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December 2, 2007

A neo-Jacobsian take on urbanism: "morphogenesis"

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Atlantic Yards Report

In this time of discussion about the influence and impact of urbanist Jane Jacobs, it´s interesting to hear a modern take that, while not explicitly referencing Jacobs´s work, seems to reflect her conceptualizations.

Take the innovative landscape architect James Corner of Field Operations. “Sites are always, in a sense, in a transition,” he said at a panel discussion November 8 at MOMA titled The Old Becomes New: Urban Revitalization in New York.

He contrasted the “model of erasure and tabula rasa” and its polar opposite, preservation, when “the historic residue has to be preserved” at all costs, with the notion of morphogenesis,” or “the growth of life,” which allows that “good landscapes, like good cities, are never static.” (The term comes from developmental biology.) Note that, while Jacobs has been embraced by preservationists, that was never her priority.

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Posted by amy at December 2, 2007 11:57 AM