Beyond the 'Divided City': a manifesto for spatially-balanced, sprawl-free post-crisis metropolises
Going beyond traditionalist discourses on economic backwardness, uneven demographic growth and cultural secularism, this article proposes an interpretation of Mediterranean urbanities based on place-specific settlement morphology and characteristic socioeconomic traits, including unregulated regional planning, poorly-participated local governance and typical socio-spatial structures. By questioning the (supposedly weak) strategies containing regional disparities and the failed opportunities to promote scenic landscapes and cultural heritage of peri-urban areas, a framework investigating long-term urban dynamics in the Mediterranean was illustrated here and can be generalized to other metropolitan regions with similar morphological and functional traits. The proposed framework is based on the analysis of ecologically-fragile and socially-unstable contexts in view of the persistence of a structural crisis affecting the economic base, the institutions and the governance system. In this line of thinking, we debate on the relationship between crisis conditions in both social and economic dimensions and unbalanced spatial configurations typically observed in southern European regions, and shaped by persistent economic polarizations in urban and rural areas. While reducing demographic and economic polarizations along urban gradients, dispersed expansion of cities further contributes to unbalanced metropolitan structures promoting local-scale spatial heterogeneity and further enhancing territorial disparities.
Volume (Year): 13 (2017)
Issue (Month): 1 (JUNE)
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