Martin Brabant

Martin Brabant (2015), Centrality: Within Disperse Urban Space, Institute of Urbanism; 1st reviewer: Grigor Doytchinov, 2nd reviewer: Reinhold Lazar; 209 pages, German.

City center, shopping center, healthcare center, medical center, center of commerce, congress center, communication center, competence center, central park, center of power… these examples to be mentioned to show how diverse the word “center” can be used. However precisely what is a “center” or what does “centrality” and “de-centrality” mean in an urban context. What is called “central” or “center” according to our modern understanding? “central is everywhere – centrality is nowhere!” There are uncountable existing hydride-terminologies for the world “center”. The city center has hardly changed its position from a geographically point of view – though the meaning of centrality (nomenclature) has assimilated to social way of living. “centers” are unequal central, are unequal city, are unequal urban space: No – if the definition of city is as follows: a defined space with increased appearance of physical structures and a certain population. Yes – if it is a quantifiable performance. Hence there is an increasing pressure on physically structured existing (and continuously altering) space and needs to adapted (more frequently within increasing intervals) to requirements (requirements include all technocratic populist topics of “postmodern urban development”). The city is function is to supply goods but there is no room of social needs anymore – the evanescently boarder of urban space – “centrality – within disperse urban space”. When is a center a center? How far apart are centers supposed to be from one to another? Are multiple centers the answer of differentiated requirements? Are information and communication centers said to be a new kind of centrality? How are they organized or rather how do they appear in urban space and how does the concept of urbanity stick to centrality or how has it separated.


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