- Traditional centralities x new emerging centralities – what impacts to the city?    click here to open paper content369 kb
by    Magalhaes, Fernanda & Serdoura, Francisco | fmbrasil@centroin.com.br   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Often cities promote the emergence of new centralities to attract more dynamic and innovative sectors of the economy. Attention has to be given to what happens to traditional centres as we will demonstrate by looking at Rio and Lisbon.
Traditional centralities x new emerging centralities – what impacts to the city?

In many cities new centralities have emerged, either expontaneously or as result of
planned actions. This brings often a combination of new uses and activities for
parts of the city that non existed before, inprints a new image and generates an
innovative cultural and technological environment which adobtly are very good for
those areas. But what happens to existing traditional centres? and what are the
effects on the city as a whole?

In oder to try to give an answer to these questions we will look at two cities in two
different continents – Rio, in Brazil and Lisbon, in Portugal. If required to explore
further the subject the city o São Paulo might be added.

The Lisbon CBD has grown with a dynamism that often has been higher than other
parts of the city. The traditional centre of Baixa has expanded towards north,
particularly after de 70’s, as a need to find locations in the city that could offer better
access and mobility. During the 80’s and 90’s this pattern has been consolidated to
reach areas beyond the ringroad towards the upper north periphery of the city, in a
discontinous structure that has developed without any planning. With the EXPO 98
a new centrality at the eastern part of the city is intentionally created, supported by
a strong investment in metropolitan landuses and infrastructure, focused mainly on
the service sector, particularly cultural and commercial. As a consequence a new
spatial and functional pattern emerged, with significant impact on the traditional
CBD. A patterns that is particularly characterized by great spatial-morphological
permeability and discontinuity in relation to the city as a whole, and to Baixa in

Rio has two main CBDs. The traditional city centre still retains the major business
and cultural activity of the city, and has been subject since early 80’s of a strong
policy known as “corredor cultural” focused in strenghining its centrality qualities.
The second CBD is Barra da Tijuca - at the eastern part of the city, is still of local
nature, but is enlarging its importance, in special given major infrastructure and
supra-local scale uses installed, such as linha amarela and the 2008 olimpic
games site. The effects of that has been poorly discussed.

Some conclusions could be antecipated from the analysis of the cases – to a larger
or lesser extent in both cities the impacts of the process of emerging new centres
has not been fully antecipated with little control and management mechanisms
developed to deal with the phenomena. The result is that although they might
represent a success story if looked from the point of view of the area in question, on
the other hand they paradoxically represent a real threat to traditional centres. This
seems to show that a long term more holistic vision of the city is required supported
by: (a) strong political leadership and participation; (b) sustained multi-dimensional
long term actions at city level; (c) private-public engagment with strong market

new centrality
click here to open paper content  Click to open the full paper as pdf document
click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper  Click to send an email to the author(s) of this paper