Holiday: American Utopia or Stepford?
“Building cities is one of man’s greatest achievements. The shape of his city has always been and always will be an inexorable indicator of the state of his civilization.” Edmund Bacon, 1967
The art of urban construction, which for more than half a century has been lost and rejected in favor of the development of decentralized commercial groups and the expansion of cities (the shepherds of modernism), is in the process of reviving in several ‘new’. City ” retreating around the country. Seaside, Newport, Windsor (all on the east coast) and now Disney’s Celebration have captured the hearts and wallets of Americans who want to find a middle ground between wasted infrastructure and the social isolation of our complex suburbs and the denser, rough/criminal stereotype of the big city. The dubious advantage (perhaps) is that somewhere in between there may be a new sense of community.
Millions of Americans in our barren suburbs are devoid of human necessity: to conduct a balanced social/environmental education (which our European colleagues benefit daily). Political isolationism and evasiveness are rooted in our psyche. Throughout our lives, the minimal daily interaction between children and adults with a representative sample of people of all ages with cultural, ethnic and economic differences limits our outlook and understanding. The fundamental issues of community, democratic participation and individual responsibility are ignored, perhaps because they relate to deeper philosophical and social themes that still elude American consciousness.
When it comes to new urban planning, most Americans don’t even know if it’s going to hit them on the back. Since mitigation (a form of legal corruption: the destruction of flora and fauna in protected wetlands in exchange for $15 million), Disney has not improved the typical unit in many ways. At Celebration, residents will get to work and low-paid CBD workers will get to work. The end result is car pollution as never before, especially given that the entire mixed-use complex has a higher density.
Celebration is too controlled and has no social awareness. It’s elitist: gingerbread hides social inequality. There is no evidence of an individual citizen’s contribution, and there will be no until the property (Association of Owners) has changed hands and Disney becomes legally inviolable. Totalitarian control, as in Ottoman Paris under Napoleon III, seems to be the only way that Americans can find some utopia. Abandoning the democratic process is an acceptable compromise to achieve peace of mind (read ethnic, social, economic cleansing). Our bleak history of failures of modern planning and zoning, initially aimed at improving the quality of life, has proved to be an antiseptic, narcotic social and environmental mystery, in which bureaucrats and entrepreneurs were the only winners.
During the celebration, the architects were stunned by the power that could only be demoted to the company’s executive term. The omnipotence of design combined with business goals has led to a high and overrated steroid division. Oddly enough, the architecture of the city center seems to have been the product of weak management control over imported “known” architects. Pastel banality with seamless finish (from one developer of the set and extra STO) – disney brand. You can even see a hint of fascism at the entrance to the project, where the offices of Disney developers contrast sharply with the colonial and classical traditionalism more characteristic of other public buildings nearby.
In general, the image of residential quarters resembles the facades of the first fast-growing cities of the West, hiding a meager “background”. The blown facades are pressed side by side on a narrow site, and the infrastructure is duplicated in the form of passages with 2-3 garages. The comfort around the lawns in front of the house and on the sidewalk is significantly disturbed. Exploration is only allowed from behind, where most families spend their free time in the pool and are protected from insects. Also, they will not be bothered by parades of curious tourists, which Disney plans to hold in the city center.
Despite using its brand and offering complete predictability in every aspect, Disney has worked hard to make the purchases of Florida Wetlands feel good: “Utopia on the scale.” without intuitive foresight, surprise, hoax or complexity, the common theme is the laconic “protection of privileges.” Since the “citizens” can’t wait to wake up in Mayberry, they, to their annoyance, see that they really bought themselves in Stepford.
What if they build a city and no one comes? (Intriguing thought, but perhaps not so, because business inertia and massive marketing expansion will ensure this.) In this case, I have a strange sense of loss, although dreams may seem classicist at first sight. on the verge of hatching. While many traditional/classical architects and designers have denounced the modernists’ arbitrary foray into the built environment and hoped that someday the wave would return to the widespread use of classical or formal design principles combined with more traditional planning theory and organicity, the concept of utopian basis for demonstrating “return to tradition” on this scale was not undertaken (except for Leon Krier’s fantasies) in three dimensions. Until now.
At the end of February this year, several local architects and apartment designers were invited to a Preview of Disney’s “Celebration”. This planned city of 20,000 people will have modern sanitary and educational facilities, the city centre will be designed by the usual cadres of “important” architects in historical style (including Philip Johnson’s rather unexpected modernist entrance) and about 8,000 people. Residence. Area. many different shapes and sizes, the widest – 30 meters with a 5-meter side indentation.
The project manager, a Princeton architect with a master’s degree in business administration, insisted that the purpose of the master plan was to create a sense of community; it is expected to reach a diverse mix of age groups and economic conditions in which families will continue to live for generations to come.