The production of cities: Christopher Alexander and the problem of "System A" at large scale

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper sets out to respond to the question of whether, and how, can Alexander's system A of generating beauty and life in the world be implemented at the large scale. We show that the generation of beauty in cities is a question of time not scale, and that it is a product of morphological evolution, typified by what we call: informal participation. The mechanistic system codified and developed in the last 70 years for building the environment (system B) is not able to accommodate informal participation, and thus incapable of creating beauty or life. It is not planning per se that is the problem, but knowing what needs and can be planned, and what needs to be allowed to evolve. Thus, planning's role can be redefined as creating the structures, both physical and regulatory that will allow informal participation to occur freely and create life, beauty and wholeness in the built environment.

Conference

ConferencePursuit of Pattern Language for Societal Change - PURPLSOC
CountryAustria
CityKrems
Period3/07/155/07/15

Fingerprint

beauty
Planning
participation
planning
city

Keywords

  • urban design
  • grid
  • building process
  • urban morphology
  • built environment

Cite this

Porta, S., Rofè, Y., & Vidoli, M. P. (2016). The production of cities: Christopher Alexander and the problem of "System A" at large scale. Paper presented at Pursuit of Pattern Language for Societal Change - PURPLSOC, Krems, Austria.
Porta, Sergio ; Rofè, Y. ; Vidoli, Maria Pia. / The production of cities : Christopher Alexander and the problem of "System A" at large scale. Paper presented at Pursuit of Pattern Language for Societal Change - PURPLSOC, Krems, Austria.
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Porta, S, Rofè, Y & Vidoli, MP 2016, 'The production of cities: Christopher Alexander and the problem of "System A" at large scale' Paper presented at Pursuit of Pattern Language for Societal Change - PURPLSOC, Krems, Austria, 3/07/15 - 5/07/15, .

The production of cities : Christopher Alexander and the problem of "System A" at large scale. / Porta, Sergio; Rofè, Y.; Vidoli, Maria Pia.

2016. Paper presented at Pursuit of Pattern Language for Societal Change - PURPLSOC, Krems, Austria.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - The production of cities

T2 - Christopher Alexander and the problem of "System A" at large scale

AU - Porta, Sergio

AU - Rofè, Y.

AU - Vidoli, Maria Pia

PY - 2016/10

Y1 - 2016/10

N2 - This paper sets out to respond to the question of whether, and how, can Alexander's system A of generating beauty and life in the world be implemented at the large scale. We show that the generation of beauty in cities is a question of time not scale, and that it is a product of morphological evolution, typified by what we call: informal participation. The mechanistic system codified and developed in the last 70 years for building the environment (system B) is not able to accommodate informal participation, and thus incapable of creating beauty or life. It is not planning per se that is the problem, but knowing what needs and can be planned, and what needs to be allowed to evolve. Thus, planning's role can be redefined as creating the structures, both physical and regulatory that will allow informal participation to occur freely and create life, beauty and wholeness in the built environment.

AB - This paper sets out to respond to the question of whether, and how, can Alexander's system A of generating beauty and life in the world be implemented at the large scale. We show that the generation of beauty in cities is a question of time not scale, and that it is a product of morphological evolution, typified by what we call: informal participation. The mechanistic system codified and developed in the last 70 years for building the environment (system B) is not able to accommodate informal participation, and thus incapable of creating beauty or life. It is not planning per se that is the problem, but knowing what needs and can be planned, and what needs to be allowed to evolve. Thus, planning's role can be redefined as creating the structures, both physical and regulatory that will allow informal participation to occur freely and create life, beauty and wholeness in the built environment.

KW - urban design

KW - grid

KW - building process

KW - urban morphology

KW - built environment

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M3 - Paper

ER -

Porta S, Rofè Y, Vidoli MP. The production of cities: Christopher Alexander and the problem of "System A" at large scale. 2016. Paper presented at Pursuit of Pattern Language for Societal Change - PURPLSOC, Krems, Austria.