“Synthesis Cities”: a proposal for a collage of generic morphological elements of contemporary urbanization

“Synthesis Cities”: a proposal for a collage of generic morphological elements of contemporary urbanization

Submission ID:

134

Currently, it is widely held that we live in a globalized capitalist world in which global-local relationships and their consequences and contradictions are the object of interest in all areas of human knowledge.
Drawing from the notion that we live in a world marked by planetary urbanization, wherein the distinction between rural and urban is erased and in which we are all subject to the intrinsic functioning of a single global financial market, this paper seeks to foster discussion about whether the morphological and spatial results of planetary urbanization manifest themselves in similar ways in different territories. Specifically, it aims to address the question: can we identify “city fragments” that are similar to one another – or, further yet, nearly indistinguishable – under the same type of socioeconomic phenomena observed globally?
Using recurring phenomena (closed condominiums, shopping centers, allotments on the outskirts of cities, illegal occupation, spontaneous or planned business districts and housing programs, etc.) and actors (public authorities, real estate speculators, large international companies, local landowners, immigrants and local populations, among others), this paper proposes the creation of a collage of fragments from different cities that, due to their similarity to one another, can compose a type of “model city” (or “synthesis city”) of the image of contemporary urbanization.
Four examples will be used of Brazilian cities that displayed intense dynamics of population growth at the beginning of the 21st century and that represent different sectors of the same globalized and financially interconnected system: Salgueiro (Pernambuco), a focal point of large infrastructure works driven by the Brazilian government; Santa Cruz do Capibaribe (PE), a cooperativized textile production hub; Parauapebas (PA), which houses the world’s largest iron mine; and Marabá (PA), which is closely connected to the metallurgical and agricultural industries.

Corresponding Author

André Portugal Godinho

FAUP Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Author #1:

André Portugal Godinho

FAUP Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto

Author #2:

Author #3:

Author #4:

Preferred Track

9. The Syndrome of Grand Projects: contamination processes between North-South, West-East, Global-Local

Second Preferred Track

7. Urban competitiveness and social challenges

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Contacts

DINÂMIA'CET-Iscte

Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies

Avenida das Forças Armadas | Edifício ISCTE

Sala D316 1649-026 Lisbon

grandprojects.2021@gmail.com

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