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Johansson, Eva-Lotta and Råsmark, Charlotta (2006) Staden i ord och handling. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

What is a city? What do we mean when we describe something as urban? In what way should we build the city so that we can achieve a good environment for our own generation and for generations to come? These questions are constantly of interest and they are frequently discussed. It is also important to have considered these questions when working with city-planning. This essay contains a description of and reflections about the recurrent questions in today's debate about the city and city-planning. The time period that is focused on is from 2001-2006. The debaters ideas about the city's soul and its purpose, how it should be built, how we build sustainable cities and the importance of competitive cities are presented. The definitions of "city" and "urban" are studied closer. We show how "city" is defined by others and we present a definition of our own, one that is deliberately broad. We want to distinguish the notion of what a city is from the ideas about how it should be developed. Urban is a word that, from our point of view, can be used either as an adjective to the noun city, or as a description for a certain type of city structure and architecture. We think the first way is problematic. In the Swedish debate about the city, urban is a word that is often used carelessly, as if it is perfectly clear what kind of city you are referring to. Instead of using urban as a description of the characteristics of the city, you should try to actually describe the specific qualities you are referring to. As a description of a certain type of city structure and architecture, we think that "urban" works well. With a discussion about the notions of nature and culture as a starting point, we argue that the city greenery doesn't need to have a certain character or expression to fit in with the urban environment. We also argue that it should be considered as a part of the city in the same way that buildings and infrastructure are. The planning of green areas must be an integrated part of city-planning and not considered a special case. Influenced from a visit in Kalmar we discuss resemblances and differences between the Stockholm focused debate and the planner's reality in a middle-sized Swedish town. An important issue in the section about Kalmar is how to handle history and tradition as well as development and new thinking. In the last section we discuss, in different ways, variation as a typical city characteristic and as a quality that we want to protect. We also criticize todays focus on competition and we discuss the advantages and disadvantages in planning.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: Stadsbyggnadsdebatt, stadsmässighet, stadsutveckling, stad, planering
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Eva-Lotta Johansson
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2006
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:41
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/1098

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