(Urban) Landscape: Session at the European Association for Urban History Conference: Cities in Motion 2020
The session will explore the role played by town planning journals – issued by professional associations, academic and cultural circles or public institutions – in contributing to the construction and improvement of new knowledges and approaches about the city. Due to the possibilities of exchanges offered by technical progress, the international dimension stands out as a primary feature.
The debates developed during the sessions held in Helsinki and Rome EAUH Conferences about the role of transnational expertise in the birth of town planning discipline encourage us to continue discussing this topic with a new focus.
The session will take forward this investigation and will explore the role played by town planning journals – issued by professional associations, academic and cultural circles or public institutions – in contributing to the construction and improvement of new knowledges and approaches about the city. These journals define the references and the professional knowledge, but also deal with claims of hegemony of different disciplines, such as sanitary engineering, municipal affairs, architecture or sociology, and by examining the contributions of their actors.
This process, developed from the turn of the 20th century, is characterized by local, national and international debates in the cultural areas of the most intense theoretical and practical commitment (i.e. France and Belgium; the United Kingdom and the United States; Austria and Germany; Spain and Portugal). A number of topics appeared in these journals: a tentative synthesis of sanitary, social and aesthetic requirements in the plans for rehabilitation and urban expansion; the post-war reconstructions; discussions and the promulgation of urban laws; recognition and protection of town planner as a profession; the town planning as a tool for colonial organisation, etc. Due to the possibilities of exchanges offered by technical progress, the international dimension stands out as a primary feature and will be interesting to explore similar processes in other cultural areas, considered as ‘peripheral’ (i.e. Latin-American or Asian Countries), adopting a transnational perspective.
The session aims to open a debate on town planning journals, focusing on the mutual influences and the different scales of design, from the city to the territory, which animated the commitment of these journals during the period between 1900 and 1960.
Papers dealing with the following topics will be considered:
- The genesis and life of the journals (origin, title, editorial structure, columns, international collaborations, connection with movements or professional associations etc.);
- The role of the journals in the circulation of town planning ideas, models and norms in national and international context (i.e. discussing congresses, events, competitions, etc.);
- The relevance of town planning topics in technical and municipal life journals;
- The journals as a place for theoretical debate and legislative proposal;
- The historiographic interpretations and questions about the construction and circulation of town planning knowledge.
- Spokesperson: Angelo Bertoni, Aix-Marseille Université
- Co-organizer(s): Josianne Franci Cerasoli, University of Campinas
- Keywords: Journals | Town planning | Transnational history
- Time period: Contemporary period
- Topic(s): Architecture and urbanism | Intellectual
- Study area: More than one continent