New Towns: material manifestations and changing conditions - re-reading Sabaudia, Vällingby and Milton Keynes

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New Towns: material manifestations and changing conditions
Re-reading Sabaudia, Vällingby and Milton Keynes

Cities are unpredictable phenomena. They change over time, responding to economic, political and demographic forces. In order to understand the complex relation between cities and societal dynamics, the so-called New Towns can serve as particularly relevant objects of scrutiny. Parallel to the now seminal texts by Jacobs, Venturi and Jencks mentioned in the conference call, we find New Towns to be equally seminal physical manifestations of urbanistic and architectural ideals.
As New Towns have been planned and built ‘from scratch’ in a relatively short time, they represent quite particular urban ambitions and ideologies, illustrating societal issues that were decisive at a given point in history. Revisiting the no-longer-new New Towns of the 20th Century allows us to observe how carefully designed urban structures have reacted to the societal changes of their lifetime: whether the urban ideals have stood the test of time, and how the complexity of the present has influenced the physical structures and the life of these cities.
This paper will discuss three New Towns from three eras of the 20th century, representing different ideological climates and different directions in urban design. The cities are: Sabaudia in Italy developed in the 1930s during Mussolini’s fascist rule, Vällingby in Sweden erected in the 1950s as part of the Swedish welfare state, and, finally, Milton Keynes in the UK from the early 1970s - a time of optimism and liberalism.
The paper will discuss the original urban structures built largely as practical answers to strong ideals of ‘living’ and how, over time, new users and new uses have interacted with these structures. There will be a particular focus on two themes: The question of identity and its relation to the built and the role played by physical infrastructure in the ability of cities to transform and adapt to new uses.

Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 2020
BegivenhedThe City and Complexity – Life, Design and Commerce in the Built Environment.: Organized by City, University of London; AMPS and PARADE. - University of London;, London, Storbritannien
Varighed: 17 jun. 202020 jun. 2020


KonferenceThe City and Complexity – Life, Design and Commerce in the Built Environment.
Lokation University of London;

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

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