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Spatium  2007 

Patchwork or matrix: Testing the capacity of the contemporary city

DOI: 10.2298/spat0716001s

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Being exposed to the multiple needs of their contemporary users, the cities from all over the world have been forced to activate all capacities in order to intensify their land use, adjust their urban structure and reinvent some forgotten segments (ex-industrial areas, traffic nodes, docks, waterfronts) as generators of multilayered transformations and mutations. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyze and compare different approaches of this practice, as well as to emphasize the relation between the applied global imperatives/trends/myths, local conditions and limitations, and the outcomes. Consequently, the first part will be structured around four key-words which often "justify" and activate multifunctional and intensive land use - connectivity, profit, identity and sustainability. The second part will be focused on the case of Serbia, describing a unique postmodern example of the fusion of local and global influences. The multifunctional land use in this case is a result of numerous political and economic problems, the plurality of values and (il)legal transformations of urban structure. This condition has finally affected the rising need for urban redesign, the re-organization and revitalization of city centers, fringe areas, devastated and degraded urban zones, as well as the development of existing transport and communication networks i.e. improvement of urban and regional connectivity. Additionally, the "model of territorial values" will be explained as a planning tool which could be used in order to increase the level of urban attractiveness, define urban parameters and estimate land values. .


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