Thesecitydiscontinuities-area encapsulations were created as a result of the chaotic expansion of the cities. Blocks or even larger areas, which were located outside the established core of the city, not at a great distance, being of a specific urban use, e.g. warehouses, industries etc., came into disuse and became gradually deserted. Nonetheless, owing to the constant expansion of the cities, these areas were, at one point, incorporated into the city web, constituting however an obstacle, with the form of an area “cyst”, to the continuity of the city.
At the same time, the international changes in economy and the participation of the European countries in the “game” of globalization set new business standards. Thisnewperspectivepaysattentiontothequalityofthecityarea and demands regulatory and more general movements, open to suggestions of new uses as well as abuses; a task, which modern architecture has undertaken, like some kind of contract work.
Therefore, the need to resolve the problem of city formations and their active incorporation into the city web are approached in ways that conform to the prerequisites of our times. Strategies of intervention are developed, which are implemented by most European cities with a view to both ameliorating the situations in question and highlighting the relevant areas, in order to attract capital investments.
Some examples coming from the European area, featuring the characteristics mentioned above, can be considered as a forerunner of this new era. From the oldest intervention to the newest, these examples are the following: a)the opera of Bastille, b) the center of George Pompidou, c)the Parc de la Villette, d)the London Docklands, e)the Postdamer Platz of Berlin, f)the Kop Van Zuid area in Rotterdam, g)the Zuidas in Amsterdam, h) the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, i)the Diagonal Mar in Barcelona, j) Polo urbano fair “city life” in Milan. These interventions were performed at a block level, following a contest of architecture and they provided a solution to the city discontinuity problem by fully incorporating into the city web these parts of the city.
Similarproblematicareas exist in Greek cities as well: Oldindustrialfacilities, warehouses, campsetc. for which public and private capitals show no interest. Restoration actions are performed occasionally, when imposed by ongoing conditions (Olympic Games, cultural capital) and do not have the dynamic of the European interventions, as far as city planning and more general social goals are concerned.
Recapitulating, wecanpointoutcertainissuesfordiscussionandpose certain questions that concern the modern city.
_ Isthisnewtendency in a position to solve the existing problems or does it create new ones?
_ At what extent does each city preserve its characteristic features?
_ Can they be characterised as cities or justas gatherings of populations?
_ Whatwasthedefinitionof“city”andwhatelements did it consist of? Isthesametruenowadays?
_ Isitpossiblethat,intheend, it is not about the city formations but about the city-formation itself?
_ Does modern architecture provide a solution to the problem or does it lead to a dead end?