Peripheral corridors: the post-metropolitan landscape of Leganes (Madrid) and Melville (Johannesburg)




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Peer reviewed



Thesis describing main arguments: This paper consists of a general history of the concept of periphery and aims to introduce the different definitions of periphery in architectural and other theories. It begins by setting out some of the difficulties encountered when attempting to define the periphery, before continuing with the three main parts to the paper. The first of these provides a general taxonomy and describes the characteristics of the periphery in architecture, based on historical general discourses; the second examines architectural discourse and typologies in more detail, developing a particular focus on the European context and thirdly it focuses in more detail on this difficulty of defining the peripheral condition in architecture theory. The architects Jonathan Woodroff, Dominic Papa and Ian Mac Burnie write (Woodroffe, J., Papa, D., and Mac Burnie, I 1994:6): “Today, it seems an almost impossible task to define a contemporary peripheral condition; and yet it is that very quality, its extreme elusiveness, that ensures its attractiveness for debate […] In Western Europe with the exception of Britain, the notion of periphery has historically been associated with the ‘marginal’”.

This quote summarises recent discourse on peripheries, where the difficulty of the theme through its elusiveness has made the discourse marginal. So it is through these marginal figures that the exploration of the theme can be carried out in order to understand its language.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version


urbanism, borders, South African city, Johannesburg, Madrid


Martinez Perez, A., Hendricks, D. (2019) Peripheral corridors: the post-metropolitan landscape of Leganes (Madrid) and Melville (Johannesburg). Proceedings of the XIX Conferenza`Nazionale SIU – Università degli Studi di Firenze, (XIX National Conference of the Italian Society of Urbanists), Italy.


Research Institute

Institute of Architecture