Cecilia Zecca, Silvia Bassanese*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Against the common urban strategy to consider any urban void ancillary in the predominant market economy it is urgent to reassess the role of these potential spaces from the bottom up, starting from physical roots and theoretical foundations. This paper argues that the closer we get to the genesis of the various types of voids in our cities, the more the story unravels. The results of research on linear spaces formerly used for the transportation infrastructures in the city of Aberdeen in Scotland are presented by confronting similarities, threats and design challenges. The authors question the fallacy that the “space of the difference” - offered by the ubiquitous presence of urban voids - can simply be adapted to conform to the predominant climate. Often when addressing the notion of urban voids in contemporary architectural and urban practice, the knowledge is reduced
to an illegitimate linguistic simplification. There is a sense that, despite the preponderance of ecological metaphors, the language works to deny the fact that below the superficial green veneer, business enters the scene as usual.
What is investigated instead is how to treat the urban voids as “dense voids”. By becoming potential urban spaces, the field of intervention expands its domain in a dynamic sense into a set of design principles and eventually overcomes the non-coincidence between architecture and the city: how to seek adaptive thresholds instead of unpredictable voids.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020
EventThe City and Complexity – Life, Design and Commerce in the Built Environment.: AMPS London - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Jun 2020 → …


ConferenceThe City and Complexity – Life, Design and Commerce in the Built Environment.
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period19/06/20 → …
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