No. 7 (2016): Learning from Modern Utopias
Guest Editors: Armando Rabaça, Carlos Martins
With the crisis of modernism, modernist utopias came to be seen as the cause of the fragmentation, suburbanization and dehumanization of the city and as a tool in the hands of real estate speculation. However, modernist utopias were critical visions committed to social, humanist and technical research for the improvement of living conditions in the industrialized city. On the one hand, one cannot deny the modernist attempts to reconcile the urban predicaments raised anew by the industrialization process and the creation of a new, post-industrial social condition. On the other hand, it can be argued that the problems the contemporary city has to deal with have much in common with those that gave rise to the modernist utopias: bigness and high density, circulation and traffic congestion, public health and social changes, cultural identity and technological development, capitalist profit and corporate power. It is therefore to be expected that links should be found between those utopias and contemporary strategies of urban design. The challenge launched by Joelho for this issue aims at exploring these links.