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Urban design Pop Marxism and Urban Sprawl

Trinity Moses

The context..the Southwest Ohio Cincinnati-Hamilton-Middletown-Dayton conurbation...an overpass "Austin Road"...over the main interstate at the edge of Dayton suburbia, south of the Dayton Mall retail/office complex, is proposed to be converted into an interchange...


..the ostensible reason was/is economic development/job creation. The interchange was first pitched as a way provide easier access to the former Cold War era DOE Mound nuclear weapons site, now closed & being redeveloped

The soon-to-be-replaced Austin Road overpass over I-75.


terraserver c. 2000:


property ownership c 1997:*


"...just speculating..."


...controlled sprawl....

The Postmetropolitan Realm is the urban condition of Horizontality". In it, the Rural is replaced by the Exurban. The Postmetropolian Realm is decongested and open. The Postmetropolitan Realm covers the Earth, but in certain areas of great accumulation, it takes the form of a Megacity

The concentration of populations and the centralization of information defies predictions that the Internet and new technologies will undo cities. On the contrary, the reliance of contemporary communications on fiber creates a new centrality with a massing of strategic resources in giant metropolitan areas, or Megacities, acting as command points in the organization of the world economy.* *The internal telecommunications structure of Megacities itself mirrors that of country-wide territories. Megacities bypass large areas of disconnected local populations. Uneven development will be the rule as the invisible city determines the economy above.

A Megacity is generally recognized when an urban area together with surrounding suburban and exurban areas coalesce into a postmetropolitan continuum with a population of massive size…


Information is capital and data on networks is proprietary, a matter too important for corporations to allow free access to. Moreover, the complexity emerging with the massive proliferation of connections increasingly makes it hard even for corporations to understand the dimensions of their world....Even for the corporate hive mind, the map has now been exceeded by the hypercomplexity of reality.


"The first of these is networked capital: late capitalism has entered a new phase. Data and capital are now inextricably intertwined, creating a new spatiality. Location in telecommunicational space is as important as real space. Second is the importance of the invisible city and the eclipse of form. The shimmering, ghostly computer-generated shapes of recent architecture only detract us from the less visible, but more real, work of programming and organizational processes. ..


"...Horizontality destroys skyscrapers and kills cities..."


"...The culture of horizontality does not undo hierarchy, it just makes it harder to read..."


"....The increasingly horizontal corporation, organized along super-Taylorist and cybernetic principles of communicational efficiency, would construct low, spreading buildings for its offices in the suburbs. Consequently, in Los Angeles as in other cities, the congested vertical urban core began to empty.



Ville Radieuse Redux


"In his essay “The Fluid Metropolis,” [Domus 496, March 1971] Andrea Branzi tracks the downfall of the skyscraper and the urban core. He observes that “the skyline becomes a diagram of the natural accumulation which has taken place of capital itself.” Once capital takes over “the empty space in which [it] expanded during its growth period” and when “no reality exists any longer outside of the system,” the skyscraper’s representation of the accumulation of capital becomes obsolete. Branzi concludes that the horizontal factory and the supermarket – in which the circulation of information is made optimum and hierarchies disappear – would replace the tower as the foundational typologies for the fluid metropolis."




Looking through the Mead Corporation holding, to the hills of the Miami Valley...


Waldruhe, a gift from the Shantz family, I think..this was their rural retreat at one time...


South on 741, toward the Austin Road intersection



"subsidized housing" disguised as a spec development



...part of the old Waldruhe estate...but now a community center?


Next door:


"As exurban areas develop over time, their insular nature allows for a new kind of urban diversity.* Adjacent neighborhoods develop and coexist which are radically different, creating almost self-contained worlds where interaction is hardly necessary or likely among its residents.* Unlike the districts of cities, the transportation network that feeds commuters into exurban areas makes it unnecessary for residents to travel through adjacent neighborhoods or even to have knowledge of them."



Three degrees of seperation between the subsidized and market rate housing...vegitation screen, chain link, and board fence...


"Exurbia is not suburban sprawl. Rather, it is a type of land development which occurs in formerly rural regions where agricultural production is no longer profitable. Exurbia recolonizes the land, taking a working landscape and making it a landscape of visual consumption".



The term Exurbia was originally used by Playboy Magazine’s associate publisher and general editor Auguste Comte Spectorsky in his 1956 book,
the Exurbanites

It is currently used to describe low-density regions that maintain the benefits of an urban way of life (a mode of existence which is primarily consumptive in nature), yet are detached from major cities and metropolitan areas.




As connections between cities grew into fully functioning communication networks and interstate highways enabled the shipping of goods and materials across any distance, the idea of city life could be exported to any location. Exurbs are the low-density self-sustaining communities that spring up in the middle of nowhere as a result of this infrastructure.* "




...rears to the clear zone


Dayton Wright Brothers Airport




Looking toward the 741 intersection and down Austin towards the interstate


"Exurban areas, like urban districts, are generally networked together, forming virtual clusters of similar areas throughout the world."

"As the most visible products of society that literally shape our environment, buildings provide social cues. "Architecture structures group relationships by articulating moods and milieus within the ubiquitous horizontality of the contemporary urban realm. In the continuous construction of the postmetropolitan realm architecture now takes on the same role that Muzak played within the office block. It adds color to our lives. Sometimes it is fast, sometimes it is slow. On rare, special occasions, it is engaging, more often it is banal and background."

"Contemporary architecture since the mirror glass building creates a catalogue of prefigured affective conditions that allow for variation while accepting that mass difference is a fundamental requirement for living with total universalization"

"...Rem Koolhaas and other members of the post-avant-garde maintain that architecture should do nothing more than embody the flows of capital. Instead of enslaving itself to capital, as it does now, and instead of fulfilling the master-slave dialectic to become capital’s master, as it always wished to be under modernism, architecture now decides to end the game and achieve oneness with capital..."


Gas station at end of runway


Dayton...birthplace of aviation.....


"Exurban areas are far less costly and burdensome to run than the metropolis and have little need for heavy infrastructure. Crime, traffic, urban decay, and social tension hardly exist among its residents who effectively maintain a distance from the troubles of metropolitan life without the loss of any of its benefits."



People flee cities and suburbs for exurban communities of people just like themselves: neo-hippies, Klansmen, snow skiers, and elderly retirees. Purchasing patterns, shared identity, and lifestyle interests produces the voluntary homogeneity of exurbia.


Individual works of architecture now become examples of Atmospherics: a relationship between emotional forms whereby a sense of movement, from effect to effect, is generated* …The variation of stimuli within the built environment helps us to remain engaged with the world, by adjusting to constant change





..pleasantly landscaped sidewalk on 741


...the network plans to open an outpatient facility in Springboro at Pennyroyal Road and state Route 741, said Kevin Lavoie, spokesman for the network. The facility will be used for lab work and women's services, such as mammograms and imaging, Lavoie said. A group of general practitioners and specialists will work at the center, he said.

The Springboro facility will be part of Village Park at Settlers Walk, a planned 80-acre office, retail and residential park being developed by Coffman Development Co., just across state Route 741 from Settlers Walk, another Coffman development. The center will be "an anchor" to the office park...

Kettering Medical Center looking to Expand South


The next OH 725...looking south toward Springboro & the Clear Creek Valley....



"And was Jerusalem/
Builded here/
In Ohio's green and pleasant land"


Gazebo in the Settlers Walk traffic circle....


systems of communication...infrastructure....

"If the dawn of the bourgeois era is marked by the development of the metropolis, it ends with the complete transformation of the world into a postmetropolitan condition in which the metropolis becomes secondary to systems of computation and communication...






empty nester housing facing the airfield.....


....the Clear Creek valley....


...impoved Pennyrile Road....


Noah Cross (to Jake Gittes): " Either you bring the water to L.A. or you bring L.A. to the water." (in Roman Polanski's "Chinatown"


"...the United States won the Cold War because it understood that the nature of production changed from physical objects to a virtual system of networks. The Cold War served the United States as a massive fiction, allowing it to develop the world’s most thorough system of networks..."

[/i]Already, Eisenhower saw the importance of networks when he spearheaded the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 to ensure the construction of the world’s first transcontinental highway system. In submitting the documents to Congress, Eisenhower wrote:

“Our unity as a nation is sustained by free communication of thought and by easy transportation of people and goods. The ceaseless flow of information throughout the republic is matched by individual and commercial movement over a vast system of interconnected highways crisscrossing the country and joining at our national borders with friendly neighbors to the north and south.


Together, the united forces of our communication and transportation systems are dynamic elements in the very name we bear - United States. Without them, we would be a mere alliance of many separate parts.”

"Cut-rate detailing and low-cost prefabricated elements made Guild House a stark reminder that modernism won its battle not because of ideology but because it was cheaper to build than neo-classicism. Later projects by the firm that followed this methodology would be condemned as “ugly and ordinary… the ideas of the decorated shed and ugly and ordinary architecture proved too controversial for even the most avant-garde architects" [/I]


...modular housing is the realization of the "radical architecture" of the European 1960s....collectives like Archigram (UK) and Archizoom (Italy) proposed "no stop cities" of grids of services where you would just "plug in' temporary accomodations..partly as ironic critique/diagram...


....well here it is in reality:


"Value is now a commodity in and of itself, regularly sought out and consumed. All objects and all people are members of a giant stock exchange, not as investors on the floor, but as flickering numbers running across a banner, some rising, some falling, but always moving up and down. "





"..Exurbia is marked by the homogeneity and clustering of its residents.
Residents of exurbia want to avoid situations in which they encounter individuals unlike themselves. They maintain a distance from other groups in order to decrease the likelihood of chance encounters with strangers and dissimilar people that typify urban life. In exurbia, group identity is formed by a collective sameness rather than group interaction and communication..."



..the "Dayton Daily Worker" with a lot of security....their editorial positions are not popular in the area:



"…. The space of global technological flows does not desire to become visual or apparent: perhaps only some spray-paint or a flag in the ground marks the presence of fiber below, sometimes even that is elusive...."


--------->* source for most of the quoted/italicized narrative in this thread is the audc website
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Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator note:

2019-10-04: Replaced (most) watermarked images with clean images from the OP's Photobucket album.