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Through the production process of the contemporary city, the left over spaces become, in opposition to the spaces of the formal city, a key aspect to understand our urban space. In its various forms urban waste space is inscribed in the cities as defining a fuzzy inner border. Its shape or lack of it equals to the negative of the city. It often marks the middle ground between urbanisation and the countryside, between infrastructures or between uses. As such, it is an intermediate space, a space that mediates between different spatial situations or a transition in time. In continuous transformation, its form and character are by definition imprecise. It shares qualities with the urban and the rural realms together with a very definite character on its own. In the absence of a defined function, residual spaces are occupied by residues, playful, ephemeral or marginal uses. Its universal use is that of the informal gathering of waste, as if fulfilling a spatial necessity of the urban context to expel out of its limits waste materials and activities unsuited for the formal city. In this way, they follow the logic of the excremental defined by Slavoj Zyzeck for the Untouchables “Not only dealing with impure excrement, their own formal status within society is excremental” (Zyzek 2002). Gilles Clément designates as Third Landscape the space left over by man to be colonised by nature (Clément 2003) He makes a political comparison when he relates the Third Landscape to the Third State paraphrasing Abbé Siéyès’ famous question: What is the Third State? Everything. What has it been until now? Nothing. What does it ask? To become something.
Strategies For the Post-Speculative City : Proceedings of the 4th AESOP European Urban Summer School, Madrid, Spain, September 2013
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