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European Urbanism in the 20th Century. The Tension between Real and Written History

Lecture series at the Bauhaus University Weimar

Piero Sassi, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar,
Max Welch Guerra, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar,

The debate on a common European identity is by no means novel. However, over the past few years the escalation of multiple crises and the consequent discussion about the future of the European Union have extended this debate to ever larger segments of society. A shared European history is a fundamental part of the European identity. Discussing it is today more important than ever.

Professional and cultural exchange throughout Europe was very intense in the 20th century. It had a strong effect on urbanism in the individual countries. Therefore, the history of urbanism in Europe during the 20th century should be discussed in an international context, as a shared history. In doing so, it shouldn’t be neglected that dictatorships, wars, oppression and exile, that strongly characterized 20th century history, produced migration flows. These increased the exchange between the European debate and those of overseas countries, for instance in South and North America.

Within the lecture series, we will tackle some major issues, such as housing policies, large-scale projects and urban renewal in different geographical contexts (Germany, Portugal, Serbia, Spain and Argentina) and historical periods. On the one hand, this will allow to underline similarities between case studies and to recognize the exchange of models, experts and know-how between different countries. On the other hand, by considering the single case study in a broader international context, this will make it possible to understand its peculiarities. Doing so, the lecture will take on a European perspective. Lectures will be given both by scholars of the BUW and by invited guests. Results of ongoing research projects will be discussed in order to provide an overview of contemporary debate on 20th century urbanism, in Germany and in Europe. Topics and case studies will follow a chronological order. In order to receive credits and an attendance certificate, students are required to pass a written examination at the end of the course.
Sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

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