Historic Centers: Public Imaginaries from Quito

Fernando Carrión Mena (publicado en 2008-12-11 por leoxjm )
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Publicado y/o Presentado en:
Carrión, F. (2003). "Historic Centers: Public Imaginaries from Quito". En A. Silva (Ed.), Urban Imaginaries from Latin American (pp.147-151). Kassel: Hatje Cantz Publishers
In the historic centers, the most varied media and forms of communication converge (telephony, radio, television, postal service, cinema, theater, schools); they embrace the greatest concentration of socializing places (public and civic spaces); they possess the greatest accumulation of concentrated information (1ibraries, archives, buildings); they have the greatest number of symbolic manifestations (churches, monuments, squares); they contain the most diverse means of transportation (ports, railways, vehicles); and they attract multiple users. In this context, communication plays a central role. Its defects can produce alterations in the functionality and quality of life of the population that lives in the city. But it also allows us to construct imaginaries that go beyond this particularity of the metropolis, whereby its condition as center entails a relationship with the periphery. The histories center operates like a means of communication that concentrates information - from the past and present - while in the periphery information is dispersed and sparse. Histories centers concentrate and emit "atemporal" testimonies and messages, in the sense that their reading is based on symbols constructed at a different moment in history but, thanks to the passage of time, their perception changes; not because they are newly constructed, but because the process of decoding should allow us to recognize what has happened throughout the periods of origin and development of the urban group. Here, the concept of historic center is upheld as memory or testimony. If around 100,000 people live in the historic center of Quito, more than 300,000 visit it daily. In the relationship center-periphery, urban imaginaries are constructed that may embody the entire city or parts of it. The historic center may assume that double condition, but the periphery may not. At most, it may happen that the reproduction of one in the other is sought; that is, for example, that the balcony is reproduced in the periphery, marble is simulated with paint, or an arched window is designed.