David Kolb

Borders and Centers in an Age of Mobility

Publication: Wolkenkuckucksheim – Cloud-Cuckoo-Land – Vozdushnyizamok 2007: Festschrift to honor Karsten Harries

A centerless sprawl of development replaces the older opposition of cities to small country towns. In some places the sprawl pulls itself together into Edge Cities; in others it just spreads. Its economic, social, and political difficulties are well known, and while sprawl was encouraged by particular incentives and subsidies in the U. S., it has become an international condition in other regulatory and transit regimes. To many it is a prime example of modern and postmodern “placelessness.” In response to formless sprawl, many theorists urge the creation of resistant places. In this essay I contrast and criticize two such strategies, Kenneth Frampton’s bounded enclaves, and Karsten Harries’ centered communities.

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