quinta-feira, 5 de novembro de 2009

Tange: Plano para Tóquio 1960, por Lin 2008

ZHONGJIE LIN*, “City on the Move: Mobility, Structure, and Symbolism in Kenzo Tange’s 1960 Plan for Tokyo”. 96th ACSA Annual Meeting Proceedings, Seeking the City, 2008

*University of North Carolina at Charlotte

City on the Move: Mobility, Structure, and Symbolism in Kenzo Tange’s 1960 Plan for Tokyo

The classic approach of master planning, formally established in the Athens Charter by the Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (C.I.A.M.) in 1933, advocates strict division of functional zones according to the four major components of the city: living, working, recreation, and circulation. This Modernist canon, however, was widely challenged by urbanists in the postwar decades as they observed the dramatic changes in urban structures. The increasing proliferation of automobile not only resulted in tremendous mobility within the city, but also pushed the boundary of city far into the regional areas. Facing the chaotic urban landscape due to the incompatible approaches, the visionary architects of the postwar generation, prominently among them Luis I. Kahn in America and Team 10 in Europe, called for replacing the Cartesian methodology of zoning with new strategies of spatial planning, in which the mobility was regarded as an important characteristic and the key in restructuring the modern city.

While most urban theorists looked at automobiles and freeways as responsible of urban sprawl and the many evils of the modern city, these architects held a different point of view. Properly planned, they argued, the modern automotive infrastructure could paradoxically become an effective tool in reorganizing urban structures, framing urban boundaries, making cities legible and walkable, and regaining the traditional value of a city and the dignity of humanism. Infl uenced by the classical analogy of house/city that can be traced to Leone Battista Alberti, the contemporary utopians saw no difference between designing a building and design a city, and envisaged highways and streets as “architecture of movement” characteristic of the contemporary city.

In Japan, such new notion of urban mobility infl uenced a group of architects known as the Metabolists. They set off to revolutionize the approach to designing cities. Their ideas of the modern city were fully expressed in the visionary plan for Tokyo proposed by a team under the leadership of Kenzo Tange in 1960. This paper aims to revisit the radical concept of mobility embodied in this plan for Tokyo. In Tange’s conception, mobility was viewed not just as new means of technology in the planning of modern cities, but was instrumental in creating a truly modern urban structure and a new social order that the architect was dreaming for and pursuing. I will investigate the way Tange employed modern automotive infrastructure in restructuring the city, and the meaning he applied on such infrastructure. It thus reveals the political implications that were embodied in such reinterpretation of mobility in city design. 


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