The contemporary city is characterized by complexity, simultaneity and instability, producing situations of transience and transformation (Graham, 1998; Nasar, 1998; Christensen, 1999). Rather than being an artificial construct, the city is a set of habits, customs and lifestyles. These elements are interrelated, not to be viewed individually, but subsumed in the identity of place and the identification of the city (Carter et al., 1993; Nijkamp & Perrels 1994; Castells, 1997). These transformations have contributed to an increasing urban identity crisis and turned cities into heterogeneous, multiethnic and multicultural societies (Rapoport, 1977; Dickens, 1990; Bauman, 2003). The new urban features are not easy to identify and cannot be easily represented using traditional cartography and tools of representation. To study the transitory nature and complexity of these urban features, new types of analysis and supporting tools are currently being designed and tested. There are three criteria governing the study of aspects that are not simply translatable into objective facts: scientificity, meaning the objectivity of the results and the repeatability of the method in different kind of contexts; updating capability, meaning the possibility to add new data, to modify the existing data or to obtain other results; and timing, meaning the possibility of using the results in a sustainable programming and town planning process into the future. The analysis of place involves the virtual, lateral, nomadic, multiscale and configurational approaches (Sepe, 2004a), which can be split into two categories. The first category, which includes the virtual, the lateral and the nomadic approaches, makes use of atlases, maps, schemes and video to represent the products of analysis; the second category, covering the multiscale and configurational approaches, is based on data processing tools and, in particular, software tools for the data collection and management. The study of these approaches has motivated the development of a new approach, which is sensitive to urban complexity, based on the PlaceMaker method.1 The complexity-sensitive approach can be included in the first group with respect to the adopted methodological tools, but also in the second group as regards the supporting tool used for the analysis. PlaceMaker was developed in the context of a broader research project carried out under a Convention between the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche and the Dipartimento di Progettazione Urbana, Universita` di Napoli Federico II, entitled: The identity of the contemporary city and cultural, landscape and environmental assets: Representation of the new urban culture, with hypotheses for future scenarios between integration and sustainability. Starting from this premise, this work sets out to illustrate the new methodological approaches and tools for analysing the urban area and proposes the analytical method PlaceMaker as part of a complexity-sensitive approach, as well as presenting the results of some significant experiments already carried out, in order to demonstrate its potential. Furthermore we shall illustrate the software currently being developed for use with the PlaceMaker method that supports it in all its phases. To represent the results, the method of analysis produces a complex map that provides a complex image of sites. The complex map is intended as a support for integrated strategies on the urban and territorial scales and the various tools of knowledge: it can help administrators and professionals make informed decisions for sustainable planning and construction of the place-identity, and serve as a source of information for citizens and all users of the sites investigated (Sepe, 2004b). This article is organized as follows: the categories of approaches are illustrated; then a detailed description of the PlaceMaker method, software and experimentation is given; finally, the conclusions are presented.

PlaceMaker: supporting sustainable urban planning

SEPE M
2006

Abstract

The contemporary city is characterized by complexity, simultaneity and instability, producing situations of transience and transformation (Graham, 1998; Nasar, 1998; Christensen, 1999). Rather than being an artificial construct, the city is a set of habits, customs and lifestyles. These elements are interrelated, not to be viewed individually, but subsumed in the identity of place and the identification of the city (Carter et al., 1993; Nijkamp & Perrels 1994; Castells, 1997). These transformations have contributed to an increasing urban identity crisis and turned cities into heterogeneous, multiethnic and multicultural societies (Rapoport, 1977; Dickens, 1990; Bauman, 2003). The new urban features are not easy to identify and cannot be easily represented using traditional cartography and tools of representation. To study the transitory nature and complexity of these urban features, new types of analysis and supporting tools are currently being designed and tested. There are three criteria governing the study of aspects that are not simply translatable into objective facts: scientificity, meaning the objectivity of the results and the repeatability of the method in different kind of contexts; updating capability, meaning the possibility to add new data, to modify the existing data or to obtain other results; and timing, meaning the possibility of using the results in a sustainable programming and town planning process into the future. The analysis of place involves the virtual, lateral, nomadic, multiscale and configurational approaches (Sepe, 2004a), which can be split into two categories. The first category, which includes the virtual, the lateral and the nomadic approaches, makes use of atlases, maps, schemes and video to represent the products of analysis; the second category, covering the multiscale and configurational approaches, is based on data processing tools and, in particular, software tools for the data collection and management. The study of these approaches has motivated the development of a new approach, which is sensitive to urban complexity, based on the PlaceMaker method.1 The complexity-sensitive approach can be included in the first group with respect to the adopted methodological tools, but also in the second group as regards the supporting tool used for the analysis. PlaceMaker was developed in the context of a broader research project carried out under a Convention between the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche and the Dipartimento di Progettazione Urbana, Universita` di Napoli Federico II, entitled: The identity of the contemporary city and cultural, landscape and environmental assets: Representation of the new urban culture, with hypotheses for future scenarios between integration and sustainability. Starting from this premise, this work sets out to illustrate the new methodological approaches and tools for analysing the urban area and proposes the analytical method PlaceMaker as part of a complexity-sensitive approach, as well as presenting the results of some significant experiments already carried out, in order to demonstrate its potential. Furthermore we shall illustrate the software currently being developed for use with the PlaceMaker method that supports it in all its phases. To represent the results, the method of analysis produces a complex map that provides a complex image of sites. The complex map is intended as a support for integrated strategies on the urban and territorial scales and the various tools of knowledge: it can help administrators and professionals make informed decisions for sustainable planning and construction of the place-identity, and serve as a source of information for citizens and all users of the sites investigated (Sepe, 2004b). This article is organized as follows: the categories of approaches are illustrated; then a detailed description of the PlaceMaker method, software and experimentation is given; finally, the conclusions are presented.
File allegati a questo prodotto
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1658616
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact