IXth International Conference on Urban History

August 27-30, 2008

Lyon France
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 Session description

Authoritarian Urbanisms: Politics and Design in European Communist and Fascist Cities Since 1917

The Russian Revolution of 1917 and the rise of the Italian Fascist Party in 1922 marked the emergence of radical one-party political ideologies in Europe. Other countries developed into authoritarian regimes in the 1930s including Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal and Lithuania; then after World War II, communism took hold across eastern Europe and fascism remained strong in southern Europe. Although these movements of the left and right claimed opposing points of view relative to economic, social and political organization, communist and fascist cities in Europe share many formal and symbolic characteristics such as monumental public spaces, a preference for classical decorative schemes and an interest in vernacular architecture. This panel seeks to explore their similarities and differences by focusing on the influence of authoritarian politics on the urban design and construction of twentieth-century cities. The organizers hope to bring together new and existing research on western Europe with the emerging scholarship on eastern European and Soviet cities. Papers that use a comparative methodology across national or political lines are encouraged, as well as in-depth case studies of single neighborhoods, cities or countries that can be used to generate concepts and ideas about urbanism that could apply across the continent.

Session conveners:

  • Kimberly Elman Zarecor
  • Ferrucio Trabalzi

Session type: Main

Classification: M - Modern


Architecture of italian rationalism in Istria

Author(s): Galjer, Jasna 

Foreign parallels and a variety of concepts in Soviet town planning during the reign of Stalin

Author(s): Nevzgodin, Ivan 

Lwów to Lviv. Soviet Urban Planning and Design in the Soviet West under Stalinism and Destalinization, 1939-1966

Author(s): Amar, Tarik Cyril 

Piazza degli Affari and the Contingent Nature of Urbanism in Fascist Milan

Author(s): Maulsby, Lucy 

Socialist Towns – Symbols of the New Society: Building a Socialist Town in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia

Author(s): Kladnik, Ana 

The Very Model of a Modern Imperial City: Gondar, Ethiopia

Author(s): Rifkind, David 

Totalitarian versus Authoritarian Urbanism: Politics and the Design of Sofia in the 1930s - 1950s

Author(s): Stoilova, Ljubinka 

Utopian Nightmare or Liveable Neighbourhood? Housing in Budapest in the Communist Period

Author(s): Szivos, Erika