Despite the current downsides of the global economy, several global and second-tier cities in the Western world and in Asian countries keep investing in large scale spectacular urban projects. According to policy-makers, this is due to the strive for distinction in the competition for media attention and international investments, for improving urban infrastructures and facilities, for becoming (or remaining) a destination for corporations and global tourism. Similarly, the long term shifts one can see in architectural and urban design cultures seem to parallel a stronger tendency toward spectacularization in our urban politics and society. By drawing on a set of relevant projects in Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Milan, Paris and other cities, this chapter shows the problems of spectacularization of urbanism under three perspectives: iconic buildings as part of larger development plans, spectacular architecture legitimizing planning choices that would otherwise be difficult, and finally symbolic urban policy. The paper maintains that both the making of such projects and their effects should be critically considered with reference to the urban landscape and the transformation of actual places. In the conclusions, it tries to show the relevance of spectacularization in contemporary cities in Northern Europe.

Spektakular Urbanism

PONZINI, DAVIDE
2016

Abstract

Despite the current downsides of the global economy, several global and second-tier cities in the Western world and in Asian countries keep investing in large scale spectacular urban projects. According to policy-makers, this is due to the strive for distinction in the competition for media attention and international investments, for improving urban infrastructures and facilities, for becoming (or remaining) a destination for corporations and global tourism. Similarly, the long term shifts one can see in architectural and urban design cultures seem to parallel a stronger tendency toward spectacularization in our urban politics and society. By drawing on a set of relevant projects in Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Milan, Paris and other cities, this chapter shows the problems of spectacularization of urbanism under three perspectives: iconic buildings as part of larger development plans, spectacular architecture legitimizing planning choices that would otherwise be difficult, and finally symbolic urban policy. The paper maintains that both the making of such projects and their effects should be critically considered with reference to the urban landscape and the transformation of actual places. In the conclusions, it tries to show the relevance of spectacularization in contemporary cities in Northern Europe.
Urbanismer: Dagens stadbyggande I retorik och praktik,
978-91-88168-04-7
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1015791
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