Tapan Chakravarty: Urban Space as Continuity

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Listen around: the city has become, too often, the very emblem of the discontinuous. Till today, we tend to see the city as the absurd reconstruction of an artificial environment, permanently mutating, changing, transforming itself, everyday moving further away from our natural roots. Grand parents regret the peace of the countryside, while parents are nostalgic of the city of their youth. “Pollution, crowd, or time act on us as markers of something,” argued Tapan Chakravarty, “and that thing is discontinuity.” “Space has been taken away in the city, they say…. But, is it really so?” How can we retrieve the continuity of urban spaces? That is the task of urban designers, Chakravarty explained, but the first challenge is one of understanding, for everyone. Continuity is all around us. “What is discontinuity? As long as time does not halt, there is nothing like discontinuity. It may be transformation, mild change, drastic change… but is it always continuity. Discontinuity can only be death, the end of everything.” To undertake this change of outlook, Chakravarty presented his two key words. “There is Thing, and there is Thought. A thing without a thought is useless. A thought without a thing is abstract.”