The harbour landscape transformation . The role of containers

Marco D'Eramo
5th june 2014

In this lesson I will examine the urban and urbanistics
effects of the “containers' revolution” in the maritime transportation. For this purpose I will distinguish three main stages of the maritime technologies adopted by the capitalist entrepreneurs: the sailing capitalism (from Middle Age through XVIII century), the steam (and motor) navigation capitalism (XIX and first half of the XX century), and the containers
(or box) capitalism (since the 1960s). I will consider the relationship between seaside cities (and metropolis) and their harbour in each of these three stages. In the age of sailing capitalism, the harbour was at the hearth (spatially and socially speaking) of the city; during the steam (and motor) capitalism age, the city turned its back to the harbour moving it at its edge, as the port became more and more and industrial plant. Eventually, with the containers' revolution, the city broke its millennial relationship with its harbour so that we have now, for the first time in history, seaside cities without ports and ports without cities.

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H. MEYER (1999) ,City and Port. Urban Planning as Cultural Venture in London, Barcelona, New York and Rotterdam, International Books, Utrecht
J. KOTNIK (2008), Container Architecture, byLinks Books, Barcelona
J. HERBERS (2004), Prefab Modern, HarperCollins, New York
P. SAWYERS (2008), Intermodal Shipping Container Small Steel Buildings, Paul Sawyers
H. SLAWIK , J . BERGMANN, M. BUCHMEIER e S. TINNEY (eds) (2010), Container Atlas: A Practical Guide to Container Architecture, Gestalten, Berlin
A.GORDON, B. BERGDOLL, W. F. MCLEAN, A. KALKIN, (2008) Quik Build:Adam Kalkin's ABC of Container Architecture, Bibliotheque McLean