Christiane Post (Ed.)
Städtebau im Schatten Stalins
Die internationale Suche nach der sozialistischen Stadt in der Sowjetunion 1929-1935
Hardcover with dust jacket
25 x 30.5 cm
“The strict chronological order of the outstanding illustrated book allows a quick but detailed overview of the development in different urbanistic areas and various regions within the country.”
(Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas)
The most ideologically charged urban planning discussion of all is the debate on early-Stalinist urban planning. Nowhere else in Europe there was such a violent quarrel about the construction of a better city like the one waged from 1929 to 1935 in the Soviet Union. In this tension field, Städtebau im Schatten Stalins was published as a result of a several-year research project of the Schinkelzentrum at the Technische Universität Berlin. It illuminates for the first time the whole dimension of a prominent era of urban development history. In his first five-year plan, Stalin aimed to transform the antiquated agrarian country with the help of the international community into a modern industrial state. To this end, new cities had to be built and old cities restructured. Magnitogorsk and Moscow are examples of this double task. In the year 1929, the urban development debate was carried out relatively freely without much attention from the party, but as of 1931 it was faced by increasing interference of the leadership group surrounding Stalin. Soon thereafter, a paradigm shift took place – the turning away from modern city visions and a reassessment of old towns. The construction of the metro and the planning of the palace of the Soviets are examples of this neo-Baroque development. The richly illustrated publication not only addresses architects, urban developers and landscape architects, but also social scientists, art historians and historians. It commences with an overview of the early years of the Soviet Union and ends with a description of concrete projects from the years 1935 to 1941. The appendix presents informative, in part unpublished, documents of the debate about the socialist town.