“Gregor had a shock as he heard his own voice answering hers, unmistakably his own voice, it was true, but with a persistent horrible twittering squeak behind it like an undertone, that left the words in their clear shape only for the first moment” (Franz Kafka, 1915). The first sign of a metamorphosis lies in the language; it dwells in the words making them unvoiced; it seems evident when words are unvoiced exercises. Ildefonso Cerdà was convinced of this when, in 1867, he published the Teoría General de la Urbanización. This is the incipit: “I will lead the reader to the study of a completely new, intact, virgin subject. Since everything was new, I had to search and invent new words to express new ideas”. The act of foundation of urban planning is therefore not marked by formal prefigurations or by projects but by “new words to express new ideas”. Language has always been important for urban planning. Even more so today: the Nouveau Régime Climatique (Latour, 2015) has re-versed all consolidated knowledge to this point. And it seems a waste of time to linger over its actual existence: “climate change is an agent of metamorphosis” (Beck, 2016). It is an unprece-dented challenge that planning disciplines have no terms to give shape to the future. And this condition raises some questions: why is language so important in the fight against climate change? What is the appropriate vocabulary? How can we reduce the distance between the events that happen and the words used to describe them? Urban planning is a social practice that, through language, must orient the population to a conscious use of territory, environment and landscape. This is only possible if the urban planning vocabulary is transparent: «circulation without sediment» (Roland Barthes, 1953). This is one of the reasons why the language must be considered a common good like environment, territory and landscape.

Language as a common good for the protection of the environment, territory and landscape

Antonio Alberto Clemente
2019

Abstract

“Gregor had a shock as he heard his own voice answering hers, unmistakably his own voice, it was true, but with a persistent horrible twittering squeak behind it like an undertone, that left the words in their clear shape only for the first moment” (Franz Kafka, 1915). The first sign of a metamorphosis lies in the language; it dwells in the words making them unvoiced; it seems evident when words are unvoiced exercises. Ildefonso Cerdà was convinced of this when, in 1867, he published the Teoría General de la Urbanización. This is the incipit: “I will lead the reader to the study of a completely new, intact, virgin subject. Since everything was new, I had to search and invent new words to express new ideas”. The act of foundation of urban planning is therefore not marked by formal prefigurations or by projects but by “new words to express new ideas”. Language has always been important for urban planning. Even more so today: the Nouveau Régime Climatique (Latour, 2015) has re-versed all consolidated knowledge to this point. And it seems a waste of time to linger over its actual existence: “climate change is an agent of metamorphosis” (Beck, 2016). It is an unprece-dented challenge that planning disciplines have no terms to give shape to the future. And this condition raises some questions: why is language so important in the fight against climate change? What is the appropriate vocabulary? How can we reduce the distance between the events that happen and the words used to describe them? Urban planning is a social practice that, through language, must orient the population to a conscious use of territory, environment and landscape. This is only possible if the urban planning vocabulary is transparent: «circulation without sediment» (Roland Barthes, 1953). This is one of the reasons why the language must be considered a common good like environment, territory and landscape.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/707908
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