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Abstract

Inspired by the Chicago School sociology and anthropology of Mary Douglas authors of the article show the special cultural status of new urban peripheries in comparison to villages, old urban peripheries and city centers. Critically they relate to the thesis that new urban peripheries are “cultural deserts” or “bedroom/dormitory suburbs”, considering them as a form of collective organization or sustained activity patterns that replace an original kind of culture. According to Mary Douglas villages are characterized by low level of social energy and high degree of collective control, and the city centers are characterized by high level of energy and low collective control. Referring to this classification the authors of the paper claim that new urban peripheries are characterized by both low energy and low collective control. A more detailed characterization of a new urban periphery is presented in the article on the basis of materials collected in several qualitative sociological research projects. In the light of the empirical material, it can be revealed that in new urban peripheries direct forms of collective control have been replaced by social non-interference, development of individualistic self-control and privatization of micro-spaces of living and transporting. It was noted that the intensive development of individualized outdoor activity leads to gradual formation of the new body type of a new urban periphery resident.
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Abstract

This paper aims to describe how the largest suburban development area for the city of Gdynia has been redesigned according to “New Urbanism” principles to become a new town district for potentially 40,000 inhabitants. Before MAU’s engagement in the project, a comprehensive vision for the area was lacking: new housing developments tended towards its car-dependent sub-urbanisation. The author was charged with organising an urban planning Charrette in May 2012 bringing together developers, city officials, inhabitants and experts in urban design, planning, architecture, traffic, sociology and location marketing. Key to the solution was the necessity of the restructuring of the road network, which had to be redesigned to enable the development of walkable neighborhoods and a distinctive new town center for the district. This would allow to have most daily uses within a 5 minute walking distance, such as schools, shops, recreation areas and public transport. In addition, three different pro-active strategies have been proposed to accommodate workplaces within the district, based on the economic profile and potential of Gdynia. A new Master Plan for the district was accordingly devised, planning procedures were set in motion, and a new legal plan (MPZP) fi nally approved in August 2017.
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