We are seeking papers that examine the patterning of large metropolitan regions by focusing on the design history of large housing sectors. These residential urban elements—whether they are called “neighborhood units” in English, “mikro-rayon” in Russian, or “unidades vecinales” in Spanish typically include a range of public uses and services and were a key element in what became the global town planning movement after 1920. How did these large housing estates express specific social, political, and cultural values? How were these values incorporated into the design of these estates especially when modern town planning practices were exported from Europe, the United States and the Soviet Union into Asia, Africa and Latin America? What consequences did the introduction of modernist town planning principles have for the way existing cities, housing estates, and landscapes were seen? In what way did they embody specifically modernist ideas? To what extent were they designed as countermodels for approaches that were conceived of as antimodern? How did this introduction of modern town planning coincide with overall economic development strategies?
Positions’s aim is to broaden the scope of reflection and theorizing on these issues. We are interested in considering the impact of social, political, and economic ideals on the motives, programs, and design concepts of such large projects and seek papers considering this form of urbanism from a variety of methodological approaches.
Authors are asked to submit papers to the editors, preferably in English, by 15 September 2009. Papers should not be more than 6,000 words, in addition to complete citations in the form of endnotes. They should be accompanied by no more than ten images. If a paper is accepted for publication, the author will have the responsibility to obtain world rights to publish these images.
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