The Calatrava model: reflections on resilience and urban plasticity
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Online
Last page: 19
Keywords: Calatrava model, arts and culture, urban resilience, urban plasticity
The article introduces a critical reflection on the effects that the version of cultural capitalism based on large events and architectural symbols has on the resilience of cities when used as an engine, and not as a complement to the policies of urban transformation. The article introduces as a case of study the so-called ‘Calatrava model’ of the city of Valencia. The model of a cultural bubble of Valencia, designed to enable a new space, is developed and contrasted with other two examples of urban transformation designed to revitalize spaces: Bilbao – symbolically represented by Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim museum – and the Barcelona 22@ – symbolically represented by Jean Nouvel’s Agbar Tower. Through the notion of ‘plasticity’ we analyse how, despite the overall failure of the Calatrava model and its negative effect on the short-term ability of the city to absorb shocks, Valencia is able to adapt and absorb the urban transformation around the Calatrava’s architectural complex and to incorporate it into their processes of dynamic resilience.