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The Split Case

This book is about one particular city, about the cities in general, and about the ways to approach the urban. The main aim behind its production was to present one authentic urban practice, hypothesizing how unique practices demand authentic methods capable to simultaneously address times and spaces, the glamour and the everydayness of the urban.

The book deals with Split, the key urban centre of Dalmatia. More specifically, it focuses at the historic core of Split, the famous Diocletian’s Palace. That treasure house of Mediterranean urbanity has the capacity to interrogate urban and cultural theories. One could argue that the spaces of the Palace, measuring modest 180 by 215 meters, contain all key lessons of the traditional European urbanism. At the same time, those spaces and practices are opening the questions of critical relevance for sustainable urban future, such as urbanity, density, intensity and resilience.

From its very beginnings, the key quality of Split emerges from dialectisation of the seeming opposites. That city was always Western – yet of the East; conceived perfect, yet modestly, consciously imperfect; generic, while decidedly local; vulnerable, and impressively resilient; pure, but never … really. Precisely from those splits spins an untamable complexity which makes this city authentic.

The Split Case asks and answers how to approach the complex urban.

Various investigations of the city from which the material for this book has emerged is presented as a series of “walks”, gentle cuts through the multiple fabrics of the city, ranging from expert views which give a comprehensive and fresh overview of Split to the series of fast snapshots, intuitive Debordean dérives, providing both clear the position and openings for future immersions into urban practices that make the Palace and Split. Dialectisation of knowledge and the pleasure of the text(ure) of the city was deliberate.

This book is dedicated to the city of Split and to those who love it.

Darko Radović

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