Contemporary And The Modernist City Cultural Studies Essay

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In human minds the thinkings and ideas come in the form of contradictions and agreements from the ideas and concepts of other people. The thinking of the followers of Utopia is revolving around the word architecture. The motivation of Utopian thinking is based on the concept or model of fundamental town planning. Utopian thinking is comprised of double meanings so utopia is a place of happiness and it is also not a place. There are other people who don't live in the world of idealism rather they observe the real factors which must be taken into account for city planning and Jane has adopted the same approach for city planning. Jane's work is full of arguments and she criticizes the rise of influential people and the downfall of poor one. So the thesis statement is that one must have to observe the things in a real time scenario for making some ideal conditions instead of looking at the surface.

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The very concept of Utopia is based on idealism that someone is in the quest of an ideal location, an ideal personality, an ideal architecture, an ideal thinking, an ideal approach so everything must be perfect in its very existence. Most of the Utopian thinkings are considered as a threat to humanity because of their share in creating chaos and disturbance in the life and people have to lead a monotonous life. Jane Jacob in her book "THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES" severly attacked the Orthodox or Utopian appraoch, of Le Corbusier, about city planning and architectural designs presented by Utopians.

In the past Utopians have presented different town plans and Le Corbusier is the one who presented a town plan and the very plan of Le Corbusier was inspired by innovative technologies. His vision about town planning was revolving around restoration or cureness of the existing situation of the big cities and it is pro urban because he is using symbols, industry and materials in a new and modern way. His vision is a combination of industrial, new and modern concepts. The interior and exterior designs persented by Le Corbusier are based on Euclidean geometry mostly comprising of smooth lines. While on the other hand Jane thinks on more rational basis and according to her view there must be the pavements in the streets in order to promote safety for pedestrains because these things are more valuable in an urban life rather than of making the things monumental or showing them in a geometrical form as Le has shown. For her streets are very important, instead of thinking about linear cities which are just abstract in their nature, because streets are vital for creation of liveliness in urban life or in the lives of the dwellers of cities. She takes streets as a "sidewalk ballet" and she also consider the streets more important for social cohesion. Simply for Jacob the city must not be taken as abstract just by sketching by mere lines as by Le. There must be the representation of the people, streets, economics, law, rules, government, neighbours, and social integration. About a city Jacob says "The city has something to offer to everyone, since it is created by everyone"

The art of Le Corbusier is not a mere representation of the advance geometry rules rather the involvement of nature is also evident in his work. His proposal for "Radiant City" shows a clear depiction of natural beauty and we can see the natural beauty in the form of sun, greenery which may be in the form of parks or open spaces. Jane is of the view that the details about cities that how these cities look or have to look must not be a part and parcel of our thought as Le Corbusier has shown in his "Radiant City" because she is emphasizing on human action instead of focusing the human design. She is sketching the cities which are more near to nature with respect to social relationship instead of designing them using geometry. In his pure Utopian sense Le Corbusier has developed the vertical garden cities where the nature can easily be seen. So the very vision of Le Corbusier is based on the scientific principles instead of adopting the approach of social relationships in the cities as proposed by Jane Jacobs. So his approach is totally based on scientific principles from the start. Jacob is taking into acount a city as a living thing while Le is more machine based and abstract. In town planning of Algiers the proposed architectural models of the cities were against the culture of Islam rather there is a notion of French Colonialism. So Le Corbusier is a man with Utopian philosophy and seeing the things in a mode of perfection which is rather impossible. In her book Jane has presented the more social and natural factors influenced by sidewalks which are safety, contact and a suitable environment for children to play. Her concept of sidewalks is based on healthy and strong neighborhood. She has pointed out the factors which cause a diverse environment in the cities. She has also pointed out the economic methods or approaches being followed in the environment of a city. Jane's philosophy about modernist cities is based on more rationality instead of mere technical approach as the one owned by Le Corbusier. The Utopian Model actually solves the problem of mess and disorder in urban life but it is not possible hundred percent. The philosophy of Le Corbusier is curative and it is evident from his view about architecture and revolution simply he is against revolution which may be in the form of diversity and he is of the view that the revolution and diversity must be avoided when reshaping urban environments. According to Utopian philosophy diversity is the cause of congession. The Orthodox or Utopians are agianst the diverstiy but on the other hand Jane is against Orthodox philosophy about diversity. Here diversity is that there are different people from different tribes from different states or country who initially took temporary refuge in American cities and then they seek permanent shelter in America. Jane is of the view that this diversity proves fruitful because diversity yields new ideas about business and culture, products, approaches and philosophies. She is of the view that diversity is not the cause of congestion in the cities rather diversity brings liveliness and closer social relationships in the urban life. But on the other hand Le Corbusier views towns with huge buildings, with no diversity because Utopians consider diversity a major cause of congestion and in this way he sees the cities in a better form. As Le Corbusier is the follower of huge and high buildings because he considers that the high buildings are good for better town planning. The huge and high buildings ultimately result in the elmination of the dwellers who live in the slums and this would create the population instablitiy. Jane is of the view that the dwellers of the slums are unstable in their lives so they can rise in steps instead of shifting them instantly. In urban life she divided the public and private money into three forms and all the three forms works in a similar way and they pose serious desisting environment in the city. Further Jane is of the view that when we expel the less influential people from a city and allow the influential people to dwell there or rather we bring these people from other cities then this would create a disorder or self destruction of a city and the reason is the competition will rise among various influential people. This would also add a sense of discrimination in the society.

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From the above discussions it is evident that the philosophy or approach given by Jane is more near to nature and is also a mature one. Instead of living in idealism it is essentail that we must see the problems in the urban environment as seen by Jane. Jane has analysed the urban life and its problems keenly and after that she has proposed her model. But on the other hand we can't nullify the spatial design as proposed by Le Corbusier because the importance of geometry is also vital for city development and construction. There are some people who are of the view that Jane has suggested the idea of spatial design wrongly and it is also true but Le's model is totally inclined towards idealistic methodolgoy. The idealistic methodolgy sees the things at surface or abstract level instead of looking the things deep.