Learning from COVID-19: the role of architecture in the experience of urban landscapes
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AuthorRodríguez Iturriaga, Marta
Urban LandscapeArchitectureExperience of landscapeExistential spaceCity-landscape
Rodríguez Iturriaga, M. (2021). Learning from COVID-19: The Role of Architecture in the Experience of Urban Landscapes. Ri-Vista. Research for Landscape Architecture, 19(1), 122-137. [https://doi.org/10.36253/rv-10182]
SponsorshipTraining Programme for University Teaching Staff (FPU) of the Spanish Ministry of Universities FPU16/02495
The COVID-19 pandemic, through lockdowns and mobility restrictions, has created an atmosphere of global reflection towards contemporary urban landscapes. Architecture is an essential component in them and determines, to a large extent, how building users perceive, interpret, and value the surrounding environment. From an experiential and phenomenological perspective, and taking into account the situations lived in 2020, the paper explores the existing relations between architecture and urban landscape at three levels: first, the experience of the environment from the architectural space — namely, the home —; second, the experience of the ‘interior urban landscape’ at street level; and finally, the experience of the ‘exterior urban landscape’ from city fringes or vantage points that provide vast prospects. The article advocates a holistic understanding of landscapes in building and urban design processes and suggests landscape architecture can offer a valuable apprenticeship in this sense. A sustained interplay between those disciplines shaping the built environment is decidedly needed. The paper concludes by pointing out that landscape, given its integrating and all-encompassing condition, could articulate the entire set of municipal urban policies through a transdisciplinary ‘city-landscape’ plan.