Exploring metropolitan borderscapes
Social bridges in public spaces of transnational urban conglomerates
This article deals with the interaction of three different elements: public space, cross-border metropolitan conglomerates and the concept of exploration (Pentland, 2014), profoundly linked to the idea of unfamiliarity comprehensively described by van der Velde et al. (2020). First, the idea of borderscapes is defined, and the social and spatial opportunities of the border are considered. Then, the concepts of idea-flow, exploration and unfamiliarity are described and considered from a sociological point of view, thanks to social physics and quantitative big-data studies. The action of exploration outside our daily spatial scope brings a series of benefits, both social and economic. These advantages are more relevant for the citizens with the lowest income, who generally do not profit of them. The particular case of borderscapes within transnational urban conglomerates is presented as a paradigmatic example (and magnifying glass) to understand the dynamics of exploring unfamiliarity in cities. From a spatial planning perspective, the possibilities of public areas within borderscapes is investigated as a field to get in contact with the unfamiliar. In order to enhance exploration rates in lower income groups, the urban necessary conditions are examined. These inform urban planners for spatial design practices that allow these vulnerable groups to improve socially.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Arturo Romero Carnicero
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