Juan Carlos Mansur Garda
Beauty, preservation and restoration are clearly linked. We seek to protect beauty in all its forms. Thus, a city that values its aesthetics is one that respects the ideals forged over time in its particular beauty; it is a city that better understands its own way of life. To allow a city to deteriorate into oblivion speaks to the lack of care for that that once mattered so much to us, as is our adaptation to new aesthetic styles is also a form acceptance to new way of life. The legitimate preservation of past beauty is testimony to our historical nature: people, towns and cities grow on a continuum; we dwell with past and the present facing the future.
This edition of Gremium journal: Aesthetics and City motivates readers, feeds thought, and stirs dialogue about the tangible and intangible restoration and preservation of today’s cities; about its meaning and our options. Dwelling is the essential principle of every city, and this edition explores how to make them spaces where its people can recover and keep their sense of dwelling. The purpose is to serve as a lynchpin to the ideas the authors have expressed on the need for preservation and restoration to construct a legitimate space to dwell and the inevitable need to open a dialogue to adjust to the demands and needs of the modern world.
This edition comprehends some of the research discussed at the annual Aesthetics and City’s international seminar. Thanks to the support of the ITAM and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), an interdisciplinary academic and professional group interested in understanding what beauty is and what is its place in people’s lives and in their city, have come together to reflect on the essence of city and how it could be embellished. It is through this intellectual effort that I had the pleasure of meeting the enthusiastic researcher Dr. Milton Montejano, and received the invitation to coordinate this edition. Here, as well as our own research, we have included exciting research from other researchers.
We begin with a conceptual framework in which Arturo Mota and Fernando Caloca clearly address the problem of the sense of preservation and restoration of heritage and value from a philosophical vantage point, the various perspectives that it from which it can be viewed.
The second section, city and housing, takes on the problem the worldwide heritage and traditional way of life suffers in many cities today, cities governed by economic growth criteria and property speculation. Authors Brad McBride, Maria Guadalupe Valiñas, Luis Palacios, Farid Yague and I, propose dwelling as a viewpoint to rethink the preservation and restoration. From this perspective, we view our cities’ intangible heritage, one that survives on the interest of its citizens, who through a change in its social, cultural, political and economic organization have been able to give a new order to the urban landscape and the preservation and recovery of their heritage.
Finally, in the third section, Rescue and conservation of heritage to urban-regional scale objects, Blanca Margarita Gallegos, Jose Antonio Garcia and Ana Paulina Sotomayor analyze the question of how to address the rescue of historical monuments –elements currently in disuse– that could go unnoticed and ignored, and yet, formpart of life of cities. Especially framed and full meaning to this issue, is the bookreview of Juahni Pallasmaa Habitar, who performed Aura Aguirre.
I want to thank Gremium magazine and Editorial Restauro for the always cordial and coordinated work we have done and for all the support I have received to carry out this ambitious project, including eight articles and a book review for this edition. Particularly I want to thank Dr. Tarsicio Pastrana, the Master in Science; Luis Cruz and Dr. Milton Montejano, for this opportunity to participate in this review and for their thoughtful recommendations. My thanks also to all researchers who contributed to this magazine and to Aura Arcos, who collaborated on prior review and discussion of many of the articles presented here. Finally my gratitude to the readers who share similar concerns in such interesting topics, one that demands us to keep our reflections, our creativity and thoughtful solutions alive through discussion.