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Our Concept

A city is as a human being that develops very fast, either becoming larger or smaller close to the state of dying. This kind of development could happen to the whole city or part of the city. A city will never stop evolving because of the dynamism of the human beings who live in it. Even a dead city, inhabited by no one, becomes an archeological research subject in understanding how people in the past use to subsist in it. In a good city, mankind orients its activity to a certain point so that its life is directed with dynamism. In a city that has lost its orientation, or as we call it, a disoriented city, people live in discomfort. There is more stress, suicides, and other social pathology in a disoriented city.

Cities in different countries have a different typology that is evident from social economics ending in different urban form. Although these cities are in the same continent, each of them has a different attitude to the old urban center. They have different kinds of urban management in the historic parts. Hence, there are different kinds of impacts on social, economic, cultural, political, and environmental aspects.

The ideal orientation of the city is towards the old city. It is the orientation of urban activity in the city. Old city is the activity center that cannot be separated from human life. There may be new city center, but the old center is still the most important part of the city. The old center is the center of urban dweller’s memory and reminiscence of their city. It cannot be erased from the urban environment or replaced by new buildings, as Le Corbusier, who wanted to wipe away the center of Paris and replace it with new and modern housing as the new business center, known as Plan Voisin proposal for Paris in 1925 (Kenneth Frampton, Modern Architecture a Critical History 1994: 155). The neglected old urban center will haunt the new center that lacks the memory and history of human kind.  Old city orientation makes life in the city orderly. When this is lost, there is chaos and the use of space is unplanned, leading to many social problems.

The old city center is either the place of social problems, a dying down town, or a nice place to live in, to have leisure activities and a center of urban activity. Each country will have different plans for the city center based on the actual conditions and the associated diverse problems. In any case, this is a complex topic that needs to be addressed.

Several cities, particularly in Europe have been successful in dealing with their old cities. They have been effective in revitalizing their old city and protecting it from destruction resulting from World War II. Now these old city centers have become the nucleus of urban activity and even the center of tourism. Old cities in Europe always have a city center where the old church is located. It is the center of communication, social and cultural life among the city dwellers.

Could it happend to Old Jakarta?

The Center of Brussels