Wording Urban Diffusion. ENSA Paris Belleville. 21 novembre 2018
The diffusion of urbanization on greater scales is a global phenomenon that has called for revision of the analytical frames used to understand the relation between territories and urbanism. Since the 1960s, research on diff using urbanization in diverse geographical and historic contexts has produced terminologies and concepts in different languages.
Stéphane Sadoux, Susan Parham and Matthew Hardy will present a paper looking at : “Repairing Suburbs: The socio-spatial dimension of the traditional urbanism discourse”
In Britain and the United-States, suburbs have over the past couple of decades generated an increasing amount of academic research. Initially, many of these works attempted at shedding light on the forces shaping these changing suburban areas and at describing their spatial characteristics. More recently however, a number of publications have focused on design and action, in particular those produced by academics and practitioners who can be referred to as traditional urbanists. These works suggest a number of principles and methods aiming at transforming, retrofitting and ‘repairing’ suburbs identified as sprawl based on transect principles and in the light of current social, economic and environmental issues.
This paper relies on critical discourse analysis as a method for highlighting the socio-spatial dimension of traditional urbanism. A corpus of nine texts (dated 1996 to 2014) is analysed. These texts are
representative of various strands of traditional urbanism (New urbanism, proponents of Urban Villages, of Garden Cities etc.)
The paper does not aim at judging the validity of this discourse, rather, the intention is to show how it built upon a specific language, in particular on vocabulary that explicitly refers to the social dimensions of human settlements.