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Towards a Vertical Urbanism

Lorenzo Tripodi “Towards a Vertical Urbanism. Space of Exposure as a New Paradigm for Public Space”, chapter in A.M. Brighenti (ed.) The Wall and the City. Trento: Professionaldreamers, 2009.

Object of this paper is to provide a framework to understand the semantic value of walls and, more in general, of urban surfaces, as key elements in the contemporary urban economies, and as a contested terrain in the quest for domination of the daily visual landscape of citizens. Vertical architectural surfaces reveal nowadays an increasing importance as communication devices: they are constitutive parts of the system of distribution and display of symbolic values. We are talking about a process geared to the general shift towards symbolic economy. No more site of production for material goods, no more privileged field for residential concentration, inner city becomes mainly the site for representational exchange. The contemporary city takes the substance of a node concentrating and regulating flows of diverse nature, which increasingly manifest themselves as image production and consumption forms.


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