Margini di città e di mare. Il Marginal di Porto come scala e misura di nuovi spazi.

  • Giuseppe Parità


The city has always been confronting with its own end and the beginning of the water system. Among the different kind of margin areas, the ones that border the cities on their watersides are particularly interesting. These new liminal territories are rich in variety and differences and are set up of several elements made of different morphologies that should be carefully read and interpreted: the need of re-thinking the morphological elements that mark an urban edge leads to the identification of several shapes and forms of the water borderlands. Borders, limits, boundaries, edges, margin areas - usually consideres as an obstacle to the construction of the city -  turn themselves  as new possible “design materials” for building that ambiguous distance between city and the sea.  The article aim to focus on the case-study of Porto’s Marginal that well explain how many ways  a city can live its water edges. On a large scale, it is configured as a strip of 15 kilometers of public space. Within this continuity, the different extent of the distance between city and water leads to reflect on the different types of relationships (and therefore projects) between the end of one side and the beginning of another. For Porto, those are not only urban parts, but also different geographical parts (sea, rivers, topography) that distance puts in relation through the design sometimes of the line, at time of the border or of a surface.  So, the analysis of these heterogeneous but continuous projects aim to focus on the several  techniques of urban composition to build contemporary public spaces. On one hand they give form to a continuous “public figure”, on the other hand each one of the project can be considered as part of a “atlas” of liminal places, giving form to public spaces.  


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