Anna Lazzarini

Metropolitan Drifts. Reading the City Step by Step

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Walking, Urban practices, Public space, Flâneur, Narrative.

The study focuses on walking as a symbolic practice of transformation and attribution of meanings to places. Walking is a perceptive and creative act, a cognitive and performative gesture, a way of reading and writing the territory. In this regard, walking «creates» places. The essay analyzes walking as an urban practice and considers the city as a place in which we can draw and read routes, tell stories and make revolutions, step by step. Human and social sciences take into great account the way citizens construct routes and fill urban tissue with signs, inscriptions, representations, practices. Thus walking is closely related to the most important dimension of urban experience: the public space. The flâneur's gaze, that becomes art, poetry and story, seems to be the only possibility for telling the fragmented and continually changing contemporary city. The flâneur may be the privileged reader and interpreter of its complexity, because of his attitude for combining immersion, nomadism, sensory involvement, but also because of his ability to take distance. In this way, he is an «exegete of the road», since he tells from the bottom the story of the city.

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