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 which are more than geographically far from each other, but united by social principles stipulated by their creators. In Letchworth [Figure Figure 77], 7 designed by architects Raymond Unwin (1863-1940) and Richard Barry Parker (1867-1947), under Ebenezer Howard’s attentive look, the entire plan of the NC, as well as its smooth operation, was grounded on regulations established by First Garden City Ltd. and, later, by the first residents. Norms and rules were created for land use and the control of the landscape ensemble, the ban on setting up businesses in the residential area, the type of constructions, the limited number of artisans by neighborhood to ensure clientele, the control over pet owning to prevent neighbors being disturbed, the ban on setting up polluting plants, the ban on opening liquor stores1 , and even the prohibition of ringing sirens in factories or tolling bells at churches and schools (Hall, 1955). Figure 7 – Image taken from the promotional folder of Letchworth, the first Garden-City in England. The advertisement sells a peaceful life in the greenery of the country, to families wishing to leave the large congested cities. The NC as the materialization of a perfect society. Source: Beevers, 1988. Ceres, on the other hand, regarded as a model agricultural colony and one of the largest producers of grains in the state of Goiás in the 1940’s and 1950’s, was designed by agronomist Bernardo Sayão Carvalho Araújo (1901-1959), from Rio de Janeiro, who was also in charge of the strict norms of postures and social conducts of the NC. Bernardo Sayão “did not accept liquor, prostitution or gambling in the colony area” (Marques, 2009), which led to the creation of another neighboring settlement: Rialma, on the opposite margin of the Rio das Almas, where almost everything was allowed! Letchworth and Ceres are, therefore, classified as NCs not only because of the circumstances involved, but also because of the social aspects, determined by their creators from the culture in vogue. In this sense, the NCs as a field of social experimentation were analyzed by Fachard (1982), when she differentiated them from the traditional city during its initial stage 1 In his theoretical work on the Garden-Cities, Ebenezer Howard dedicated an entire chapter to the sales of liquor (chapter VII), a problem English cities were facing. The high rate of alcoholism, especially within the working class (a likely escape from the chaotic urban reality and immoral working conditions), led the author to ban the sale of liquor in his idealized city. 8

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 when the way of life is more intense and diverse. For the author, after studying the French nouvelles villes of the 1960’s, “... the new cities came to substitute a complex voluntary system of spatial and functional organization, in which each question posed demands an answer and means that are compatible with the coherence of the ensemble. [...] The margin of freedom the new cities offer is a specificity which suits them really well, but which has as a corollary the need to make choices: To decide that which is good or bad.” (Fachard, 1982,38). It is a process of life which allows the future residents of the NC a change, as stated by Anatole Kopp in his 1975 book Changer la vie, changer la ville. To change life, there would be the need to change the city, or better still, to change cities. It was the opportunity for the younger ones to get promising jobs, to buy their own homes, to ensure quality of life for their children etc. It is a new way of life, “ideal for young couples with children” (Ducon; Yokohari, 2006), as seen in the satellite-city of Águas Claras, Brasília. Conceived by architect Paulo Zimbres, the youngest of all satellite-cities in the Brazilian Federal District attracts an inhabitant profile that is unique and differentiated from the others. According to the latest census (2010), young couples with children aged 0 to 6 who belong to the middle class and work in the Pilot Plan chose the satellite-city of Águas Claras as their home in the Federal Capital. The city, predicted as an answer to modernist-segregating urbanism which existed in Lucio Costa’s Pilot Plan and in the older satellite-cities, with the surety of the state and the domination of private constructing companies, unfortunately changed into a city with characteristics that are typical of areas of urban expansion in Brazil: Residential towers with over 20 stories, disqualified public spaces (abandoned squares, continuous walls, unwalkable sidewalks, undefined centrality etc.); privatized leisure areas in condominial spaces; narrow streets for an intense flow of vehicles etc. Perhaps due to this familiar scenario (attached to prejudice towards living in L. Costa’s superblocks) or even because of real estate offer, many families from different parts of the country have opted for Águas Claras as the city in which to start a new life. Be it for pre-established conditions, be it for inviting conditions to a specific target public, the NCs offer a new genre of life, in which “the position of the great urban roles [housing, work, transportation etc.] takes into account the new modes of individual and collective positioning” (Vermeersch, 2005). In Japan, for example, the NC of Tsukuda appeared as the solution to one of the evils of contemporary life. Founded in 2000 northeast of Tokyo, this settlement was born as a new concept for the patterns of urban life: slow life, in opposition to the stress and the hustle and bustle of large metropolises. It is a specific way of living, which leads authors as Warnier (1988) to tax the NCs as “just a problem in the planning of the picture of life, and not an urbanistic pact, a pact of urban planning”. But if for some researchers the NCs have become loci for particular social compositions – a space for the control or liberation of their future inhabitants –, for other scholars they have also characterized themselves as true urbanistic and architectonic laboratories. When they conceived such questioning as: 9

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