Oct 12, 2015

UTL researcher Nikos Katsikis recently presented some of the core arguments of his doctoral research at a conference on “The Horizontal Metropolis: A Radical Project,” organized by our colleague Paola Vigano at the EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland.  His paper developed his key distinction between “agglomeration landscapes” and “operational landscapes” with reference to a variety of spatial data visualizations of historical and contemporary land uses.  His core thesis was that global system of agglomerations, although occupying no more than 5% of the planetary terrain, is actually responsible for the (re)organization of most of the 70% of the earth’s surface currently used.  The conference agenda follows:

“Horizontal Metropolis is both an image and a concept, it is a lens through which to view the form of the contemporary city, conceptualizing it and constructing it as a project. It refers to a specific spatial condition characterized by a horizontality of infrastructure, urbanity, relationships, and by closely interlinked, co-penetrating rural/urban realms, communication, transport and economic systems. Contemporary urban figures such as città diffusa in Northern Italy, desakota in Asia or ville horizontale in Africa, fine-grained settlement dispersion in Flanders, or Zwischenstadt in Germany are just some of the examples able to effectively describe this emergent urban condition, increasingly related to the dispersion of the urban fabric within the agricultural landscape.” 


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Nikos Katsikis, Horizontal Metropolis, conference, Lausanne