jueves, 19 de julio de 2012

The city and pedestrians

There was a moment in the history of the cities where pedestrians lost our right to the city. The public space once the space of the development of community activities, became vehicular circulation space. The other functions of public space were minimized and tried to solve them creándole specialized spaces.    
There was a time that went so far as to specialize in areas of different urban functions. Was promoted and new cities were experienced with residential areas, industrial zones, commercial zones, work zones, and recreation areas, linked by roads. But above all there were many interventions based renewal to accommodate cars and vehicular traffic, destroying large historical core, losing the sense of social space and public space by marking the trend of development of new urban areas. Cities grew and grew, became crowded with new neighborhoods and suburbs where public space was dedicated mostly to the "fast road" vehicles. 
And it still does. Both city and this model is valid and so into the head of planners, officials, technicians, media, academics, students, ordinary citizens, it is very difficult to break this pattern. The regulations require us to leave as much room for vehicular circulation and pedestrian minimum, even for local streets. It is thought only in circulation, according to that logic dictates that pedestrians need less room to move because they occupy less space. Extend the urban to remote areas and major roads are created for it. Is the logic of the car, is the loss of human scale. 
We must break the pattern of city that makes roadways and regain the right to the city for pedestrians. 
But back the city for pedestrians is not only facilitate the movement on foot through the city, is to recover all possible functions that can have a public space. We must be clear that only one of the functions of the street is the circular. Must be returned to the whole character to the street space community development. This statement could have been so obvious in the first boroughs, is currently one of the schemes more difficult to break.
For this, the design of different public spaces should allow the development of multiple social functions. Being a citizen meeting places, children's play, exchange of cultural expression, development of productive activities.
Our public space must also be to allow us to develop as individuals and community solidarity should be learning spaces, spaces for both spiritual and physical development of its inhabitants, living spaces, spaces for the development of democracy, space we facilitate sustainable urban development, areas that strengthen our identity and where we feel satisfied as a human
This is the challenge that lies ahead for our cities, transforming irlas to allow the full development of the human condition. The Good Life is in our public space, the more human needs we can make our public spaces, the happier we are. 
"As we try to decorate our homes with every comfort imaginable, forget the great advantages of local public meeting. Streets and squares are delivered to the car, while the pedestrian is forced to be fixed by narrow sidewalks. He lost the right to the road literally. Neighborly contact, so central to the consciousness of the ancient towns and fairs, was destroyed by the explosive growth of motorized traffic. It is important that we build our communities back into public schools, where men, free of traffic and the influence of private residence, may be in a neutral atmosphere and where the climate of the community to achieve public expression. "      Walter Gropius. 1956
Diego Hurtado Vázquez. APQ.
October 2010

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