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New Tools For New Towns

By Rhizome

Planned communities are all around us, and are often the object of scorn. What might be difficult to imagine today is that at one time, a certain breed of planned communities prevalent in the United Kingdom, called 'New Towns' were guided by optimistic visions of the future. East Kilbride was Scotland’s first New Town, and is documented in rich detail by artist Sylvia Grace Borda. Borda spent ten months living in and documenting East Kilbride, and the resulting digital archive is presented online as an interactive map. Borda’s project could prove to be an excellent resource to practitioners in several disciplines--including photography, architecture, and urban planning. The structure of Borda’s project is perhaps the most interesting aspect of all, in terms of the futuristic aspirations of archiving itself. By making the East Kilbride project an online archive, it is accessible to many, never 'closes,' and any original documents are unharmed. Borda’s project ultimately poses the question of whether the utopian visions manifested in New Town architecture mirror our hopes for our territories online? - Michelle Kasprzak

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