Active City Space

The Active City Space. Creative og recreative?

Over the last 10 -15 years , there has been no conclusive in our relationship with cities in Denmark . We are back by getting a bybevidsthed . This means that we increasingly understand ourselves as villagers. It also means that the city gradually the image of our conception of society. It's a pretty big jerk in consciousness in a very few years.
Perhaps it is the gradual emptying of agricultural land for the population , or maybe it's just because there is so much difference in the picture of agricultural land and the reality out there that we again have made ​​the city - the built space, the cultural space - the main hub of our co-existence with one another . The city has taken over the role of the country as a model for our lives.
At the same time there are significant changes in the balance between production and recreation in many cities. It is concentrated mainly in the western world, and perhaps primarily in Scandinavia. Urban spaces are approaching a mix of tourism and the experience economy , which is both futile and suffocating for renewal . Therefore , there may be a need to look at the room that do not meet the requirements of closeness , body proximity and experiential intensity can be fed a quality as to better meet their productivity. As elevates the aesthetic and hence behavioral quality so that quality of experience and behavior may also apply in the spaces marked by traffic and production, which are organized by industry standards . Or as simply too sparsely populated to a soft, clinging recreational atmosphere may come. And all things being equal , it is probably the biggest part of the urban spaces that are designed for efficient transport and production, if you look at the extent. In any case , never very far outside the historic centers before experience speed increases from Flaneur 3 km h to the car approx. 50 km h

This suggests that there has been an unconscious division of the phenomenon town in two parts. One part is seen as the real city . This is the part of town that can be experienced at a slow pace , and the smoke, noise and waste are largely absent. The second part is the improper city : the city that can not offer recreation and richness of experiences , but which is characterized by industry and transport and speed. In some strange way is the part of urban life , which forms the economic base for the break in the sun, banished from our consciousness - almost ousted and placed the outskirts of towns .
At the same time the public space changing. It is no longer primarily influenced by production, but of recreation. Where the use of the common urban space previously dominated by that people had errands and work , which led them into the city, leisure culture gradually taken over urban space dynamics , and reduced it to a consumption risk saunter . Sometimes to a point where you have to think : Is there not someone who should order something more?
Recently, in Denmark wealthier by sleeping than by work because of house prices rocketing . It made for a time work to an unfortunate bi- fact of existence.

The requirement to town these days is that it should be more city. Because we still have a craving for physical , textural and multi-faceted experience of the space around us . An experience we got satisfied in the wild in the past, but has been replaced by the cultural space multifaceted . By following a both conscious and unconscious demands for quality and rich experience in urban spaces . You should not complain , either as a citizen , as an architect or artist with the public space as an important part of its area of ​​work . For it is precisely the intensity , quality and density, we all travel out to experience the holidays to Rome , New York or London.
In the battle for citizens - to avoid the threat of being an involuntary part of the outskirts of Denmark , competed cities with respect for themselves at home for ten fifteen years ago at the gymnasium . Since it was malls that would draw newcomers to as being cultural . And the latest bid on the quality of a city is precisely the public domain. The cities of renovating its plaza space and diverts traffic so civilian life can get better framework to unfold in. But the production and the recreation room are often separated in the process.
It is a common assumption that good urban attracts resourceful people with high tax contributions that urban spaces can help to promote commercial life and consumption and improve the cultural diversity. According to the logic , there is no limit to the amount of activities in the urban space , both the stationary activities such as creating sites, renovation of streets , installation of sculptures and fountains, and the volatile action in the form of festivals , sporting events, street entertainment , market days and live music .
We should therefore all be happy. Politicians with the prospect of prosperity , citizens will be a memorable urban spaces and artists and architects for work opportunities . And why is it that seeps into a BUT in worship ? How ungrateful we can be . Now we finally have the intense urban space , we have been screaming for - there is something happening - and gradually replaced the joy of the feeling that the pendulum has swung too far aktivitetsssiden .
It is precisely to experience the tremendous momentum that comes from countless people targeted tours through the city that we travel to big cities like New York , London and Berlin. We enjoy as tourists to sit at the café and watch the turmoil resulting from the many human , transportation and errands . But a problem arises when we do the same in our own city . For we can not all sit and look at each other. It has become an automatic response that suggests the cars removed and benches installed virtually anywhere. For cars messy and noisy . But they are also the image on the productive dynamics.

The last several years it has been universally accepted that the city should be humanized . There was previously a lot of attention to the city as "production publicity " . This means that the city until about the mid-1970s was primarily a framework for work , and not a space for relaxation.
It followed the extension of roads in place the expense . As for example Dante's place in Copenhagen , which is reduced to a small outgrowth of an 8 lane highway .
Urban space has also been a battleground for society's different , sometimes conflicting , forces. For streets and squares have represented the few public spaces that were open as they passed through them from the tenement to the factory or school. Not for nothing called the behavior of the uncontrollable public spaces in the early 20th century " parliament of the street " when it is a political direction. For street and the square was the only room that is not enclosed individual and regulated its behavior. Haussmans avenues of Paris are just " shooting galleries " which one artillery can master the last unruliness in urban spaces .

With the humanisation of urban space is a series of dogmas sprung up around the contemplation of it. In line with the growing leisure and opportunity for private consumption , we have gained awareness of urban space belongs to the individual. This applies when working and not least at leisure. Production adverse conditions such as cars , backyard factories , smoke , noise and dung , which dominated the cityscape has been removed , so it private , recreational life has been able to get better terms. And gradually spread the new idea that the town first and foremost a welcoming setting for leisure pursuits. The most successful descriptions of urban strategies is said and unsaid from the viewer's position - the flaneur , as Baudelaire , Walter Benjamin and Robert Walser sings at the beginning of 1900 . According to the descriptions , we should not rush off to work. We must walk in the sun and look at life .
It is both beautiful and useful consideration when cities must change their face. For there are still numerous (large) cities that still have a softening for the benefit of the unproductive life. But the image of the recreational spaces contains a few uomtalte weaknesses that appears as soon as you work with spaces in cities under a certain size . Or in space is not itself offers experiential qualities that can be brought to fulfillment.
The recreational urban living from the surrounding production areas , and the momentum this creates around the oasis of solar benches. The recreation spaces require that the city has a certain size. Both because the surrounding dynamic work must have a certain size, for there is something to look at. And because the recreation spaces are always closely linked to consumption. In short, we have something to spend money on in the recreation room . And if the city is not big enough , there is no economic basis for the cafe and lifestyle stores to maintain audience.
The surrounding work must have a certain size , not least because most of the production nowadays takes place indoors , is moved to the suburbs , or 3 world countries.
But what happens to those cities that do not have the size to operate a recreational spaces ? For it is surely as amen in church that the proposed café and art gallery shows up when the talk is about what to fill a new urban space in a smaller town . And what happens to the room which is well located in relation to the sun , in proximity to buildings and parks with great amenity , or who do not have a human scale - ie . is too large to cosiness comes.

The Russian composer Igor Stravinsky wrote in his little book " Musical Poetry " from a time in the fifties , when we reach the point where music is available everywhere and all the time, will no longer listen. The music will be background noise on the line with traffic noise or the wind . And perhaps it is there we have reached . The many recreational events in the city shows that there is clearly not the end of the urge to be entertained . It is just not engage . The primary function is to amuse . And it is probably unfortunately the word " recreation " that best serves the working basis for activities in the urban space right now.

How can we raise a new urban space that takes into account both the general recreational urge to sit on the bench in the sun, and to meet production life with its many demands for efficiency , speed , transport, etc. In the earlier models of urban spaces is there are two opposites. Working life and rich experience in urban space has not been reconciled.
We know the recreation spaces very well. But maybe you could work to regain a better balance between the recreational and the production spaces .
The strategy for a new urban space may well architecture , landscape architecture and visual art included to ensure strong , robust and intense space. Social behavior alone is not enough . For just that socially -filled space is almost impossible to achieve anywhere but just in city centers in major cities and towns . Maybe it's just when urban space design and public art production is sharp up to a working life and a productive live that sparks can drift .

Just as a forest possess glory without even someone looking to " use it " (It was only Dan Turell , who as a young man allegedly thought that you had to throw a 25 pennies in a coin to the forest to work) , they have street spaces and squares to serve as a qualitative framework for the production life possess aesthetic profits also in large parts of a day when only pakkekuréren and bicycle commanded passing .

There is much talk that we should be dynamic , innovative and future-oriented . It should be visible in the urban space so anyone visiting can spot it , especially in the capital.
We should be glad that it is so relatively easy to get ordinary people down the street to do in the public space for citizens and become the foundation of city life. But it 's a delicate balance . Maybe we could find a better balance between creativity and rekreativitet , so the city's dynamic rise and we are told each other and the world around us that innovation and work is not an unfortunate incidental , but a pleasurable and intense part of life .

August 2012