REGION AS CITY. The Spatial Interdependencies Beyond the City
Just as cities mean far more to their inhabitants than the sum of their physical parts, places out- side of cities similarly unite communities and individuals through meanings assigned to their built and natural landscapes. Arguably, more than in the city, the everyday life that assigns these meanings is lived out in multiple settlements and in the landscapes that connect them, at scales as large as the region. This Region As City project focuses on fresh concepts, new analytical tools, and rethought design approaches with which to understand, plan and make decisions about such regions outside the city.
Furthermore, the project was initiated to give due attention to the region in its own right, rather than in terms of its hie- rarchical relationship to the city. The project argues that conceptual understandings of the region as only a supportive hinterland for the city appear invalid, out of date and ineffective; as are the design and planning tools and instruments grown from this thinking. Rather, as an examination of recent generations of economic, environmental and recreational activities in the rural region can demonstrate, the region is built upon spatial interdependencies that are increasingly inde- pendent of the city ‘proper’. This, combined with the pace of often-dramatic spatial transformations underway in the ‘countryside’, urgently demand an overhaul of the concepts and visual representations describing the region.