The notion of urban centrality is commonly and widely used – sometimes abused – with reference to several meanings, aimed at different purposes: to complain about the poor vitality of urban edge areas that, despite any effort in projecting and working out redevelopment and renewal plans, still appear lacking in movement and activities; to report and denounce the weakening of appeal of urban historic cores, which frequently empty with the traditionally located activities that shift toward new development areas; to advertise development plans in external areas that, despite their actual distance and isolation, are expected to get so appealing as to compete with the inner cores. In all cases, what appears to characterise the notion of centrality is the (lacking, wished or expected) appeal towards activities, that is their actual attractiveness. A wide scientific literature shares the assumption of the notion of centrality in terms of attractiveness: roughly speaking, a central urban place is a place where activities seek a location, and the struggle for a central location is assumed as the ordering principle of the internal geography of towns. This is a somewhat tautological approach (‘a central place is a central place’), and can’t account for the factors that determine such attractiveness. Setting aside the undoubted influence of the located activities, this paper focuses on the role of urban space: on the way it is perceived and used. For this purpose, a configurational approach will here be assumed, so as to investigate on the role of the grid configuration, assumed as primary in determining the distribution of attractiveness. The idea is that the use of a configurational approach will allow to understand centrality as a process (related to the continuous development of the urban grid), rather than to describe it as a state (depending on the presence and mutual interaction of activities). On the one hand, the evidences of researches on a significant case study (Leghorn) appear to prove the reliability of such assumption, so as to attest centrality as a spatial process and the primary role of the urban grid in its making, thus confirming the findings of other studies on the configurational approach. On the other hand, the same findings make to emerge that the notion of centrality is not so monolithic as expected, in that urban spaces appear to differently attract different kinds of activities, so as to determine global centres as well as local ones.
|Titolo:||Towards a Visualization of Attractiveness: Urban Centrality as a Multifactorial Process|
|Anno del prodotto:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|