crucial knot: urban order design. The statement that planning is the suitable instrument to give answers to the problems of the city and territory nowadays does not meet with much support. The prevalent cultural, ideological and professional tendencies assert the need for a drastic review of it, or even its effective elimination. On one side, it does not seem possible to oppose the request for a review and modernisation of planning systems to take changes in society into account while, on the other, we forget that attention to the changes in society and, therefore, the respective adaptation of the instrument of intervention, is a constituent element of planning itself even though in practice this attention has not always been shown.

We are referring to good planning, which we would define as that which pays great attention to the collective interest and an improvement in the quality of life of inhabitants, and is organised using suitable instruments, having tackled the democratic encounter in its approach, taken into account processes underway and qualified and quantified the negative and positive effects of its action. But good planning also finds obstacles ahead.

But things are not like this. For every public decision on urban organisation and reorganisation, for all regulatory action, each tie or limit imposed, opposition and differentiation with varying degrees of importance arise. Social Inequality and the Quest for Order in the City 5. Urban Park, Order, and Social Reform 7. Conceptualizing and Framing Urban Parks 8.

Elite Ideology, Activism, and Park Development 9. Social Class, Activism, and Park Use The Rise of Comprehensive Zoning Class, Race, Space, and Zoning in America Reforming the Workplace and Reducing Community Hazards Workplace and Community Hazards Rights Back to Top. Awards Back to Top. Additional Information Back to Top.

Horizontal and Vertical Disorder: West Chelsea and Dumbo. Two Contemporary Cases.

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