Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Study of morphological structures of historical centres as a basic toll for understanding the new conditions of social habitat. Quito, Siracusa and Suzhou
Veronica Rosero, Andrea Gritti, Juan Carlos Dall'Asta, Riccardo Porreca, Daniele Rocchio, Franco Tagliabue

Last modified: 14-05-2018


In the age of globalization, architecture (through an identity crisis) is directly connected with the loss of progressive recognition of morphological studies of city and territory, in a gradual replacement with real-time views of phenomena and urban facts. The satellite gaze finally flattens the interpretation ability of living spaces that were the prerogative of the morphological studies.


The actual complexity of cities and territories escapes from the architect's eyes as they increase their technical capability to know details. The season of great renovations and methodological studies that had powered the 1960s, 70s and 80s seems hopelessly distant. Studies on social, economic, and environmental components of the cities and territories (infrastructure, public space, environmental networks) are so proliferated without actually being supported by adequate interpretations of their physical-spatial dynamics. The result: a substantial failure of architectural design to express human habitat visions.


It is imperative a theoretical and practical effort to pick up the threads of an interrupted conversation, and return where these studies have expressed their richest potential: the historical centers, the places with most dense and rich heritage. Historical centers of cities like Quito, Siracusa and Suzhou have settled and stratified the morphological structures of several different settlement patterns. As a result, architecture has demonstrated an ability of description and interpretation. Reflecting on how this goal was reached in these cities (by means much less powerful than the current) settlement will be able to bid the morphological component of urban and regional studies and architecture project as a fundamental tool for understanding the human habitat.

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