Revenge of the fragmented metropolis

  • YEAR
    Castello, Lineu
    2018 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science: Theory, Philosophy and Society
    Conference Papers


The time seems ripe in architectural science for urban researchers to re-examine and further discuss the idea of the city. On the verge of Anthropocene change, architectural scholars seem not to have moved beyond their characterisation of the contemporary city as a fragmented metropolis. What comes next? Cities are likely to survive – as well as to thrive. This paper discusses the major features of contemporary cities and how they address survival and continue to thrive, selecting the urban components they share vis-à-vis urban society’s stance towards contemporaneity. The paper ultimately points to the need to intensify the quest for a new diagram that can suitably represent the new conditions of contemporaneity in cities. If this diagram is inserted within the domains of architectural science, it might lead towards a more straightforward focus on the crucial elements of the city’s future. Two emblematic metropolises are closely examined, revealing innovations towards the containment of urbanized land to prevent unsustainable sprawl. There is also consideration of current uses typical of contemporary life and territorial discontinuities during the advance of the conurbation. Vague trends towards polycentrism are then considered, together with tendencies pointing towards containment of sprawl and the creation of new places that will somehow act in ‘gluing together’ the fractures. Architectural science is now challenged to outline a new diagram.


To top