- From a Trading Zone to a Sharing Zone | Interior Educators
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From a Trading Zone to a Sharing Zone | Interior Educators
In summary, the emerging attempts of tactical urbanism challenge both the traditional parameters of urban design and the role of planners, architects and other urban practitioners, requiring new tools and methodologies that effectively mix top-down and bottom-up impulses. In this regard, it is probably necessary to reverse the optics, starting from the very nature of this principle of sharing, and looking at the domestic space in which it has traditionally materialized.
For this reason, given their consolidated expertise in this field, interior architecture and design could provide a fundamental perspective to identify effective strategies for building and activating hospitable urban spaces. In fact, beyond any typological and scalar delimitation, interior projects always share a particular approach, which is focused on the task of making architecture inhabitable. That is to say, they are always meant to grant people the possibility to appropriate, use and transform the space in which they live, in order to adapt it to their real lives, both functionally and symbolically.
By consequence, interior projects are always characterized by a specific methodology, which involves a continuous search of concrete strategies and tactics to build effective connections of meaning between two very different dimensions. They are like a physical and porous interface between the purely spatial datum of architecture and the actual possibility of inhabiting it. This means that interior architecture and design offers a set of strategies and tactics that are fundamentally different from architectural design, in that they are always concerned with this precise task.
For this reason, their approach entails the acknowledgement of some specific design parameters that are determined by the spatial consequences of the centrality of the human presence. In other words, if the sense of a place is mainly connoted by the productive action of the people who live it, the quality of design lies in the kind of experiences that the space is able to suggest. All these features, in summary, determine an adaptive philosophy of design that could be extremely productive in defining an operative approach to build and activate inclusive urban spaces.
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From this point of view, its formal quality would not lie in its geometric construction, but in its articulation in fields and objects that can be recognized, employed, and personally modified — namely inhabited in a direct and non-mediated way. Therefore, more than the urban morphological matrix, central to such projects is the degree of integration or mobility of that articulation, its exclusivity or its openness, its strictly symbolic connotation, or its interpretative flexibility.
In other words, the possibility of enhancing the inclusive potential of urban spaces would not involve a reversal of the design process that goes from the definition of a single element to that of a whole space. It would rather entail a gradual shift of interest from the shape of space to the forms of its use. This period started at the beginning of the s under Ronald Regan and Margaret Tatcher, in the US and the UK, with the neoliberalism turn that directly attacked the legitimacy of planning, a turn that continued to be influential throughout the last decade of the XXth and the first one of the XXIst century.
A period of deep social, economic and spatial change, characterized by growing globalization, an increased fragmentation of society, the emergence of new media, the acceleration of the urbanization process which transformed the very notion of city, blurred the administrative boundaries, challenged the traditional idea of planning based upon a linear relation between territory and authority Sassen At the end of this period we find ourselves in a situation of cognitive dissonance: the generation who made the strongest effort for the affirmation of planning is now retiring, the tools which have been elaborated to plan urban and metropolitan development are loosing their capacity, spatial relations are re-defined by the immaterial flows of information, the process of fragmentation produces a multiplication of actors, languages, spaces, which are different from the traditional ones.
All this challenged the very idea of planning based upon rational analysis, participation and persuasion. Among the many attempts to re-gain a role in guiding urban transformations in the second half of the s there has been a growing attention towards new forms of strategic planning which tried to react to some of the weaknesses of traditional land-use planning; initially this took the form of a translation from the American corporate strategic planning into the urban policy area; it appeared that this could have been a response to the neoliberalism attack, trying to transfer notions and concepts from the market side to the planning domain Bryson and Roering ; Albrechts But despite the great success, from Barcelona to Pittsburgh, this was not an effective response to the growing urban complexity: at the end of the day a city is not a corporation.
After a while, starting from different experiences, from Germany to Australia, from Belgium to Italy and UK, new approaches began to emerge. An idea of strategic spatial planning as a transformative and integrative, public sector led socio-spatial process, through which visions, frames of reference, justification for coherent actions and means for implementation are produced that shape and frame, what a place, a city, a territory is and might become Albrechts An idea of planning much more open, exploratory and experimental, that cannot completely rely upon the available theoretical foundations.
Providers of solutions may search for problems rather than the opposite; the structure of the decision making process is governed by casual combination. The garbage can model was describing a situation in which conflicts were not resolvable due to the many ambiguities of the context of interaction and to the wicked nature of social problems.
Somehow in the same attempt to produce an approach to strategic planning appropriate to the level of complexity of contemporary urban regions I have been searching for theories in other fields that could help in defining a new theoretical framework to go beyond the limits of participatory, communicative approaches that I have practiced extensively.
For Lindblom, in fact, it is not relevant whether or not you share, in general terms, the values of your counterpart, as long as you are able to bargain on a concrete planning decision. If you move in this direction you can make sense of many failures in mutual understanding and of unexpected case specific opportunities even among actors in a situation of even radical conflict.
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From this perspective the issue is how to deal with the situations of ambiguity proposed by the garbage-can model: the instability of the actors, their fluid participation, the complex game to enter into the agenda of public decisions, the casual combination between problems-holder and solutions-providers.
In the translation of Lindblom into the planning debate, which opened to the participatory approach, these dimensions were generally ignored.
The hypotheses put forward is that in order to succeed in carrying out projects of any nature in complex contexts, it is necessary for these to belong to, or intercept different strategies contingently, without requiring them to converge. Star and Griesemer claim that the creation and management of boundary objects is a crucial process in the development and maintenance of coherence between different worlds which intersect around a specific decision event.
It is not the capacity to make the right choices, from the viewpoint of the contents and the working method, which leads to the successful initiatives. In this context it is the ability to co-design an action that is a boundary object between the different strategies of the actors involved. This explains the ability to build co-ordinated forms of mutual interaction, despite a limited capacity on the part of each group to understand the conceptions, the methodologies and the objectives of the others.
It would be powerful if we could understand more systematically why some disputes can be productively advanced through the formation of delimited trading zones, while other such attempts fail. If we could do that, our understanding might lead us to strategies to encourage positive outcomes. Here, it seems to me, is a theoretical problem that bears on the most practical side of trading zone work today. There is a relation with the idea of searching for boundary objects in a situation of conflict and turbulence.
Urban Aesthetics as a Trading Zone
The contingent agreement in a trading zone does not require a steady set of actors, nor a steadiness of their objectives, nor a rational search for a solution to a given problem. A zone can be a physical space or a contingent conceptual space of interaction. From this view point the strategic action is the action which enters a zone of out-talk and trade. A zone which is not necessarily an arena, but is rather a recognised practice which aims at the production of the exchange.
The concept of trading zone suggests that instead of seeking to organize a process aiming at the creation of a general agreement we must try to seek those solutions which can belong to different life-worlds and to the different strategic viewpoints of the actors involved, while at the same time assuming that these actors are and remain in conflict. We may wonder at this point if strategic spatial planning that, in the most interesting definitions, we describe as an open process, capable to deal with the multiple values and perspective of actors, capable to deal with uncertainty, dynamic, exploratory and capable to change the sense of direction Albrechts ; Albrechts and Balducci ; Balducci , Balducci et al.
It is usually acknowledged that strategic planning is working on visions and on the involvement of stakeholder in a reflection about the future with the aim to produce a change in the immediate action and in partial choices Albrechts and Van Den Broeck Over time this simplified form can evolve into a creole and eventually into a full language.
But without the original pidgin no language could exist. The idea of strategic planning as the intentional attempt to create a trading zone opens towards a perspective of an explicit recognition of the kind of social work that must happen in the process of strategy making: not the progressive persuasion of the actors about common goals to produce the right choices, but the creation of an area of understanding, exchange and translation between actors to produce partial agreements and innovations.
Intentionality is rooted into the planning tradition, but this time it is emptied of any technocratic dimension, it is the frame with which a specific actor enters into a world of complex, unstable and conflicting relations trying to produce partial assemblages Beauregard We have discovered that both planning based upon technical rationality and on political rationality have important limits.
In a period of instability and complexity, globalization and dispersed urbanization we know that we still have to probe and explore how to plan working with democracy. We know that working in this way is not the solution of fundamental issues like social injustice, climate change, environmental unsustainability, demographic decay, but is the only way we have to attack these problems and try to make some progress. Albrechts L Strategic spatial planning re-examined.
Environ Plann B Plann Design — Albrechts L Shifts in strategic spatial planning? Some evidence from Europe and Australia. Environ Plann Volume — Town Plann Rev 75 2 — Territorio — Balducci A Strategic planning as exploration. Town Plann Rev 82 5 — Springer, Dordrecht.
- Volume Transmission Revisited.
- City Planning History - DCP;
- Reward Yourself.
- Ach, dass nicht die letzte Stunde BWV 439 - Score.
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