Posts Tagged ‘commercial’

Urban development – the commercial city

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Who is in reality in charge when developing new towns and new parts of old towns? 

Private and public cooperation is often cited as the modern way of financing large projects in cities. The public side gets their services going and the private builder gets his income. Often the “private” company investing is publicly owned and with commercial interests.

What will the city be and look like when this process is seen over a longer time span? It seems to me that we risk that everything will be a mall – you can buy food and clothes etc. wherever you are. Spaces for meeting other people are gone, places to play are few, parks and dams are hardly found, it is difficult to find an area where you can stroll peacefully. 

The planning processes will have to be scrutinized! Urban youth are now spending much of their time in the malls – because malls are the only places in town. Complex social developments are taking place – our public meeting places are being taken away at great speed, our activity is seen by cameras, private guards are present. We now risk losing civic rights because commercial rights have taken over. If you don´t spend you have to move away! 

The connection between politics, capital, architecture, sociology and the individuals as private citizens have to be looked into anew. 

Enrique Penalosa, once mayor of Bogota: ” when malls become a meeting place, it´s a sign that a city is sick”.