Alternative Visions of Post-War Reconstruction
Creating the Modern Townscape
Edited by John Pendlebury, Erdem Erten, Larkham J Peter
Routledge – 2015 – 258 pages
The history of post Second World War reconstruction has recently become an important field of research around the world; Alternative Visions of Post-War Reconstruction is a provocative work that questions the orthodoxies of twentieth century design history.
This book provides a key critical statement on mid-twentieth century urban design and city planning, focused principally upon the period between the start of the Second World War to the mid-sixties. The various figures and currents covered here represent a largely overlooked field within the history of 20th century urbanism.
In this period while certain modernist practices assumed an institutional role for post-war reconstruction and flourished into the mainstream, such practices also faced opposition and criticism leading to the production of alternative visions and strategies. Spanning from a historically-informed modernism to the increasing presence of urban conservation the contributors examine these alternative approaches to the city and its architecture.
Part 1: Introduction 1. Erdem Erten, John Pendlebury and Peter Larkham: Introduction: On Alternative Visions 2. Wolfgang Sonne: The Enduring Concept of Civic Art Part 2: Imagined Townscapes 3. Erdem Erten: Townscape as a Project and Strategy of Cultural Continuity 4. Filippo De Pieri: Visualizing the Historic City: Planners and the Representation of Italy’s Built Heritage. Giovanni Astengo and Giancarlo De Carlo in Assisi and Urbino, 1950s−60s 5. Harriet Atkinson: ‘The First Modern Townscape’? The Festival of Britain, Townscape and Picturesque 6. Andrea Yuri Flores Urushima: Everyday Unavoidable Modernization and the Image of Hell: Visual Planning in the Writings of Nishiyama Uzô Part 3: Townscapes in Practice 7. Peter Larkham and Keith Lilley: Townscape and Scenography: Conceptualising and Communicating the Urban Landscape in British Post-war Planning 8. John Pendlebury: Making the Modern Townscape: The Reconstruction Plans of Thomas Sharp 9. Francesca Bonfante and Cristina Pallini: The Role of an Historic Townscape in City Reconstruction: Plans for Milan, Turin and Genoa After World War II 10. David Snyder: Rhetorics and Politics: Polish Architectural Modernism In The Early Postwar Years Part 4: Townscapes in Opposition 11. Nicholas Bullock: Charting the Changing Approaches to Reconstruction in France, Urbanisme 1941-56 12. Barnabas Calder: Brutal Enemies? Townscape and the ‘Hard’ Moderns 13. Peter Laurence: Jane Jacobs, the Townscape Movement, and the Emergence Critical Urban Design 14. Eamonn Canniffe: Neo-Realism: Urban Form and La Dolce Vita in Post-war Italy 1945-75
John Pendlebury is Professor of Urban Conservation at Newcastle University, UK. He has written extensively about how historic cities were planned in the twentieth century and about the role that heritage and its conservation perform in the contemporary city. His previous books are Conservation in the Age of Consensus and Valuing Historic Environments. Projects include Town and Townscape: The Work and Life of Thomas Sharp.
Erdem Erten teaches architectural design, and architectural history and theory classes, as Associate Professor of the Department of Architecture at Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey. His research interests include the theorization of culture and its impact on modern architecture in the post-war period, architectural journalism and the problem of the avant-garde in architecture and romanticism.
Peter J. Larkham is Professor of Planning at Birmingham City University, UK. An urban geographer by background, he has researched and written widely on urban form and conservation, with post-war reconstruction developing as a major research interest over the past decade. His books include The Blitz and its Legacy and Shapers of Urban Form.