Between Simulation and Authenticity

The question of urban remaking

Authored by: Scott A. Lukas

The New Companion to Urban Design

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138302129
eBook ISBN: 9780203731932
Adobe ISBN:


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The question of mimesis has long haunted the fields of architecture and urban studies. For many, the politics of imitation and representation have come to define, almost exclusively, the complex intersections of urbanism and consumer society. This chapter focuses on the narratives of space – or the ways in which space is overlaid with a “story” – as a means of understanding contemporary urban remaking. The specific foci of the chapter include the city as remake, ideal, brand, story, and concept. The case studies of many cities – including Berlin, New York City, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Copenhagen – presented here offer a basis for understanding contemporary debates about urbanism. Ultimately, it is argued, the future of urbanism may benefit from the presence of tendencies of remaking that relate to the nature of cityscapes, their residents, and city processes.

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