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Traditional, Modern and Sustainable Architecture in Rome

February 13, 2009

YouTube link:

This is my first real effort at using video on my blog; feedback is welcome as always.  This discussion on architecture in the city follows up on discussions and readings by proponents of “traditional architecture” and of “new urbanism”, an unlikely term for a movement that on the surface comes across as fairly regressive.  Both movements are polemically anti-modern and the architects who claim allegiance produce works eerily removed from history as it has evolved over the passed 80 years or so, like stage sets in a period film.  Yet the observations and prescriptions of people such as Leon Krier or Andrés Duany, when stripped of their stylistic bias toward classicism, are pretty much on target.  The charter produced in 1993 by the Congress for the New Urbanism states: “neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice”  It would be hard to argue with this, whether your aesthetic tastes tend towards Palladio or towards Gehry.

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