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The Mapping Institute of Radical Transilience

Part 2 Project 2013
Bradley Spencer
Leeds Beckett University | UK
Visual and emotional experiences of authenti[city] have shifted. Today the quantitative measurement of the authentic city has been replaced by the qualitative nature of the experience economy, yet the 21st century’s city of consumption is still driven by the learned ideals of replication that developed in the 20th century’s city of [mass] production. The modern generic [copy] city utilises culture as capital. Its ‘cultural strategies’ reinvent authenti[city] using previously proven formulas in order to compete for the cultural consumer and indelibly gaining investment and creating ‘growth’. The resulting modern cityscape has become a series of branded, generic copies created by the replication of disparate ideas that feed the consumers’ desires and supplement the city officials’ rhetoric of ‘growth’. Through pursuing and competing for the same modern image, cities have eroded the very authenticity they attempted to recreate and replaced it with generic and copied monotony.

Radical Transilience is a process of trans[formative res]ilience that promotes the competitive creation of place through pursuing individuality, rather than similarity. It uses the consumers’ desire for the Authentic City to remedy the blight of the Generic City and provide a structural framework under which post-industrial UK towns can independently transform themselves into successful new cities. Through a process of surveying, mapping and recording, undertaken by the local population, a new awareness of origins is paired with a knowledge of current and future potential in order to intelligently design new beginnings. By engaging with the people and communities of the future city, this potential for growth is quantitatively measured and democratised. Each mapped datascape bears new information resulting from a unique combination of factors specific to any one place. When mapped these unique combinations provide the necessary DNA for the discovery and utilisation of potential new industries and hidden opportunities particular to a town’s own localities. The new resilient city is born from informed and individual analysis of place.

Macclesfield, suffering from severe post-industrial decline and now seeking direction for its own new future, is the urban test-bed for the implementation of Radical Transilience.

Bradley Spencer


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