The Ecotonal Values of New Urban Boundaries in Processes of Urban Re-densification

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Filippo Angelucci

Abstract

With the disintegration of the Fordist city and the start of a new cycle of building densification, the unbuilt urban environment is assuming the connotation of a transitional space. Among these new kinds of spaces, urban boundaries can assume an important ‘ecotonal value’ for re-balancing the unsustainability, distortions and defaults of the modern city.
The intermediate and unstable nature of urban boundaries, however, makes it impossible to establish unique, closed or exclusive relationships with the city in these spaces.
A project for urban boundaries raises multidimensional questions concerning the ability to measure the physical-quantitative aspects of unbuilt space and define the qualitative values of these fringe areas. The reasons for redesigning urban boundaries can be understood by focusing on three questions.
For which users should these spaces be re-imagined? Who is involved in the process of redefining urban boundaries? Why re-design the functions and performance levels of these spaces?
Recognising ecotonal values in urban boundaries means attributing design with the ability to observe, to openly and adaptively interpret and govern the metamorphic dynamics of these spaces.
Unbuilt or less built urban boundaries must be entirely reconsidered not only as geometric spaces in which physical, material, functional and connective aspects converge, but also as a more complex meta-system of coexistence between different expressions and projections of how space is imagined, lived and perceived by individuals and society.

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AngelucciF. (2020). The Ecotonal Values of New Urban Boundaries in Processes of Urban Re-densification. UPLanD - Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design, 5(1), 123-140. https://doi.org/10.6092/2531-9906/7136
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