Sert y Wiener en Colombia. Sert y Wiener in Colombia. The social dwelling in the modern urbanism applications Abstract. This condition allows us to give pursuit to the ideas of Sert, especially the neighborhood unit through the plans.
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The political city unit rarely coincides with its geographical unit, that is to say, with its region. The laying out of the political territory of cities has been allowed to be arbitrary, either from the outset or later on, when, because of their growth, major agglomerations have met and then swallowed up other townships.
Such artificial layouts stand in the way of good management for the new aggregation. Certain suburban townships have, in fact, been allowed to take on an unexpected and unforeseeable importance, either positive or negative, by becoming the seat of luxurious residences, or by giving place to heavy industrial centers, or by crowding the wretched working classes together.
In such cases, the political boundaries that compartmentalize the urban complex become paralyzing. An urban agglomeration forms the vital nucleus of a geographical expanse whose boundary is determined only by the area of influence of another agglomeration.
The conditions vital to its existence are determined by the paths of communication that secure its exchanges and closely connect it with its particular area. One can consider a problem of urbanism only by continually referring to the constituent elements of the region, and chiefly to its geography, which  is destined to play a determining role in this question — the lines of watersheds and the neighboring crests that delineate natural contours and confirm paths of circulation naturally inscribed upon the earth.
No undertaking may be considered if it is not in accord with the harmonious destiny of the region. The city plan is only one of the elements of this whole that constitutes the regional plan. Life flourishes only to the extent of accord between the two contradictory principles that govern the human personality: the individual and the collective.
In isolation, man feels defenseless, and so, spontaneously, he attaches himself to a group. Left to his own devices, he would construct nothing more than his hut and, in that state of insecurity, would lead a life of jeopardy and fatigue aggravated by all the anguish of solitude. Incorporated in a group, he feels the weight of the constraints imposed by inevitable social disciplines, but in return he is to some extent ensured against violence, illness, and hunger. He can think of improving his dwelling and he can also assuage his deep-seated need for social life.
Once he has become a constituent element of a society that sustains him, he contributes, directly or indirectly, to the innumerable undertakings that provide security for his physical life and foster his spiritual life. His efforts become more fruitful and his more adequately protected liberty stops short only at the point where it would threaten the liberty of others. If there is wisdom in the undertakings of the group, the life of the individual is enlarged and ennobled by them.
But if sloth, stupidity, and selfishness preponderate, the group — anemic and given over to disorder — brings its members nothing but rivalry, hatred, and disenchantment. A plan is well conceived when it allows fruitful cooperation while making maximum provision for individual liberty, for the effulgence of the individual within the framework of civic obligation.
In the first place they are influenced by the geographical and topographical condition, the constitution of the elements, land and water, nature, soil, climate….
Geography and topography play a considerable role in the destiny of men. It must never be forgotten that the sun dominates all, imposing its law upon every undertaking whose object is to safeguard the human being. Plains, hills, and mountains likewise intermediate, to shape a sensibility and to give rise to a mentality. While the hillsman readily descends to the plain, the plainsman rarely climbs up the valleys or struggles over mountain passes.
Depending on the angle at which the sun strikes the meridional curve, the seasons collide abruptly or succeed one another with imperceptible transitions; and although, in its continuous roundness, the Earth admits of no interruption from one parcel of land to the next, countless combinations emerge, each with its particular characteristics. Finally, the races of mankind, with their varied religions and philosophies, multiply the diversity of human undertakings, each proposing its own mode of perception and its own reason for being.
Whether it be a circumstance of wealth or of poverty, the economic situation is one of the mainsprings of life, determining whether its movement will be in a progressive or a recessive direction.
It plays the role of an engine which, depending on the power of its pulsations, brings prodigality, counsels prudence, or makes sobriety an imperative; it conditions the variations that delineate the history of the village, the city, and the country. The city that is surrounded by a region under cultivation is assured of its provisions. The city that has a precious substratum at its disposal becomes rich in substances that will serve it as exchange currency, especially if it is equipped with a traffic network ample enough to permit convenient contact with its near and distant neighbors.
The degree of tension in the economic spring, though partly dependent on invariable circumstances, may be modified at any time by the advent of unexpected forces which chance or human initiative may render productive or leave inoperative. Neither latent wealth requiring exploitation nor individual energy has any absolute character. All is movement and, in the long run, economics is never anything but a momentary value. As a manifestation of changeable policy, its duration is assured by its own nature and by the very force of things.
It is a system that, within somewhat rigid limits, administers the territory and the society consistently, imposes its ordinances upon them  and, by bearing evenly on all the levers of control, determines uniform modes of action throughout the entire country. Yet, even if the merits of this economic and political framework have been confirmed by experience over a period of time, it can be shaken in a moment, whether in one of its parts or in the whole.
Sometimes a scientific discovery is enough to upset the equilibrium, to reveal the discord between the administrative system of yesterday and the pressing realities of today. It may happen that communities, having managed to renovate their own particular framework, are crushed by the overall framework of the country — and this latter may, in turn, be immediately subject to the assault of major worldwide trends.
There is no administrative framework that can lay claim to immutability. History is inscribed in the layouts and in the architectures of cities. Surviving layouts and architectures constitute a guideline which, together with written and graphic documents, enables us to recreate the successive images of the past. The motivations that gave birth to the cities were varied in nature. Sometimes it was a defensive asset — and a rocky summit or a loop of a river saw the growth of a fortified village.
Sometimes it was the intersection of two roads, a bridgehead, or an indentation in the coastline that determined the location of the first settlement. The city had an uncertain form, most frequently that of a circle or semicircle. When it was a center of colonization, it was organized like a camp built on axes at right angles and girdled by rectilinear stockades.
Everything was disposed according to proportion, hierarchy, and convenience. The highroads set out from the gates of the enclosure and threaded indirectly to distant points. One can still recognize in city plans the original close-set nucleus of the early market town, the successive enclosing walls, and the directions of divergent routes. People crowded together within the walls and, according to the  degree of their civilization, enjoyed a variable proportion of well-being.
In one place deeply human codes dictated the choice of dispositions while, in another, arbitrary constraints gave rise to flagrant injustices. Then the age of machinism arose. The growth or decrease of a population, the prosperity or decline of the city, the bursting of fortified walls that become stifling enclosures, the new means of communication that extend the area of exchange, the beneficial or harmful effects of a policy of choice or submission, the advent of machinism, all of this is just movement.
With the progression of time, certain values become unquestionably engrained in the heritage of a group, be they of a city, a country, or humanity in general; decay, however, must eventually come to every aggregation of buildings and roads. Death overtakes works as well as living beings. Who is to discriminate between what should remain standing and what must disappear? The spirit of the city has been formed over the years; the simplest buildings have taken on an eternal value insofar as they symbolize the collective soul; they are the armature of a tradition which, without meaning to limit the magnitude of future progress, conditions the formation of the individual just as climate, geographical region, race, and custom do.
Chaos has entered the cities. The use of the machine has completely disrupted the conditions of work. It has upset an ancient equilibrium, dealing a fatal blow to the craftsmen classes, emptying the fields, congesting the cities, and, by tossing century-old harmonies on the dunghill disturbing the natural relationships that used to exist between the home and places of work.
A frenzied rhythm coupled with a discouraging precariousness disorganizes the conditions of life, impeding the mutual accord of fundamental needs. Dwellings give families poor shelter, corrupting their inner lives; and an ignorance of vital necessities, as much physical as moral, bears its poisoned fruits: illness, decay, revolt.
The evil is universal, expressed in the cities by an overcrowding that drives them into disorder, and in the countryside by the abandonment of numerous agricultural regions. Density — the ratio between the size of a population and the land area that it occupies — can be entirely changed by the height of buildings. But, until now, construction techniques have limited the height of buildings to about six stories.
The admissible density for structures of this kind is from to inhabitants per acre. When this density increases, as it does in many districts, to , , or even inhabitants, it then becomes a slum, which is characterized by the following symptoms:.
An absence of sunlight because of northern orientation or as the result of shadow cast across the street or into the courtyard ;. Promiscuity, arising from the interior layout of the dwelling, from the poor arrangement of the building, and from the presence of troublesome neighborhoods.
Constrained by their defensive enclosures, the nuclei of the old cities were generally filled with close-set structures and deprived of open space.
But, in compensation, verdant spaces were directly accessible, just outside the city gates, making air of good quality available nearby. Over the course of the centuries, successive urban rings accumulated, replacing vegetation with stone and destroying the verdant areas — the lungs of the city. Under these conditions, high population densities indicate a permanent state of disease and discomfort. This state of affairs is aggravated further by the presence of a population with a very low standard of living, incapable of taking defensive measures by itself its mortality rate reaching as high as twenty percent.
The interior condition of a dwelling may constitute a slum, but its dilapidation is extended outside by the narrowness of dismal streets and the total absence of those verdant spaces, the generators of oxygen, which would be so favorable to the play of children. The cost of a structure erected centuries ago has long since been amortized; yet its owner is still tacitly allowed to consider it a marketable commodity, in the guise of housing.
Even though its habitable value may be nil, it continues with impunity, and at the expense of the species, to produce substantial income.
A butcher would be condemned for the sale of rotten meat, but the building codes allow rotten dwellings to be forced on the poor.
For the enrichment of a few selfish people, we tolerate appalling mortality rates and diseases of every kind, which impose crushing burdens on the entire community.
This ever-increasing remoteness from natural elements aggravates the disorder of public health all the more. An uncontrolled expansion has deprived the cities of these fundamental nourishments, which are of a psychological as well as physiological order. The individual who loses contact with nature is diminished as a result, and pays dearly, through illness and moral decay, for a rupture that weakens his body and ruins his sensibility, as it becomes corrupted by the illusory pleasures of the city.
In this regard, all bounds have been exceeded in the course of these last hundred years, and this is not the least cause of the malaise with which the world is burdened at the present time. The first obligation of urbanism is to come into accord with the fundamental needs of men. The air, whose quality is assured by the presence of vegetation, should be pure and free from both inert dust particles and noxious gases. Lastly, space should be generously dispensed.
Let us bear in mind that the sensation of space is of a psycho-physiological order, and that the narrowness of streets and the constriction of courtyards create an atmosphere as unhealthy for the body as it is depressing to the mind. The Fourth Congress of the CIAM, held in Athens, has proceeded from this postulate: sun, vegetation, and space are the three raw materials of urbanism. No legislation has yet been effected to lay down the conditions for the modern habitation, not only to ensure the protection of the human person but also to provide him with the means for continual improvement.
As a result, the land within the city, the residential districts, the dwellings themselves, are allocated from day to day at the discretion of the most unexpected — and at times the basest — interests. The municipal surveyor will not hesitate to lay out a street that will deprive thousands of dwellings of sunshine. Certain city officials will see fit, alas, to single out for the construction of a working-class district a zone hitherto disregarded because it is invaded by fog, because the dampness of the place is excessive, or because it swarms with mosquitoes…They will decide that some north-facing slope, which has never attracted anyone precisely because of its exposure, or that some stretch of ground reeking with soot, smoking coal slag, and the deleterious gases of some occasionally noisy industry, will always be good enough to house the uprooted, transient populations known as unskilled labor.
The favored areas are generally taken up by luxury residences, thus giving proof that man instinctively aspires, whenever his means allow it, to seek living conditions and a quality of well-being that are rooted in nature itself.
Zoning is an operation carried out on the city map with the object of assigning every function and every individual to its rightful place. It is based on necessary differentiations between the various human activities, each of which requires its own specific space: residential quarters, industrial or commercial centers, halls or grounds intended for leisure hours.
But while the force of circumstances differentiates the wealthy residence from the modest dwelling, no one has the right to transgress rules that ought to be inviolable by allowing only the favored few to benefit from the conditions required for a healthy and well-ordered life.
It is urgently necessary to modify certain practices. An implacable legislation is needed to ensure that a certain quality of well-being is accessible to everyone, regardless of monetary considerations.
The political city unit rarely coincides with its geographical unit, that is to say, with its region. The laying out of the political territory of cities has been allowed to be arbitrary, either from the outset or later on, when, because of their growth, major agglomerations have met and then swallowed up other townships. Such artificial layouts stand in the way of good management for the new aggregation. Certain suburban townships have, in fact, been allowed to take on an unexpected and unforeseeable importance, either positive or negative, by becoming the seat of luxurious residences, or by giving place to heavy industrial centers, or by crowding the wretched working classes together. In such cases, the political boundaries that compartmentalize the urban complex become paralyzing. An urban agglomeration forms the vital nucleus of a geographical expanse whose boundary is determined only by the area of influence of another agglomeration. The conditions vital to its existence are determined by the paths of communication that secure its exchanges and closely connect it with its particular area.
Cultural Heritage Policy Documents. IV International Congress for Modern Architecture This document was produced as a result of the IV International Congress of Modern Architecture which took as its theme "the functional city" and focused on urbanism and the importance of planning in urban development schemes. The document includes urban ensembles in the definition of the built heritage and emphasizes the spiritual, cultural and economic value of the architectural heritage. It includes a recommendation calling for the destruction of urban slums and creation of "verdant areas" in their place, denying any potential heritage value of such areas. It condemns the use of pastiche for new construction in historic areas. This is a retyped version of a translated document entitled The Athens Charter,