Peripheries at the Center: Architectural Failures, Identity Places and Empowerment in the Liminal Spaces in the City of Genoa

Paola Valenti
2017 On the W@terfront  
Far from being simple expansion areas in interdependent relationship with the city centers or urban fabrics dotted with those that, according to the worn-out definition by Marc Augé, we call "non-places", urban peripheries are today at the center of a multidisciplinary debate, which mainly aims to deconstruct their imaginary and to elaborate for them new possible representations. Genoa - a polycentric city because of its orographic structure and of its recent historical de-velopment, a city
more » ... lopment, a city that can rationally be defined "a city of peripheries" as well as "a city with-out peripheries" - occupies a prominent place in this debate: in its historic center coexist administrative districts and terrain vagues, gentrification areas and ethoscapes; outside of it, the many suburbs stubbornly preserve their identity as small urban areas with their own center and their own peripheries. The peripheries in Genoa create a complex scenario, in which a reductio ad unum center and their own peripheries. The peripheries in Genoa create a complex scenario, in which a reductio ad unum is impossible: they require the use of the plural name even if they might appear quite similar to each other from a urban and architectural point of view, with the dominant architectural model of the LeCorbusian "machine for living in", whose uncriti-cal repetition has let to one of the most dramatic failures in the history of modern architecture.
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