Public Housing in Fascist Rome: A European Perspective


  • Harald Bodenschatz Center for Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin



This article discusses the role of housing in the political agenda of dictatorial regimes in the interwar period, in particular in the agenda of Italian Fascism. It brings about the factors that contributed to make public housing a key component in securing the support of the middle classes in the creation of social consensus necessary for the preservation of Mussolini’s dictatorial regime. The maps advances a typological mapping of housing complexes for Mussolini’s Rome, which illustrates a policy based on the urbanization of the middle classes, and the de-urbanization of the urban poor.


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Author Biography

Harald Bodenschatz, Center for Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin

Harald Bodenschatz, sociologist and urban planner, was from 1995 till 2011 full Professor for Sociology of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Technische Universität Berlin. Since 2012 he is Associate Fellow of the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Technische Universität Berlin and of the Bauhaus-Institut Geschichte und Theorie der Architektur und der Planung at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. He studied sociology, political science, psychology and economics at the LMU in Munich and the FU in Berlin (1967-72). In 1978 he completed his doctorate on “Urban Land Reform in Italy. The re-structuring of land rights and municipal planning in Bologna” (1975-78) in Oldenburg and in 1986 his habilitation “Make way for the new Berlin. A history of the city's urban renewal since 1871” in Berlin. Since 1972 he has taught in the respective departments of architecture and urban and regional planning at the RWTH in Aachen and the TU Berlin. From 2004 till 2009 he was speaker of the Schinkel Centre at the TU Berlin and from 2009 till 2010 speaker of the Transatlantic Graduate Research Training Group “Berlin - New York” funded by the DFG German Research Foundation. He has been a visiting professor in Rio de Janeiro (1997) and Lima (2000). His research projects are related to the history of urban design and post-industrial urban design. As a urban planner, he has been involved in sensitive re-development projects of several smaller historical town and village centres in Southern Germany since 1980 (e.g. Ellingen, Wolframs-Eschenbach, Wendelstein, Uffenheim, Roßtal, Merkendorf, Dollnstein and Wilhermsdorf). Harald Bodenschatz is author/coauthor or editor/co-editor of a number of publications on urban issues. He is member of the editorial or advisory boards of the following research journals: “Forum Stadt”, “Deutsches Architektenblatt”, “Journal of Biourbanism” and “Journal of Urbanism”. He is co-editor of the GSU book series “Beiträge zur Stadtgeschichte und Urbanisierungsforschung” Franz-Steiner-Verlag) and the book series “Städtebau – Architektur – Gesellschaft” (ibidem-Verlag). He is also a member of numerous professional and policy-oriented associations including AIV, BDA, CEU, DASL, DWB, GSU, IPHS, SRL.