5 years ago

new c?t?es as soc?al new c?t?es as soc?al-spat?al laborator?es ...

new c?t?es as soc?al new c?t?es as soc?al-spat?al laborator?es ...

1 5 t t h h I I N N T T

1 5 t t h h I I N N T T E E R R N N A A T T I IOO O N N AA A L L P P L L A A N N N N I I N N G G H H I I S S T TOO O R R Y Y S S OO O C C I I E E T T Y Y C C OO O N N F F E E R R E E N N C C EE E seeking to cater, at least initially, for one or more dominant roles (e.g. administrative, colonization, railroad, relocation, balneal and satellite purposes, among others); 3) implanted in a previously chosen site; 4) based on an urbanistic project; 5) designed and/or developed by (a) defined agent(s) – skilled professional(s) eventually; and 6) within a determined temporal deadline, even implicating in a reasonably accurate foundation time. These are six applicable attributes to models produced throughout the ages. Kahun, in 19 th century B.C. Egypt, regarded as the first example of a city planned in grill structure in the West. The cities under the Greek rule of Miletus, in 5 th century B.C. Turkey, or Turios and Piraeus, in 1 st century B.C. Greece. The cities of the Roman Empire, such as Cosa, strategically implanted north of Rome in the 3 rd century B.C., and Timgad, Algeria, in the 1 st century A.D., as part of the Roman domain over the north of Africa. The povoas, the bastides and the villes d’evêque, in Medieval Europe. Aztec Teotihuacán, in pre-Colombian Mexico. The Forbidden City, in 15 th century Beijing. The Laws of the Indies, which guided the projects of the new cities of Spanish America. The entrepreneurial European cities, with the advent of the industry from the 18 th century. Las Vegas, in 1905 USA, and the other NCs created as a result of the 20 th century tourism boom. The English new towns or the French post World War II villes nouvelles. These are a few examples that the existence of NCs has long been part of the history of urbanism. Specifically in Brazil, the case of NCs antecedes the pre-colonial (19 th century) and republican (20 th century) examples. During the Colony (from the 16 th to the 19 th centuries), the capital cities implanted on the coast – determined by the Royal Letters -, the Jesuit villages and missionary settlements – extremely regular and organized according to the religious order (Carmelites, Franciscan etc.) -, and the Pombaline villages – implanted in the Brazilian hinterland -, add to the administrative headquarters of Teresina (1851), Aracaju (1855), Belo Horizonte (1895), Goiânia (1933), Brasília (1960) and Palmas (1989), and the hundreds of cities of the western colonization in the last one hundred years, representing the course and the diversity of the regular nuclei in the national territory, from mere incipient settlements to true NCs. This brief worldwide and Brazilian historic background about NCs reveals the remote origin of such type and its encompassing diffusion. It is an introduction which enables us to attain a better understanding of the universe of NCs, their meanings and applications in diverse contexts; a true “experimentation field”, as some authors prefer to define them. Idealized objects, at a first instance, as trials of a perfect world; objects which under favorable circumstances became real sceneries, as follows. 2 2 _ _ NEW NEW CITIES, CITIES, FROM FROM UTOPIA UTOPIA UTOPIA TO TO REALITY REALITY In a text dating back to 1922, North American sociologist and historian Lewis Mumford defines utopia as: “... the ultimate in human folly or human hope: vain dreams of perfection in a Never-Never Land, ‘a country that will not be’, or rational efforts to remake man’s environment and his institutions and even his own erring nature, so as to enrich the possibilities of common life.” (Mumford, 1969, 1). 2

1 5 t t h h I I N N T T E E R R N N A A T T I IOO O N N AA A L L P P L L A A N N N N I I N N G G H H I I S S T TOO O R R Y Y S S OO O C C I I E E T T Y Y C C OO O N N F F E E R R E E N N C C EE E Folly or hope, signs reveal that the term utopia was originally coined by English writer Thomas Morus in his 1516 homonym work [Figure Figure Figure 11], 1 from Greek roots. It arose from the noun tópos (place) in two particles, the prefix eu (good quality) and ou (none), which is also used in its contracted form u. It means, respectively, the good space (eutopia) and the space that does not exist (utopia). However, the creations of a perfect society dwelling in a model-city date back long before the 16th century. From the Republic (384 – 377 B.C.) of Plato or the Mount Athos (1st century A.D.) of Vitruvius [Figure Figure Figure 22] 2 to the propositions of cities in great structures of the second half of the 20th century (Brasília, by Rino Levi, 1957; Tokyo, by Kenzo Tange, 1960; Walking cities, by Ron Herron, 1964), these “ideal cities” are symbols of a quest for lost original happiness, persecuted since the biblical traditions (Eden, the promised land). Figure 1 – Utopia, 1516, Thomas Morus’ literary work on an ideal society. Source: Giordano, 1962, 191. Figure 2 – Mount Athos and Vitruvius’ ideal city (1 st century A.D.). Sculpted on the rock, the giant protects the NC with its arm. Source: Lang, 1952, 91. Such propositions have always fed mankind as much as they have occupied the imaginary of a large number of philosophers, writers and historians. For Anatole France (in Berneri, 1950), “Without the utopians of other times, men would still live in caves, miserable and naked. It was Utopians who traced the lines of the first cities...”. Arising from generous dreams, these intents became beneficial realities. Utopia, according to the French writer, would be the principle of all progress, an essay into a better future. This constitutes a defending reading which goes against the criticism by Mumford (1969). Contrary to the idea of platonic utopia, the historian points to reality as the sole way to a better life. For him, Plato created a utopia discourse which imprisoned 3

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