Accidental and ideal island cities: islanding processes and urban design in Belize City and the urban archipelagos of Europe

Pigou-Dennis, Elizabeth and Grydehoj, Adam (2014) Accidental and ideal island cities: islanding processes and urban design in Belize City and the urban archipelagos of Europe. Island Studies Journal, 9 (2). pp. 259-276.

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    Abstract

    This paper explores processes of islanding, de-islanding, and re-islanding in the context of island cities. Although today popularly associated with rural, peripheral, and isolated landscapes, concepts of the ideal city coincided in Medieval and Renaissance Europe with emergent notions of the ideal island. Major European cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, and Copenhagen were established on densely urbanized small islands. In accordance with dominant political and military philosophies, they were subsequently developed through comprehensive urban design into vast yet coherent urban archipelagos. In contrast, the contemporary development of Belize City as an island city took place through piecemeal land reclamation, absent comprehensive urban design, resulting in a very different kind of urban archipelago. Neither the coherent European island cities nor Belize City are generally regarded as islands today, yet their histories of urban development evidence the impact of spatial attributes of islandness on urban form. Comprehensive urban design efforts are currently directed at land reclamation and waterfront revitalization in Belize City, aiming to restore Belize City’s island city status. We argue that cities can be islanded, de-islanded, and re-islanded in the minds of their inhabitants and that it is necessary to recognize the connection between ideal islands and ideal cities in order to understand the islanding process in full.

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
    Related URLs:
      Publisher: Institute of Island Studies
      Keywords: Belize City, ideal cities, land reclamation, island cities, urban archipelagos, urban design.
      Subjects: (F) People and the Environment > (FB) Resource Use
      (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (1) Environmental Research Institute
      Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2018 14:07
      Last Modified: 08 Feb 2018 14:07
      URI: http://eprints.uberibz.org/id/eprint/1711

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