URBANISM AND URBAN PLANNING FOLLOWING THE THOUGHTS OF HENRI LEFEBVRE
Free (open access)
157 - 164
TERESA VASCONCELOS E SÁ
The starting point of this communication is Henri Lefebvre’s thinking on urbanism and planning. We find, in Lefebvre’s works, two great themes of reflection: daily life and the city. His preoccupation, in simultaneously analysing the urban way of life and the city, reflects an insight which is central to Lefebvre’s thought: the idea that space is a social product. Since it is a social product, space cannot be thought of as external to society, to society’s values, to the dominant culture, or to the existing power relations. Thus the proposals presented by urbanists are not just technical works: they are ideological interventions. Urbanism is not a value-neutral technique which transforms the territory; it presupposes a set of values attached to an idea of the city, and those values should feature clearly in urbanists’ proposals. Let us consider two proposals Lefebvre made towards “a new urbanism”: the need for new concepts and the importance of developing an experimental utopia. We shall conclude by presenting some examples displaying elements of “new planning” as argued for from Lefebvre’s perspective.
Henri Lefebvre, urbanism, new urbanism