Benign Tumor – Vazio S/A
Benign Tumor

Originally published in the book History of the Void in Belo Horizonte (Carlos M. Teixeira, Cosac Naify, 1999), the text below depicts a reverse urban sprawl, where everything one day demolished would be recovered and embodied by the same city with the same greed of yore.

Editor: Alexandre Campos


Benign Tumor

“If the history of Belo Horizonte were a film, it could be summed up as a transformation of the void of a young city to the full spaces of a saturated city.  This project is an image of that film seen speeded up, but in  reverse (like the image one has with the rewind button of a VCR):  it is a retrogression in history which, paradoxically, points towards the better futures for the city.  Let us recapitulate the whole history of BH in a few minutes, so that the absurdity of the elimination of its voids becomes clearer.  If the “progress” of this city is identified with the slow occupation of its lots and parks, a retrogression means de-occupying full spaces and reinstalling empty spaces.  To unsmother the city center, to condense and connect the outlying neighborhoods efficiently, to imagine projects as mad as the densification of Belo Horizonte.  To return to the origins of the city.  To imagine, one more time, the freedom and the strength of the void.  Now, the urban zone will become a great Municipal Park, in a gesture of the “revenge of urbanism.” Like an enormous Central Park, which is at the same time a negation and a celebration of the city, the urban zone will come to be the nature we have at our disposal:  the nature of things that have escaped the artificiality of architecture.  The revenge:  inverse metastasis of that which has characterized the growth of Belo Horizonte.

“A benign tumor.  A stain of empty spaces contaminating the full ones.  A retrogression: a return to the beginning of history as a way of perceiving a healthier future.”

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