Cities began as a simple collection of individuals sharing common elements. They have slowly evolved to include megageopolitical networks. These systems have been manifested by large, far reaching governmental and corporate built forms. With the emergence of dispersed infrastructural realities [mobiles, pvs, drones, etc], we stand at a disruptive moment – where the assumed reliance of human habitat upon top down forms is in question.
Our current reality of global capitalism has left our rural lands behind. Whether the vacancies of Italy, villagers in China, or small town America; the challenges facing the rural have yet to be resolved. But there are hints in constellation urbanism for alternative futures for our rural habitats. The necessity for greater logistical, ecological, and economical connections in these places to our new global reality can be seen in dispersed infrastructures and accompanying Autonomous Urbanisms. A new form of interdependent individuality is possible.
How does Autonomous Urbanism contribute to urban theory?
Cities have traditionally been the centers of civilization and knowledge, but we are now at a time where
one must ask – what is a city? Where does a ‘city’ stop? Urban spaces have always been defined not
merely by planners, architects, developers and government, but often by their moving parts. New York
just before 1900 looked like any other European city – but the invention of the car and the elevator
radically changed its shape, daily life, and the concept of how cities look and feel forever. More
recently, look at how the adaption of the standard shipping container has not only transformed our port
cities, but also the global shipping network, and world consumption patterns along with it.
Le Corbusier famously said that historic cities were ‘designed by the horses ass’ and that the industrial
age would allow for long, straight streets for men. If the hinterlands of the future will be designed with
new dispersed infrastructures – What will they look like? If we don’t need roads, power networks, and
knowledge flows through the air – what is the character of the remaining space like for society? And
further, if we don’t need these common elements, do we even need government? If so, what is the role