Streets | Facades | Rooftops : Motifs of Duality in Lahore and Stockholm

University essay from KTH/Urbana och regionala studier

Abstract: Old Lahore holds an ephemeral magic in its experiences, lying in the center of not only the city, but also a key component to all religious, spiritual and everyday activities, which expand beyond the horizontal planes. The vibrance of the old city threads itself into the dense urban fabric through its traditional jharokas (balconies) and intricately woven rooftops, these tendrils extend out to the modernized environment from which its identity is unique and unparalleled. There is continuity in its landscape, where individuals capture the spirit of the city through their resilience and solidarity, in refuge for equal rights to the city. Fabricating people driven urban initiatives, creating assimilation and social harmony in their collaborative bottom up effort for a vibrant public realm. Through the use of drawing, film and design interventions as a tool for understanding and communicating the experience of an environment through conscious place-making is a layer in the learning possibilities found in Lahore, something that Stockholm can learn from. The spread of the city of Stockholm, from the affluent old town, to the radial modernist expanse of its urban fabric mimics that of Lahore. Yet, the traits of Stockholm’s historical lineage and cultural integration illustrate the dichotomy within the cities self-proclaimed slogan. It emphasizes on being a leader in inclusivity with fair and equal opportunities for all, though the fragmented archipelago has still to considerably develop further to achieve a cohesive state. The spatial duality within Stockholm is vast, illustrating the need for the integration of society in the heart of the city, on an individual scale to a place led future through groups, which is crucial for a functional city. Currently the city operates oblivious to the majority of its diverse sects that inhabit it, the invisible in their streets, it cannot be labeled as one city. By increasing the social interplay in the ruptured city, and allowing every individual identity to manifest and help shape the city they live in, Giving further reason for Stockholm taking pride in placing a high value to quality and equality in life. The true urban form of a city is seen through the mobility of its users from all constructs of society as they move through its streets, facades and rooftops in their daily life; thus providing the life, energy and culture to any metropolis. In Essence, Capturing the resilience of the city that is Lahore, and injecting its essence into the modernized pastoral landscape of the Scandinavian capital.

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