Urban-Think Tank on Borderlands

Formal and informal urban form in Caracas. Source: Jorge Karpati

“If we extend Goethe’s metaphor [‘I call architecture frozen music’] beyond architecture, we might say that urbanism ‘frozen politics.’ It then becomes apparent that there is a need to develop new mechanisms that can ‘unfreeze’ the boundaries of this condition to open up opportunities for new forms of communication — a need to transform static conventions into dynamic interaction. Not only will this engagement with the edge create an architecture and urbanism that is greater than the sum of its parts, but, through responsible manipulation of the borderland, it will also open up the border-space that makes the 21st century democratic city possible.”

Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner, Michael Contento and Lindsey Sherman, from “Trans-Borderlands: Activating the Plasticity of Urban Border-Space [PDF],” 2011

This is part of a collection of quotes related to cities. They don’t necessarily reflect our views, just topics of interest. We welcome you to add others.

+ share


  1. Seems to me that Roy approached this far more radically in this piece - http://jpe.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/04/19/0739456X11405060.abstract?rss=1.

  2. Thank you for highlighting "Placing Planning in the World - Transnationalism as Practice and Critique" by Ananya Roy. It is a fantastic article that delves much deeper into the issue of borderlands with its proposal of a "critical transnationalism" and the "worlding" of planning and design. Thanks for sharing the link!

  3. no problem - also think it's useful to think of walter mignolo when contemplating borders and epistemology.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.