Crisis and Reconstruction in European Cities 1914-1945
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Over the ‚short’ 20th century – between World
War I and the breakdown of communism – inhabitants of European cities
lived through very difficult but also – at least in some parts of Europe
– very good times. This module
will concentrate on the interwar-period which was marked by sharp social
tensions and antagonisms, but also by first advances towards a
rather comprehensive welfare state in some European states.
However the experience of the great depression and mass unemployment
of the 1930s in many instances undermined such advances and promoted authoritarian
and dictatorial solutions
This module will deal with the question how urban experience
has been influenced by general conditions of the times and how city dwellers
managed to survive in times of crisis, destruction and reconstruction.
It will be led by the general question if and to what extent urban
experiences in European cities have been affected by similar problems
and challenges, if there are common perceptions and comparable approaches
and solutions to urban problems, irrespective or only coloured by national
and cultural traditions.
We will approach this wide field by highlighting cities
in special situations where local and overarching social and national
conflicts intertwine. Examples
will be Munich, Vienna, Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, Stockholm and other
cities. From these “spot-light”
scenarios we will probe deeper into the history and texture of these cities,
bring to light their specific profile as well as the general tendencies
and forces at work in that particular city at that time.
Students will be encouraged to develop an understanding
of the relationship between architectural reform, social policy and social
planning in so far as social reform in this period involved politics of
space, reshaping urban landscapes, revising the way people lived in cities
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