Published September 5, 2007 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Man and City. Myth and vision

  • 1. National Technical University of Athens


Myths are the expression of a group’s unconscious. The genesis of a myth is the result of civilization’s experience and myth’s objective in past societies was to build a guide for social behavior. An important question is whether the characteristics of the myth or the characteristics of the modern thinking can be a good guide to fulfill the expectations of the modern city. The modern city, in order to reach the ultimate targets of the economic development, grows abnormally with monster-face ecological footprints, which, for the first time, set the civilization to be confronted with the carrying capacity of the ecosystems. In the metropolis, which can be considered as abnormal zones of the planet’s surface, tragedies related to each living part of the assemblage take place. This occurs because metropolis offers to each citizen infinite possibilities for transportation, communication, pollution (to pollute). Consequently, each unit of the city participates blindly to the ecological footprint and environmental degradation by polluting without realizing the repercussion of his acts on Nature. On behalf of the citizens there is lack of maturity in being a part of the orchestra, as individuals are rarely able to define logical limits for their activities on their own. No substantial guide for an environmentally respectful behavior is provided and so the respectless use of the technology threatens to cause man a punishment analogous to the punishments relative to “hubris” referenced in ancient myths. This paper gives an erratic presentation of an issue (environmental presentation) viewed through an ancient myth. This is legitimate since this issue is not only scientific but ethical as well. The paper is supported by a sculpture work, created by Grigoris Lagos and Fivos Sargentis, which contains a city with flying Icaruses above it, in an attempt to express the blind contribution of the citizens at the generation of the actual environmental problems.  



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