Conjoined Cities – The Interactive Dynamics of Urbanism
An excerpt taken from – ONE BELT ONE ROAD (OBOR) AND MALAYSIA: A LONG-TERM GEOPOLITICAL PERSPECTIVE
“Formerly, as far as we know, old trading cities were actually made up of two distinct towns built along the same river; such was clearly the case with Pasai, Banten, and Malacca, where royal compounds and harbour settlements were located several kilometres apart, each town sometimes bearing a different name. This physical split reflected a peculiar perception of society: the harbour population on the shore was turned towards the sea and the sea activities, whereas the king faced landward, indicating that he wanted to be considered as the necessary intermediary between inland and coastal populations. A neat boundary specified the different roles. The king had political power over the land and its populations. The harbour population, of foreign extraction, had the right to settle in the kingdom and to trade in exchange for taxes paid to the king. But as guests of the country, they had no say in political matters” (Guillot 2005:44).”
However, my point is that we must recognise such conjoined Cities are not just a regional outcome of a peculiar “perception of society”; they are everywhere effective as our primary locators – a ‘Civilised’ contrivance.
Base-organizing principles are in a mind’s projections of ‘Space v Time’. In that opposition, dynamically conjoined arrangements are forceful Universal agencies set safely harnessed in discriminating and essential conflict.
Cities generally have their ‘quarters’, zones for Arts, Business, Food & Eating, Entertainment – even as a Ghetto. But here, as raised and discussed, these are made different. Wall or border-separated contrasting environments are placed together as contractually organised to inter-operate within a National productive conception.
Such distinctly defined settings locate very different conditionings special organised for administrative, creative or commercial communities. As said, each becomes semi-autonomous – two states with exact physical boundaries’ so set-apart but made self-servingly co-operative.
As appropriately contained each City is self-organised; self-governed as endorsed legal entities separately operative within an agreed National Framework. ‘Two Very Different Worlds. Mind-Sets Apart but Legally Conjoined to Mutual Benefit’ – those are humanity’s essential conditioning as moment-by-moment operative facts.
Such a ‘civic marriage’ is historically well-proven as of practical value. Interactive interdependence is productive in the National internal Interest and outside International Effect. These cities may not be so geographically close as that first described above, but are ever found similarly operative and effectively communicative – most generally as Commercial Port and an Inland Government.
So the form, governance and location of each ‘City’ must suit its special purpose. Each must well-facilitate, organise and protect its distinctly different mindset and lifestyle.
These, in separation, satisfy economic, social and material requirements as ones that could otherwise antagonise or disrupt each other – if set disputive/competitive in a too-close encountering. In London’s case these realms were or are separated/conjoined by the ‘Inns of Court’ and News Media and Judicial enclaves open to democratic inspection in dispute resolution.
Such dichotomy is productive because it materialises very different living conditions effective at extremes in their organising and operating procedures. These are the fundamental ‘geometrics of Space and Time’. As disassociated operational logics they are materialised oppositional-interactive in Life as in every form and encounter of Universal existence.
The brain of an advanced species (evident in birds and humans) is so organised split-separated; Lobes, Left and Right, are conjoined interactive via a Corpus-callosum.
Our contemporary urban power-centres show this dissimilar set-up in its binary-organisation. Effective in conditioning and transforming History, ‘entwinned’ cities – Washington+New York, Beijing+Shanghai (Hong Kong?), Paris Left-bank+Right-bank, Westminster City+London City and Kyoto+Tokyo – evidence interactive conjunction of this ‘binary formation’. Those have produced world-changing social-economic, cultural and political developments. Lacking such oppositionally differentiated centres, a Nation is less secure or independently effective.
London, generally considered as one City, is a ‘Metropolitan County’. The fundamental distinction between parts of it – central as the mile-square “City of London” along with “The City of Westminster” – is not registered in the general mindset. Yet those critical and extreme disassociations are formed with past and ongoing national and international effect – most particularly now ‘Brexit’ conditions take effect. See ft – https://www.ft.com/content/7c8f24fa-3aa5-11e4-bd08-00144feabdc0 “The City of London’s strange history”
London’s separated ‘City’ (with its major port facility until mid-20th-century) is centered in an organically evolved network of national and international trade, finance and commerce. Long self-governing, it is an historically licensed hub of interactive Charters, Guilds, Companies, Banks, Insurance and Trading agencies. St. Paul’s, its City Cathedral, is Classically Domed in the centralized temporal-form of an ‘egalitarian’ global communion.
Westminster was and is both the Nation’s Regal Crowning location and its Parliamentary Palace. Seat of Governance in Abbey and Parliament edifices its Architecture is Gothic – a spatially-expressive form of an hierarchical or absolute authority.
The plan-organised distinction [circular/cyclic v rectilinear permanence] between those ‘City’ entities is definitive as each has been separately originated and evolved as geographically and conceptually located. Separately they geometrically materialize fundamentally different aspects and conflicting operations of the human condition. These are safely brought together as-and-in Space and Time to dynamically reorganize those basics of a primal cosmological origin in its ever ongoing evolution of us and our world.
In Japan’s development Tokyo+Kyoto were cities deliberately made different; separate and disparate but effective in interactive conjunction. A designated binary-based history: as Edo became ‘Tokyo’ that translates as ‘Eastern Capital’ whilst Heian’s renaming as ‘Kyoto’ meant as it remains, ‘Capital City’.
Kyoto’s strict grid was made ‘Spatial’, a layout deliberately fixed on the ‘Imperial’ Chinese Plan. It was and is ‘Classical’, in ethos a permanency, perfect planned as a ‘Model Cosmos’.
Tokyo is very different; cellular-organic and dynamic – ever changing, temporal evolving in a Shogunate’s reorganizing of an historically-made nomadic National Populace.
A ‘Culture’ is developed in obvious mental conditionings and subconscious perceptions. That enclosed dynamic forms individual and collective ambitions directed towards goals that other peoples and species cannot same-way envisage.
In this duality, ‘Civilization’ organizes an enhanced and augmented Reality.
Japan’s “EAST V WEST” ‘SUMO’ summer tourney, as my Tokyo photo demonstrates, is geometrically located in squared-SPACE+cyclic-TIME. An adversarial ritual of National Unity moves periodically from city to city