Toward a complex everydayness: an MOP based research on the revitalization scheme of the South Gate of the Xi’an city wall

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As one of the oldest cities in China and the starting point of the Silk Road, Xi’an has served 13 dynasties as their capitals and has the most complete city wall in China. The continuously growing urban development and the rapidly iterative digital technology have changed the cognitive way in urban conception. Being part of urban revitalization, the greening and reconnecting scheme of the South Yongning Gate of the city wall was designed in 2012 and completed in 2014, for a strong purpose in reviving the city’s central social-cultural core. This paper focuses on the comparison between the morphology-operation-performance (MOP) model in the design thinking process of the South Gate square from the architects’ perspective and the actual MOP from the citizens’ perspective through qualitative survey. The findings suggest that the complex everydayness in urban life adds diverse and private operations, which contributes to the full performance of a place and conversely more uniqueness in operations. Reflections on MOP of the greening and reconnecting scheme deepen the understanding of the everyday landscape of the citizens, the tourists, the public and the authority. Urban designers should be able to realize the complexity and the potential of everydayness in enabling historical sites into mixed-use public places for all.
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5: Uniqueness and connectivity. Al-Baraha: unlocking urban futures
Northwestern Polytechnical University

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