The city transforms: changing perceptions of urban identity: (case study - the path of remembrance and comradeship in Ljubljana)

The city in the twenty-first century is in the midst of dramatic changes, and yet many have yet to fully manifest themselves, still concealed in technology and distributed enough to escape general understanding within the existing context of built form. Technology may be outpacing urban architectural theory, and large populations (primarily the young generation who are growing up with computers and mobile phones) are altering the identity, use and ultimately the form of cities. What is this changing identity? The present thesis asserts that if the "first generation" of cities was characterized by built forms and spaces, and the "second generation" defined by mobility, then the "third generation" of cities will certainly be "hyperdynamic", that is, technological, dematerialized, unprogrammed, emergent, adaptable and virtual, if they are to serve the needs and behaviors of their inhabitants. A theory of these three generations coexisting, much like archaeological strata, in the form of three conceptual urban layers is presented, along with consideration of the possible relationships between them. A case study set in the city of Ljubljana highlights emerging changes in the perception of the city and focuses specifically on the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship, a unique urban feature set against the background of Ljubljana's history, technologies and ways of thinking about cities. The case study forms a basis for talking about future trends and the potential for an expanded lexicon of urban dynamics.

Related material