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The Defragmentation of Bradford

Part 2 Project 2013
Jack Penford Baker
Manchester School of Architecture Manchester UK
The Westfield site within Bradford highlights the grip the global economy has on the urban centre of the city; and the ever increasing global populous demonstrates the urban segregation incurred by immigration flows. The amalgamation of both has generated a city socially fragmented, economically incapable, and politically divided. Is there however an alternative route for the city, a shift to a post-capitalist landscape, where the functions of the city work with the modern complexities of a globalising world?

To address the global difficulties within Bradford a mediator must be introduced. A system for interaction between the complex global and local flows of the city. The source of much of the segregation and fragmentation within the urban context is the economic inequality created as a result of immigration, so an economic boundary must be established to mediate between the conflicting flows of the city.

An architectural/systematic program can be implemented within the urban landscape of Bradford to help establish such an economic mediator. Comprising of 3 elements functioning as a single entity to create stability within the city. First the introduction of a “liquid local economy” within areas of high deprivation and segregation can help create a stable economy for the global society to build on. Second a “geo-demographic model” of Bradford will provide the social and economic data to help dictate the fluid locations of the “liquid local economy”. Third is a “Geo-demographic Exchequer”, a transparent bank, and architectural intervention, positioned within the Westfield site, that accommodates the program of the “liquid local economy” and the “geo-demographic model”.

These 3 elements manifest themselves within a central node of the system in the heart of Bradford. The Westfield site providing an opportunity to re-establish the city’s centre for the people and their economy. The masterplan repairs the urban fabric whilst offering the programatic function needed for a new regional bank and all of the processes required for the collection/analysis/representation of the demographic state of the city. Accumulating in a challenge of our preconceptions associated with the capitalist model, by enforcing a new mentality behind the banking industry.

Jack Penford Baker

Tutor(s)

Dr Nick Dunn

2013
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