Mirador Building in Arquitectura Viva n97
Living without a city .
The housing problem has become the problem of the city. During the twentieth century, the urban transformation brought about by the mechanization of agriculture and migration from the countryside to the city raised the so-called ‘ housing problem ‘ . The pioneers of industrialization knew him before, and unhealthy overcrowding of the urban proletariat was the backdrop for the hygienist promise of modern architecture , which was fed with the same spirit and the same regeneracionista moral outrage that projects of utopian socialism or allegations of revolutionary Marxism in the previous century . In the early stages of the twenty-first , and in the context of the developed world , the accommodation is no longer a quantitative or health , but qualitative and environmental concern : guaranteed minimum dimensions , effective ventilation and salutary sunlight , contemporary housing suffers from mediocrity visual , routine programs and anorexic environments.
Except for the new immigrant , who lives lumpenproletariat centers of our cities with conditions not very different life from those described by Engels in England working the first industrial revolution , the rest of the urban population of the West does not face dramatic dilemmas in the field of housing. The housing bubble , it is true , has thrown the young to the most inhospitable peripheries , and the increasing fragmentation of family groups , plus the unstoppable might of the residence individually multiplied the demand for ever smaller homes, but this combination distance and size does not cause more dysfunction than long itineraries and costly fragmentation of services : a wasteful sparse colonization of the territory that can only invest decisively when energy prices compel it, but in the meantime expressed considerable capacity attraction for residential investment.
This amorphous hypertrophy of the cities ‘ urban trash ‘ to form a horizontal Babel anonymous lifeless – like neighborhoods and developments in morphological structure to bacterial cell cultures – or metastasis is the most significant challenge facing the political will or designing a voluntary citizen geography expressing the physical landscape in the very nature of the social body . It is inevitable that , regardless of our desires , formal degradation of the contemporary city is a fair representation of the deterioration of the collective body : a diseased tissue in which the singular beauty of some pieces of architecture is so pathetic like jewels on a face haggard. Housing is not a problem today claiming aesthetic or stylistic innovations experiments , it is an urban political problem , the civitas or lapolis , ie citizen . We need more architecture , but above all, we need more city.
Luis Fernández- Galiano