Specialists Sessions

S1 „Invisible Boundaries": Urbanism and Identity in Central European Towns and Cities on „Unofficial" Internal Borders 1918–1989

Main chair: Ondřej Kolář, Ph.D. Silesian museum
E-mail: kolar@szm.cz

1st Co-chair: Lukáš Vomlela, Ph.D., Silesian University in Opava
E-mail: lukas.vomlela@fvp.slu.cz

Short abstract

The session focuses on demographic, economic, social and cultural effects of "unofficial" internal borders (such as language or ethnographic borders or no longer existing former administrative boundaries) on everyday life and identity of towns and cities in Central Europe during the era between the end of Great War and end of the Cold War.

Keywords: Internal Borders, Language Borders, Central Europe, Regional Identities, City Planning


Social and urbanistic history of towns and cities on language, ethnographic and vanished borders

Session content

The session focuses on specific Central European regions affected by „invisible" unofficial borders. The aim is to describe and analyse the lasting impacts of vanisged former administrative borders, as well as cultural, language and ethnic borders in the history of the 20th Century.Three scholars from Silesian University in Opava, Silesian Museum in Opava and Institute for Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague are taking part in the session, which is also opened for other researchers. Already proposed topics are primarily related to issues of identity and collective memory of unique territories of Silesia. One of hem is former Hlučín district, which maintans its specific local traditions and „dissenting" historical narrative, opposing the „mainstream" interpretation of national history and identity. Other contributions focus on „abandoned" territories alongside former Moravian-Silesian border and so-called „inner Sudetenland", which suffer significant demographic and economic loss after 1945 and which deal with discontinuity of local traditions and identity. The session will also discuss distinctive case of Jeseník district and its lasting cultural affiliation to Silesia after its incorporation into Moravian administrative structures. Speakers will also focus on comparation of broader aspects of Silesian identity in Czechia and Poland. Except „Silesian" topics the session attempts to analyse and compare history of more distinctive regions of Central Europe. The organisers are able to accept two or three more paper proposals.


Ondřej Kolář: Living alongside the army: Memory policy of towns neighbouring to military bases Hradiště and Libavá

The paper aims to analyse and compare the development of memory policy in two specific regions of the Czech lands. Both territories (Libavá in Moravian-Silesian borderland and Hradiště in Western Bohemia) used to lie in proximity of the language border between Czech and German settlement and after 1945 were significantly affected by expulsion of German population and by creation of military training bases. Post-WWII demographic and economic changes naturally had serious impact on local identity and collective memory. The paper focuses on changes of self-presentation of municipalities in both regions from 1945 till present day. In case of Hradiště, towns of Ostrov, Klášterec nad Ohří, Podbořany, Žlutice and Bochov will be analysed. For Libavá region, the research will focus on Město Libavá, Moravský Beroun, Budišov nad Budišovkou, Vítkov, Odry and Potštát. The paper examines how the "German" past of the towns was and is presented in local historiography, museum exhibitions, public space (statues, street names etc.), festivities and tourist guides. The purpose of the research is to answer the following questions: Who were/are the "bearers of the memory"? Are there any diffferences between "official" memory, presented by research institutions, museums or administrative bodies, and "popular" memory, presented by civic associations and private researchers? How did the memory policy change after the fall of communist regime? How was the presence of the army interpreted? What are the similarities and differences of the two examened regions?

Lubomír Hlavienka: Inter-ethnic violence alongside the language line in East Sudetenland (may and june 1945)

The period between the collapse of the order providing protection and then the establishment of a new order that codifies these rights again is usually a critical moment for minorities. This took place in the Czechoslovakian borderland in May and June 1945. After the downfall of the Third Reich, the region fell into chaos and the power vacuum was temporally filled by guerilla groups and ad hoc formed militia corps. The aim of this paper is to introduce the inter-ethnic violence and the massacres which took place along the language line in the so-called East Sudetenland. This violence took on the most brutal forms along the invisible language line where the first wave of wild expulsion of the autochthonous German population and the subsequent Czechoslovakian colonization of these territories took place.

Pavel Šopák: Borderland towns and the cohesion of urban structure: Case of Moravian-Silesian borderland

Moravian-Silesian borderland represents a specific area which is characteristic by lower population and specific type of smaller towns. The form of the towns was determined by the state changes in the 19th and 20th centuries, changes of political significance, changes in the exploitation of the economic potential, changes in population mobility which was determined by the presence or absence of train connections and higher-class road (i.e. in the past the distance from the imperial road/highway, today from the first class road or motorway), and the exchange of the population after the year 1945. These indicators can be expressed in numbers, thus are measurable. On the contrary, what is not measurable is the image of the urban settlement and its urban composition which is connected to the geomorphologic character of the area, the relationship between the settlement form and the watercourse etc. On the examples of the towns (Klimkovice, Bílovec, Studénka, Fulnek, Odry, Potštát, Moravský Beroun, Dvorce, Dětřichov nad Bystřicí, Břidličná, Rýmařov, Staré Město pod Sněžníkem), the cohesion of urban structure is defined as a positive value, which is perceived and intensively experienced, while its decrease or its disruption is perceived negatively. The paper aims to answer the research question how the level of urban cohesion is related to the changes (demographic, social, economic) which the given borderline towns underwent during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Dariusz Dekiert: One House - Two Worlds. The Portrayal of 'Own' and 'Other' Neighbors in the Memoir Literature of Łódź Jews

The social and economic advancement of eastern European Jews in the early 20th century brought about changes in traditional social, political and economical structures, which were previously based on small-town communities. One of the factors contributing to the rapid development of Łódź as an industrial city in the 20th century was the influx of Jewish population from small towns, known as "shtetls" in Yiddish, located in Poland, Lithuania, and Belarus. Thousands of Jews migrated here in search of work and career opportunities, creating, alongside other city dwellers, a unique conglomerate of diverse religions, languages, and national affiliations coexisting in an industrial metropolis. These communities lived closely together yet belonged to entirely distinct worlds. In the case of Łódź, the interactions among the Polish, Jewish, German, and Russian populations can be seen as relationships between the dominant group and minority groups, bearing in mind that Łódź was a city with a unique dynamics where minorities collectively outweighed the majority in the urban space. Moreover, after the Russian partition period, the dominant group in Łódź shifted to the Polish community.

The relationships between the Jewish minority and dominant groups in Łódź were, therefore, complex and multifaceted. To describe such a nuanced reality, the concept of the "contact zone," introduced by scholar Mary Louise Pratt, widely used in Jewish studies, provides an influential and well-applied framework for better understanding the intersections of different cultures. The postcolonial perspective, from which this concept originates, offers useful tools for comprehending these interactions. The contact zone represents a space where previously isolated groups come into contact, interact, and define differences. It is a place where power imbalances and asymmetric colonization relationships are played out, leading to cultural exchange and mutual influence. This is not a neutral or harmonious space; it is a place where colonizers wield power, and the colonized are subject to violence and inequality, with the choice between resistance or adaptation to prevailing conditions. The contact zone is characterized by conflicts and struggles for power and recognition, and the nature of interactions within it can vary significantly depending on the specific historical and cultural context. It can encompass physical spaces, as well as more abstract spaces like cultural exchanges through language, religion, or education. In my work I will analyze one of the most frequently described or mentioned places in these texts: the courtyard. It serves as an excellent case study to examine the webs of mutual connections in the contact zone and the boundaries defined in daily life. The texts under discussion depict Łódź from the early 20th century to 1939. They primarily consist of memoirs, which were published after the Holocaust, with a smaller number of literary fiction focusing on the city. Memoirs were authored by individuals who were not scholars but often possessed literary talent, based on their personal experiences. Consequently, they pose certain challenges as historical sources due to frequent factual errors and the lack of objectivity on the part of the authors in portraying the events they describe, including a tendency to present their "own" group in a favorable light. Nevertheless, when approached using postcolonial tools, these memoirs can be utilized as source material to explore the points of intersection mentioned within the texts.

S2 Pandemics, Society and Ecology in historical urban space

Main chair: Grażyna Liczbińska, Dr., Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
E-mail: grazyna@amu.edu.pl

1st Co-chair: Jörg Vögele, Professor, Department of History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, University of Düsseldorf, Germany
E-mail: joerg.voegele@uni-duesseldorf.de

2nd Co-chair: Ján Golian, Dr., Faculty of Arts, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia
E-mail: jan.golian@ucm.sk

Short abstract

There is a casual relationship between environmental conditions in cities and mortality, especially due to infectious deseases. The proposed session seeks to create a platform for sharing and comparing results of interdisciplinary research on historical urban areas in the context of ecological conditions, sanitary level and epidemiological danger.

Keywords: ecology, populations, environment, sanitary, epidemiology


Epidemiology, historical demography, human biology

Session content

The 19th century was a period of rapid growth of urban agglomerations. It was the time of industrial revolution and the growing world market enabling surprisingly fast development of many branches of industry, technology, trade, and science. Overpopulated and increasingly industrialized urban spaces posed a threat to human health and life. In this context, the effects of epidemics were most pronounced in fast-growing cities. High population density, insufficient hygienic conditions, inadequate health care, were characteristics that indirectly contributed to the rapid spread of childhood epidemics. Meanwhile diseases affected also adults and elderly people.

Cities were frequently suffering not only from infrastructural deficiencies but also from inhibited access to medical care, or dramatically poor living conditions – with mainly working-class population concentrated in extremely overcrowded districts. Poor urban ecology, medical care and – in general – standard of living made cities to be vulnerable to epidemics of infectious diseases. How did epidemics spread in the urban environment, what was their specificity, what risk groups lived in cities and how did this environment differ from the countryside? How city inhabitants faced the spread of the epidemic and what measures did it take to prevent infection? How did these measures develop in the 19th century? How did countries and regions of Europe differ from each other in terms of fights with epidemics? What public health measures were taken against environmental problems and how they affected the spread of the epidemic? How did urban population react to anti-epidemiological measures, health care reforms and modernization of hygiene standards? What was the impact of environmental factors as climate, construction of water pipes, sewers, and similar reforms of the public environment to eradicate infectious diseases on the spread of disease? Did epidemics affect family life course? The session seeks to create a platform for sharing results of interdisciplinary research provided by historians, historical demographers, biologists, medical doctors, on society in historical urban space affected by epidemics and pandemics in relation to ecological, social, and economic conditions.


Grażyna Liczbińska - Jörg Peter Vögele: Gender differences in mortality caused by 1866 cholera epidemic in the city of Poznań

This paper examined whether the cholera epidemic killed selectively by sex in the 19th-century populations. We used the Poznań cholera epidemic in 1866 as a natural spontaneous experiment, which lasted from 18 June to 22 October 1866 and was the largest epidemic of this disease in the 19th-century city. There were significantly more cholera victims among females then males, which was confirmed by cholera specific mortality rates: males and females were 1.98% and 2.67%, respectively. The difference was related to the division of social roles between women and men. As a water-borne disease cholera strongly affected people working with water. Women who performed water-related household activities could have potentially contacted contaminated water while preparing food, cooking, cleaning houses and toilets, washing of clothes and dishes, etc. Higher rates of death from cholera were observed among women whose occupations required contact with water (e.g., housemaids, servants, cooks, nurses, and babysitters) than among men: 61.7% vs. 38.3%. Moreover, significantly more women than men died of cholera in hospitals, shelters, and orphanages, 55.1% vs. 45.9%, and in private homes, 57.8% vs. 42.2%.

Ján Golian - Grażyna Liczbińska: Urban-Rural Differences in Marriage Patterns in the Face of Cholera Epidemic. The study of the Detva population (The Upper Hungary Kingdom), 1831-1920

The literature emphasizes that various forms of crises (economic, political, environmental) negatively affect matrimonies. In past societies, epidemics of infectious diseases may also have influenced marriage patterns. The aim of the study is to examine differences and/ or similarities in wedding patterns in the rural parish of Detva, Upper Hungary during and after the cholera epidemics, and to compare them to marriage patterns in urban areas. We used the aggregated data on the numbers of marriages (N=9,288) for the years 1831–1920, derived from marriage books of the Detva Parish, the Upper Hungary Kingdom. We compared the Marriage Rates, seasonal patterns of marriages, and changes in partner selection in terms of his/ her marital status. The results were compared with data on urban localities, derived from literature.

Leo Oorschot: Growth, urban densification and epidemics in The Hague, the observations of physician Schick, 1852

This contribution discusses the research conducted by physician and hygienist Johannes Wilhelmus Schick (1818-1853) in 1852 on the victims of the cholera epidemic in The Hague in 1849. The current situation in The Hague during the COVID-19 epidemic can be partially compared to the period between 1830 and 1870. In recent years, The Hague has experienced significant densification due to growth, migration, housing division, and rooming. Large numbers of apartments were purchased and rented out at exorbitant prices to newcomers in the city, exacerbating the lack of affordable new housing construction. Schick was a son of wealthy German craftsmen who moved to The Hague.

After the French Period (1795-1813), the population of The Hague grew significantly and the old city became more densely populated. Most of the new residents were migrants from the provinces, Germany, and the Southern Netherlands. Mansions that were in poor condition were temporarily divided into smaller units, and courtyards were quickly filled with one-room dwellings. These newcomers were particularly affected by epidemics like cholera and typhus, just as today's newcomers are affected by COVID-19 because of the poor living environment. Present-day municipal executive face similar challenges to those in the 1850s, when the city's existing areas became overcrowded and unsanitary, resulting in widespread illness such as cholera and typhoid. The relevance of this research lies in comparing the situation in the city then to the present.

Schick's research was published in 1852 under the title On the Health of The Hague. The article claims that Schick's research was the first to connect the fields of pathology, statistics, and location conditions, which had a significant impact on how cities with a focus on health were perceived. This marked the beginning of a movement of hygienists, a group of individuals who shared the goal of improving sanitation and promoting healthy cities and homes in The Netherlands. In addition to doctors, Schick's research expanded the hygienist movement to include engineers and architects. As a result of this research, numerous new initiatives and legislation were introduced in the second half of the nineteenth century in areas such as housing, urban planning, and the construction of essential facilities like drinking water and sewers to eliminate negative location factors.

Schick's research demonstrates a paradigm shift that occurred from the pre-modern city to the modern city, where hygiene and facilities like drinking water, sewers, and healthy homes are essential. Schick connected epidemics and the overcrowding of the city's canals with large groups of vulnerable newcomers after the French Era. The paradigm shift seemed to happen quietly at the time, but looking back, it clearly separates the perception of cities before and after Schick's findings. For example, the housing association Koninklijke Woningbouwvereniging 1854 was founded in 1854 and the hygienic movement of The Hague Vereeniging tot Onderzoek naar de Middelen ter Verbetering van den Gezondheidstoestand der Gemeente 's-Gravenhage was founded in 1866.

Schick's research took place during a time of significant administrative changes in the Netherlands, coinciding with the implementation of Thorbecke's parliamentarism. Schick followed his lectures at the University of Leiden. This period marked a turning point, with the old city preceding it and the modern city following it. Political reforms, improvements in hygiene in newly developed neighborhoods, and the construction of new houses became increasingly important during this time. His friend and brother in law was the later professor Jonckbloet, a well know progressive liberal politician who promotes the work of Schick in the second part of the nineteenth century. These developments ultimately led to the adoption of the Housing Act by parliament in 1901.

This shift in perspective or paradigm can also be easily seen on city maps. In the maps of Van der Poth 1812, Zürcher from 1817, Zeger Reijers from 1833, and Belinfante from 1847, the city was represented with all the important buildings, everything within the building line was not drawn or shaded. In 1868, on behalf of the Vereeniging tot Onderzoek naar de Middelen ter Verbetering van den Gezondheidstoestand der Gemeente 's-Gravenhage, surveyor Last and mapmaker Lobatto created a city map that meticulously indicated the slums and poverty, thus highlighting the significance of Schick's work. Schick's insights became the guiding principle for hygienists, urban planners, and architects in The Hague until the Second World War. One year after publishing his study in 1853, the physician Schick died of typhoid fever at the age of 36.

The questions in this contribution are: Who was Doctor Schick? What does his research involve, and what were the consequences of his research for the municipality? The structure of this article includes a reconstruction of Schick's life, a description of the factors that influence health, a description of both natural and man-made conditions, the victims themselves, and a depiction of the slums and the change in attitude after Schick's introduction of the first hygienic and affordable houses in The Hague.

Andrea Pokludová: Moravian and Silesian cities at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries on the way to healthy places to live

An integral part of the modernisation process of the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries was the development of public health. Statistical data from the mid-19th century show an undersized network of health care facilities and a shortage of medically trained professionals. Civil registers and reports by official doctors show that this was a period with a higher-than-average mortality rate, low life expectancy and poor health. The low standard of living condition affected not only the population of the emerging industrial agglomerations, but also small towns and rural areas. For Moravia and Austrian Silesia, the path of the search for a compromise between the highest representatives of the health system and the provincial government will be presented, which resulted in the adoption of provincial health laws for Moravia (1884) and for Austrian Silesia (1896). The adoption was preceded by the creation of a system of provincial subsidies for public health, which became the pillar of the organisation of health services in the municipalities. The priority of public health care was the introduction of comprehensive preventive and prophylactic measures to prevent the spread of epidemics (cholera, typhus, dysentery, smallpox, etc.) and to improve the health of the population. On the basis of selected data, their impact on the health status of the population of specific cities (Morávská Ostrava, Brno – industrial cities and  Olomouc, Opava - regional administrative centres etc.) on the eve of the Great War will be presented. In the given context, the role of vaccination and the society-wide discourse on this tool of modern health care will be discussed.

Patryk Pankowski - Szymon Antosik: Mortality from Infectious Diseases in the 19th Century in Poznań and its Socioeconomic Reasons

The 19th century was a century of a massive decline in mortality and an epidemiological transformation, which was associated with the transition from a demographic regime with a high incidence of infectious diseases to a modern society with the predominance of lifestyle diseases. The ongoing rapid urbanization led to the deterioration of living conditions in overpopulated cities. One of the important causes of death was diseases of the digestive system, often related to access to contaminated water. In many cities, including Poznań, access to clean water became common only at the end of the 19th century thanks to the sanitary reforms introduced at that time.

Therefore, the paper aims to analyze mortality from waterborne infectious diseases in the population of 19th-century Poznań. The work will use data from civil status files, which will allow for examining changes in mortality in time and space and its differentiation within social classes. The obtained results will be compared to rates for Poznań parishes.

Linda Koníková: Growth in Urban Space: Effects of War-Related Stress on Body Proportions in Women Born Before, During, and After World War II

Maternal stress experienced during pregnancy plays a significant role in influencing the developmental processes of their offspring. This study aims to explore the impact of World War II, which is considered one of the most significant stressors in the 20th century, on human development, specifically during the prenatal and early childhood stages. Our main goal was to determine the potential long-term consequences of stress experienced by pregnant women and their daughters during World War II by comparing the anthropometric measurements of daughters born before, during and after the war, and analysing possible variations in body and head dimensions between them. The study contains data from unique archival questionnaires of university students surveyed in Poland, including anthropometric measurements and demographic, epidemiological and socioeconomic information about the person. Preliminary findings suggest that the group of women conceived and born during the war differ significantly in various body and head measurements, including body height, waist circumference and shoulder width. The findings of this study could provide valuable insights into the lasting effects of historical events on prenatal development and the intergenerational transmission of stress.

Michaela Růžičková: Development of mortality in the parish of Zábrdovice in the years 1784-1867

During the first half of the 19th century, Brno became one of the most important industrial centres of the Habsburg Monarchy thanks to the massive wave of industrialisation in the wool industry. The rapid economic development is perhaps comparable only to the similar process in textile production in Manchester, England, which is why Brno earned the nickname of the Moravian or Austrian Manchester.

Brno suburbs located on the eastern edge of the city under the city walls, such as Dolní and Horní Cejl, Náhon, Hráze, Příkop, Josefov and Zábrdovice, had a significant share in the development of textile production. The attention will be focused on the last mentioned suburb.

The location of Zábrdovice in front of the walls of the provincial capital was advantageous for the activities of crafts that could not be carried out in the inner town. The water source in the Svitava River was essential for the development of industry in Zábrdovice. As a result, from the end of the 18th century onwards, weavers, weavers and cutters and journeymen began to settle in Zábrdovice.

Zábrdovice was one of the localities where the population grew rapidly as a result of industrialisation, increasing by 229% between 1797 and 1846. From the end of the 18th century to the 1840s, there was also a rapid change of property owners, as evidenced by the town directories. In 1850, Zábrdovice became part of the Second Municipal District of Brno and the population increased due to the abolition of patrimonial administration and the possibility of free movement.

Population growth, unsuitable living conditions, and heavy physical labour have had an impact on the mortality rate. The inhabitants of Zábrdovice had to face various infectious diseases such as smallpox, typhoid fever, dysentery, tuberculosis, scarlet fever and cholera. For the period 1784-1867, mortality by age and sex, stillbirth and infant mortality, causes of death, and seasonality will be examined using the Zábrdovice death records.

S3 Urban planning and visions of modernity at boundaries of the Late Russian Empire

Main chair: Kamil Śmiechowski, dr, University of Łódź
E-mail: kamil.smiechowski@uni.lodz.pl

1st Co-chair: Makary Górzyński, dr, Akademia Kaliska (Calisia University)
E-mail: m.gorzynski@akademiakaliska.edu.pl

Short abstract

The session is intended to analyze the practises of urban planning and visions of urban modernity in the frontiers of the Late Russian Empire. How did people who lived in this big area coped with practises of planning in the Tsarist autocratism? Did they accepted their status or just wanted to develop their own visions of urban modernity?

Keywords: Urban planning, modernity, Late Russian Empire, self-government, nationalism


Town regulation and expansion planning of borderlands of the Tsarist empire: imperial vs. national.

Session content

The Westen frontier of the Late Russian Empire was the huge area from Helsinki, Tallin and Riga on the North, through Warsaw, Lodz and Kalisz in the West, to Ismail, Odessa, Tiflis and Baku on the South. Such a great territory had different traditions and styles of urban development, however in the Late Nineteenth Century it was under the rule of the Tsarist Empire, the autocratic state which was torn between the attemps to modernize itself and the traditions of the political reactionism and averion to the West and modernity. Some scholars argued, that the Russian Empire experienced some form of an urban revolution, which was the result of the rising aspirations of urban elites. In the "emerging cities" like Dorpat, Vilnius, Kyiv or Minsk, the modernity was negotiated not only with traditional, rural order, but also with the centralism manifested by the Russian government. Under such circumstances the practises of urban planning that emerged in the Late nineteenth century were a mixture of the Russian centralism, regional traditions and foreign (especially Western) influences as patterns of modernity and urban experiment. Local communities, who had to cope with the autocratic rules, were trying to develop their own visions of urban modernity, which were intended to made their cities "modern" in comparison to both Russian and foreign points of reference. We planned this session a specialist one, with no more than five papers included. We want to include papers focused on, but not only, the following questions: a) how did the Tsarist style of urban planning influenced the development of cities at the Western and Southern boundaries of the Late Russian Empire?, b) what were the most important points of reference for local elites of the Western and Southern boundaries of the Late Russian Empire?, c) to a what extent did visions of modernity created on the area from Helsinki to Baku stood up with the Tsarist centralism, d) how did the local traditions influenced the way in which the people who lived in the boundaries of the Late Russian Empire projected the urban modernity?, e) what was the role of minorities (Swedish, German, Jewish etc.) in creating the shape of urban modernity in the East Central Europe? We want to invite all scholars, writers, journalists and urban acivists focused on history of Finland, Baltic States, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldavia, Georgia, Armenia as well as and Jewish history, Imperial history, architecture history, historical sociology, urban planning history, cultural studies, economic history and other fields of studies.


Peter J. Martyn: The large-scale urban development of Warsaw inside the Russian empire: unavoidable & paradoxical aspect

No larger city in the Russian Empire was subjected to greater political discrimination than Warsaw. Following the Partitions of 1772-1795, it had functioned as chief city to the autonomous Congress Kingdom (1815-1830) which, despite the 1830-1831 November Uprising, remained in formal existence until the January Uprising of 1863-1864. The political backlash of this latter event led to the 'Kingdom's' incorporation into the Empire, known from hereon as the Vistula territories (Привислинский край), and Warsaw's subjugation to the whims of imperial bureaucracy. The «double whammy» came with the imperial military command's decision to encircle the city with a series of fortifications and outer forts from the 1880s onwards, declassified in 1911.

This political subjugation and curtailing of spatial growth, as well as failed Russification, happened to coincide with the most crucial period in Warsaw's urban history. The city experienced its most intensive period of urban expansion from barely 200,000 to what amounted to over a million inhabitants by 1914* (i.e. 400% growth, compared to a meagre 30% for the inter-war years and barely 300% from 1946 to 2022). The unavoided aspects of Warsaw's large-scale development may be broadly defined by the limitations imposed by St Petersburg upon municipally led building programmes and its overall spatial growth, leading to the city becoming one of the more densely populated built-up areas of Western and Eastern-Central Europe. Paradoxical features borne out of this extraordinary era include Warsaw's far-reaching transformation from a medium sized city into a cosmopolitan metropolis at the trading and banking-financial watershed between Russia and Western Europe, in which the Jewish population played as much of a key role as the Poles. Architecture was exceptionally diverse, being dominted by the tenement house as one of the earliest building forms accommodating immense demographic increase.

* Including suburban demographics.

Medine Rasimgil – Gül Cephanecigil: Urban Modernization and Suburban Urban Development in Tiflis

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Russian Empire underwent a period of rapid modernization in which the development of modern communication and railway systems was the main impetus. The expansion of the imperial borders led to the development of the railway infrastructure towards the peripheries of the Empire. In this context, Tiflis, the capital city of the South Caucasus, experienced growth along the north-south axis in the eastern part of the city following the construction of the Poti-Tbilisi railway. The establishment of suburbs surrounding railway lines emerged as a response to population growth, the high cost of living, and the insufficiency of housing options both in quantity and affordability. These areas primarily attracted railway employees and immigrants seeking settlement. At the turn of the twentieth century, residential areas associated with "fresh air" emerged alongside worker's neighborhoods. In addition to housing issues, suburban growth was driven by problems such as traffic congestion, air pollution, and sanitation. It was the responsibility of the self-government of Tiflis to address these urban issues.

This study focuses on new suburban areas of Tiflis, the self-government's pursuit of urban solutions, and infrastructural improvements. It will examine the role of professionals in forming the urban landscape and the self-government's endeavors to follow Western models in their objective of urban improvement through an analysis of documents from the National Archives of Georgia and periodicals of the self-government kept in the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia.


In the early 1900s many Polish authors depicting maladies and shortcomings of the Polish Kingdom's (ten westernmost governorates of the Russian Empire) urban life were promoting the Western-oriented "art of building towns" – a complex

approach to planning, perceived as open for national reinterpretations. Existing cities were portrayed as chaotic, deprived of modern infrastructure and public services, lacking architectural integrity. Social turmoil was also discussed as an effect of the poor urban governance over Polish Kingdom, were towns lacked self-government completely, being subordinated to imperial administration, criticized by nation-oriented reformers as corrupted and deprived of skills enabling modernization.

But, contrary to many press accounts from the period, town planning system in the Polish Kingdom not only existed, but also many urban regulation schemes had been produced and implemented. In this contribution I will show circumstances in which municipalities across the Polish Kingdom invested considerable amounts of money and time in preparation of land surveys and planning documents for their towns, not only for expanding industrial metropolises like Warsaw, Łódź or Częstochowa but also for provincial centres. I will also argue that for reformers, interested in the Polish national emancipation from Russia, administrative planning was an oppressive, imperial tool of homogenization. Discussing crisis of the town planning system in the 1900s, I will propose close readings of political interests, invested in spatial regulatory practices, discussing the imperial and national contest of "paper towns" and different conceptions of the political future of the region.

Kamil Śmiechowski: Towards a transnational history of Eastern European urban modernity

Eastern Europe is something of a paradox in historiography. Like Schroedinger's cat, she is and is not there at the same time. It is difficult to name another region that would be so coherent and so internally contradictory at the same time. In the 19th century, the region was influenced by four great empires - Russia, Prussia, Austria-Hungary and Turkey, which shaped its urban landscape. Russia, territorially the largest of these empires, experienced something of an urban revolution at the end of the century - the bourgeoisie was growing in strength, and urban centers were developing in terms of urban and social development. At the same time, this area was inferior to Western Europe in terms of urban development, and the nationalities inhabiting it tried to construct their own narratives about modernity, in which cities played a fundamental role. Is a transnational history of urban modernity in this vast area possible in these circumstances? Or  maybe, on the contrary, they are basically different stories interpenetrating each other. The answer to this question will be the subject of my report. I will consider the opportunities and limitations in examining various aspects of urban modernity in such a diverse area. I will also point out some areas that could be the subject of comparative research in areas such as urban discourse, architectural history, flows of ideas and people, as well as regional identity.

S7 Dynamics of Gender Relations in Pre-modern Urban Economy – Central Europe in a Comparative Perspective

Main chair: Mgr. et Mgr. Michaela Antonín Malaníková, Ph.D., Palacký University Olomouc
E-mail: michaela.antoninmalanikova@upol.cz

1st Co-chair: Mgr. Kateřina Lančová, University of Ostrava
E-mail: F

Short abstract

This special session focuses on female wage labour and the dynamics of gender relations in the economy of pre-modern towns in Central Europe, especially with regard to the situation in guild organisations, which formed the basic organisational framework of the urban economy.

Keywords: Gender, Pre-Modern, Urban Economy, Central Europe, Women, Wage Labour, Guilds, Trade, Masculinities


Gender analysis of pre-modern urban economy; Fe(male) Involvement in the Craft Guilds

Session content

Dynamics of Gender Relations in Pre-modern Urban Economy – Central Europe in a Comparative Perspective: Research on female involvement in medieval and early modern urban economy, which has been systematically developed for medieval and early modern Western European cities since the 1980s, concludes that women's gainful activity in guilds was systematically undermined and restricted towards the end of the Middle Ages. The reason for this was partly due to the morals of the time and the views of women formulated by both ecclesiastical and secular authorities, as well as the fact that craftswomen represented undesirable competition for craftsmen. As guilds became increasingly closed organisations with the advent of the modern period, where the position of master ceased to be the final stage of artisanal existence but became for many an unattainable benchmark and privilege, there was increasing pressure to restrict the presence of women. Men's history/history of masculinity has also contributed significantly to the understanding of the complex hierarchical network of male relationships in guild organizations.

Due to the restriction of women's activities in the guilds, we find medieval women in gainful employment for most of the late Middle Ages mainly as merchants, retailers or market vendors – professions that could be easily combined with housework, childcare, and that were also a very desirable secondary source of family income for married women.

Gender history has been researching the urban economy for decades, but with a few exceptions, almost exclusively in relation to Western Europe. The main aim of this session is to stimulate discussion of questions related to the issues mentioned above in Central European cities and to investigate whether similar mechanisms to those found in previous research apply here.

In accordance with this aim, participants should focus on issues related to the involvement of women in the urban economy in pre-modern Central Europe compared to their male counterparts especially with regard to the following topics/questions:

  1. In what economic sectors do we find women, and what do we know about their status and social situation?
  2. Is it possible to distinguish specifically female industries of production and trade?
  3. Do we have evidence (e.g. in guild statutes) of female involvement in craft guilds? Is it possible to observe or document the situations and mechanisms that limited the involvement of women in the guilds? Did the family situation of women (virgins, wives, widows) matter in this regard?
  4. What do we know about the relationships between apprentices, journeymen and masters within the guild structures? Do we have evidence that these groups defined themselves in relation to each other and in what way? Can we interpret the possible tensions as clashes between the dominant and subordinate forms of masculinity?


Anna Molnar: Female Participation in Urban Finances – Pattern and Social Background

My paper aims to reveal how often, with what intention, and under what circumstances women involved themselves in private annuity transactions, demonstrated via the late medieval Viennese example.

The region east of the Elbe is still under-represented in the literature on medieval financial and economic history, an imbalance my research seeks to correct. The goal of my study is to enhance our understanding of how the newly developed financial instruments and institutions of late medieval Europe impacted upon the life of the urban people, particularly women.

Data has been gathered from extensive archival research, and the collected dataset includes heritable and life annuity transactions issued by private individuals in late medieval Vienna between 1367 and 1450.

In this paper, I propose to present three main outcomes of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data. First, my research has revealed a notable decline in women's participation in private annuity transactions during the first half of the fifteenth century compared to the preceding decades of the fourteenth century. Secondly, the collected data suggests that women, through their significant level of participation, played a crucial role in the establishment of private annuities as a form of borrowing in the first half, while during the second half of the period facilitated religious organisations to become large lenders. Lastly, I also wish to cover that women, who participated in private annuties, were from mainly the upper classes of the urban social structure, although the financial product would have also provided access to credit for women from lower social positions.

Based on such analysis, my paper provides an important avenue of inquiry for understanding the full impact of high medieval economic growth, integration on society and more particularly the transformation in the social and economic position of women.

Matěj Kaftan: Gender and guilds in Jagellonian period in Czcech lands

This conference paper deals with the involvement of women in the labour process within the craft guilds in the territory of the Bohemian Kingdom in the Jagiellonian period. In the same time with the Jagiellonian dynasty comes significant changes in attitudes towards women's work and the organisation of work. Individual regulations had territoriall diferences. It is thus necessary to examine the influences of urban law, the churches and, not least, the cultural shift within society. The paper tries to point out the possible influences on the issue and highlights the limits of research on the topic.

Marija Mogorović Crljenko: Women's occupations in pre-modern Istria

How capable were women in business? In what professions could they be involved? Which female occupations were considered honorable, and which were considered less respectable?

Information about women, including their business ability and the jobs they engaged in, can be found in various sources, such as civil and criminal records, marriage records, wills, statutes, censuses, lists of grain buyers, registers etc. In Istrian towns during the transition from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, women were frequently mentioned as sellers of food products in markets, laborers in fields and vineyards, domestic servants, and most notably, as midwives – an occupation that was predominantly female in the pre-modern era. This presentation aims to explore the business skills and occupations that women were involved in within the Istrian towns during the pre-modern period.

S8 Uncomfortable architectural heritage. Destruction or preservation of memory?

Main chair: Katerina Chatzikonstantinou, University of Thessaly
E-mail: a.chatzikonstantinou@gmail.com

1st Co-chair: David Martin Lopez, University of Granada
E-mail: davidmartinlopez@gmail.com

Short abstract

The preservation of difficult architectural heritage can be part of the logical process of recovering historical memory, while in other cases, the elimination of the symbolic power of this architecture in urban space is a thaumaturgical way of solving wounds and creating a more democratic environment. The session wishes to examine the ways that political identity is informed by place in urban conditions of ambiguous character.

Keywords: Uncomfortable architectural heritage, architectural monuments, (re)signification of built heritage, preservation policies


Architectural preservation, political dimension of architecture, uncomfortable architectural heritage, memory, democratic approach

Session content

Throughout history, depending on the socio-cultural and political contexts of a certain place, architectural spaces have been generated that can be uncomfortable heritage today. Sometimes, their preservation is part of the logical process of recovering historical memory, while in other cases, the elimination of the symbolic power of this architecture in urban space is a thaumaturgical way of solving wounds and creating a more democratic environment. In this discussion questions are raised on the political identity we seek for our cities and the manner in which that is informed by place in urban conditions of ambiguous character. The continuity in the history, ultimately a continuity in collective memory and, hence, in forgetting, seems to demand this identity, challenging the role of architecture within it. How does a nation choose to deal with this architectural heritage? How do these spaces negotiate the contemporary identities of a city? Who decides on the (re)signification of tainted built heritage? This session aims to address these issues from a holistic and multidisciplinary perspective and discuss the future of these spaces, when they become subject of restoration or resignification.

In particular, we would encourage works that explore the following topics, mainly focusing on cases from the 18th century to even the 21st century:

  • Heritage spaces associated with dictatorships and other totalitarian regimes.
  • Architectures of hatred and repression, such as prisons and torture spaces.
  • Architectural monuments of colonialism or war.
  • Preservation policies of contested architectural heritage.
  • Museological, educational and artistic practices that discuss uncomfortable architectural heritage in an innovative way.
  • Relationships between architectural heritage, identity and material culture.

Papers that offer comparative perspectives, especially across nations, are especially desired.


Samuel Holleran: Cemetery Disputes as a Proxy for Urban Change Narratives: A Stand-In for the City?

Cemeteries are often depicted as 'cities' in miniature, complete with street grids, house-like mausolea, and well-defined 'neighbourhoods'. They are complex, tightly regulated, and publicly scrutinised environments that are perceived as 'eternal'. This paper examines the reception of change in Australian public cemeteries by civic groups who advocate for 'greening' and headstone preservation. In particular, it looks at how groups opposed to practices of grave reuse frame their arguments in the wider context of urban change, including densification, public sector privatisation, and contested heritage.

This project draws on fieldwork with large cemetery trusts and with ad-hoc civic groups who advocate for the perpetual care of graves in ageing cemeteries and tend to plantings and maintenance at those sites. Building on land use and planning data, historical records, and extensive interviews it illuminates the relationship between cemeteries and surrounding communities, particularly in the ways that cemetery 'reactivation' intersects with race, class, and Indigeneity. In probing Australian necrogeography, this project examines how cemeteries fit into larger conversations on urban change.

Jérôme Lanche - Wei-Hsiu Chang: Submit and Destroy: The Ankang Interrogation and Detention Center at Taiwan (1974-1987)

The Ankang Interrogation and Detention Center has been a major tool for the implementation of the authoritarian regime of the KMT, from the beginning of the 1970 up to the end of the Martial Law in 1987. Since then it has been left unused, and has almost preserved all its original features, including the video-recording system.

Its unique value lies in the fact that it has been designed has a prototype for the very purpose of interrogating and detaining the most sensitive political dissidents, especially the suspected communists, and later the leaders of the democratic movement known as the Formosa group in 1979.

Its architectural design and features seems an application by the book of the principles and techniques of mind coercion and submission detailed in interrogation and torture manuals of the 60', such as the KUBARK. More a machine than a mere building, Ankang, can be described as part of a powerfull "dispositif" to destroy the psyche of the persons detained and interrogated here.

Located in the mountainous suburbs of Xindian district, south of Taipei, it consists in four main buildings. The interrogation takes place in the "working area", then the detainees are sent to the "resting area" where there are left in solitary confinement cells. The two building are linked by a tunnel. If not two miradors which indicate the purpose of the architectural complex, its appearance not differs from the administrative buildings of that time.

The interior architecture alternates very mineral and resonating corridors, with sound-proofed interrogation rooms and detention cells, filled with sound and video recorders concealed in the walls and ceilings. The walls are covered white snow-white acoustic boards, and light is left on night and day.

The preservation of such an architectural complex is of great value for the new generation who have not experienced authoritarian regimes, to understand the shift that the "brain warfare" during the post war cold war, imposed in the conception of interrogation and detention centers for political dissidents. From the testimony of the detainees themselves, the level of terror that such an architectural "white terror" creates, overwhelms physical violence and torture.

Christophe Davis: Belfast's Industrial Memory in Transition: From Problematic Industrial Heritage to Urban Renewal Symbol

Since the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland and the city of Belfast have encouraged an urban policy intended to attract visitors and investors. With the help of private developers, the development of tourism is taking place in a context of monopolization and increased competition between cities, through the rehabilitation of central urban spaces, and more particularly former industrial wastelands. In that vein, a corner stone of Belfast peace process has been the opening of what is presented as one of the only true shared spaces of the city, the Titanic Quarter. This new gentrified neighbourhood is said to be open to everyone with no regards to their religious background. However, the silencing of nationalist divisions was also accompanied by the commodification and erasure of working-class memories relating to the Harland and Wolff shipyard. Problematically, through the rehabilitation of this space, the shipyard which had been a vector of sectarian violence in the city, now stands as a symbol of peace and transition. In this communication, I would like to examine the changing representations and interpretations of the shipyard since the peace agreement. More specifically I want to assess the changing definition of its two cranes: Samson and Goliath. Through photographic analysis in addition to various interviews I completed with developers of the Titanic Quarter, but also with former shipyard workers and other residents of East Belfast, I want to highlight the processes that led these uncomfortable industrial artefacts to become symbols of an urban renaissance, symbols of citywide transition from conflict. I also intend to demonstrate how this process of redefinition is perceived and challenged by former workers and other residents of East Belfast who are still emotionally attached to the industrial character of the cranes. Mobilizing the theories of haunting and hauntology, I argue that by claiming the cranes as part of their history, former workers are recuperating a form of agency and enable a denunciation of the gentrification of their memory.

Gregory Gan: Decolonial practices amongst Russian-speaking transnational artists living in Berlin's panel-block housing

The proposed paper is shaped by a desire to reimagine the architectural legacies of postsocialist residential spaces of reunified Berlin, especially in light of Russia's escalation of war in Ukraine. The research project began in 2021 as a comparative analysis of everyday practices amongst artists living in formerly socialist residential spaces in Moscow and Berlin. Conversations with research participants revealed how they negotiated their artistic practice across political settings: in Moscow, an increasingly authoritarian municipal government threatened artists with eviction through a "renovation" campaign. The 2017 campaign was meant to rid Moscow of its socialist heritage, and thus, to disavow itself of any remnants of the socialist welfare state.Yet, despite its historical housing allotments issued as reward for good socialist behaviour, the Soviet Union was widely understood as a colonial power, which extracted resources and labour from ethnically diverse regions. SED-controlled East Berlin and East Germany also fell under Soviet economic and political influence. Following the dissolution of state socialism, Russian-speaking migrants from the Soviet Union to Germany were likely to settle in a familiar setting of industrially-built, East German high-rises—known as Plattenbautenowing to modest rents and a familiar language environment. In contrast to Russia, in reunified Berlin, Plattenbauten neighbourhoods were being revitalized to answer to rising housing demands.Yet, academic literature on panel-block mass-housing in Germany considered panel-block architecture as a bygone relic of the socialist past, and its inhabitants as Wendeverlierer (transition losers), living in urban ghettos. Current research based in Germany, and built on decolonial theoretical practices developed by Walter Mignolo and Catherine Walsh (2018), challenges such notions by recognizing how postcolonial political regimes are shaped by colonial epistemic practices that may be at once resisted, and internalized. After Russia's escalation of war in Ukraine, which made manifest state violence beyond Russia's borders, socialist panel-blocks took on new meaning, as artists began to rethink their lived environments based on their own experiences of coloniality, catalyzing conversations regarding the legacy of socialist architecture in Berlin.

Anastasiia Bozhenko: (Un)peaceful atom: nuclear heritage in the Ukrainian urban space

During the Cold War, the nuclear issue was a prominent feature in the politics of the opposing sides. In the Soviet Union, under the doctrine of the 'peaceful atom,' not only were research efforts for nuclear energy undertaken, but also the development of nuclear weapons. Therefore, in my report, I would like to explore the nuclear landscape of Ukraine as a holistic complex, encompassing nuclear research institutions, power stations, including several unfinished projects, and a system of nuclear shelters. Several methodological discourses will be applied. For example, environmental history will help us study this landscape as a part of the Anthropocene, with many researchers starting with the nuclear era. Postcolonial studies enable us to consider the control of resources as a form of colonization. Last but not least, I will apply the heritage discourse and the definition of 'uncomfortable heritage.' First and foremost, this pertains to the persistent ideology present in the Ukrainian urban space. Secondly, it relates to the ecological problems that Ukraine is still grappling with. Finally, the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation has brought to the forefront the issue of nuclear terror, as the Zaporizhzhian nuclear power station remains under occupation. Another issue related to the uncomfortable heritage here is dark tourism and the representation of the Chernobyl exclusion zone in mass culture.

Frank Rochow: (Not) embracing difficult Habsburg heritage. Fortifications as part of heritage discourses in Cracow and Lviv

After the revolution of 1848/49 a fortress building programme was launched in the Habsburg Monarchy which was designed to suppress further rebellions and to keep the state together. Most of the realised fortifications are still existent today and constitute a difficult heritage for the respective local population. By looking at the cities of Cracow (Kraków, Poland) and Lviv (L'viv, Ukraine), it will be examined how the material remains of the former Habsburg policy of suppression are treated today and what role they play in urban and regional identity discourses in the 21st century. The comparison between these two biggest cities of the former Habsburg province of Galicia is high in contrast due to the different sizes of the fortifications, they importance for the urban development of the respective city in subsequent decades and the meaning of the political system of the Habsburg monarchy, with which the buildings were tightly connected, for the history of today's national majority inhabiting the city. Therefore, this paper seeks to analyse the dynamic interaction between the concrete conditions of the material remains in historical and topical perspective and the heritage discourse around them. Furthermore, this paper will illustrate the regional limits of these discourses in opposition to the historical embeddedness of the initial fortification projects into wider trans-regional considerations. Accordingly, it will be analysed how the meaning of architectures, once trans-regional in their meaning and creation process, is reduced to a regional or even local level.

Nikos Pasamitros: Contested Architectural Heritage: Divisions and Attachments of the Walled City of Nicosia

The Walled City of Nicosia is surrounded by the Venetian Walls, a well-preserved fortification that constitutes architectural heritage for Nicosians and Cypriots. It reflects diverse cultural influences and collective identity of people. At the same time, Nicosia is the capital of both the Republic of Cyprus and the de facto state of Northern Cyprus and therefore remains the last divided capital of Europe. The common, collective memory and identity reflected in the Walled City, co-exists in great contrast and contested terms with the antagonistic, ethnic division between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. This division is highlighted by the Green Line that shapes antagonistic viewpoints, memories, and identities. The geographical, socio-political, and cultural division of Nicosia leads the two communities to ambiguous, contradictory heritage strategies. On the one hand, there is the Authorised Heritage Discourse that favours ethnocentric heritage interpretation and use for in-group unity. On the other, a universalist discourse attempts to create reconciliatory narratives and interventions in the field. Bicommunal projects attempt to (re)shape a cultural identity of Cypriotness through common heritage preservation and use. These strategies correspond to contradictory identities. The former is linked to the dominant narratives of the "motherlands" and the latter to Cypriotness. These strategies also reveal an uneasy coexistence between the shared past - Walled City and the divided present - Green Line in Nicosia. They create competing identities and ambiguous, ineffective, and fragmented policies, and also obscure the imagined futures, vision, and planning of heritage and identity politics of the two communities for the city. This paper suggests that Nicosia is at the intersection of division and attachment, reflecting the contested heritage use in Cyprus. Walls of the Old Town follow the divided parts of the capital where people live parallel lives in division.


The city of Diu is situated on the island of the same name, located at the southern tip of the Kathiawar peninsula, belonging to the state of Gujarat, India. Conquered by the Portuguese in 1535, Diu remained under Portuguese rule until 1961, when the territory was integrated into the Indian Union. The strong Portuguese presence combined with local Gujarati and Islamic influences from its insertion on the trade routes between East Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and even the Far East, gave rise to a unique city with strong cross-cultural characteristics that are reflected in its rich urban and architectural heritage.

During Portuguese rule, the city maintained a dual matrix typical of Indo-Portuguese cities, where the Catholic city built near the fortifications was complemented by the native city located further away. Even the interpenetrations between the two urban centres, which were attempted from the 18th century onwards by the Portuguese, were not enough to break down the barriers between the two centres. The decades following Diu's integration into India, as part of the independent territorial union of Gujarat, largely maintained this mixed Indo-Portuguese flavour, which made Diu a small, quiet town compared to the hustle and bustle of the big Indian cities.

However, in the 2010s, a development programme was set up for the island which, among other things, exploited precisely this exotic character (in Indian eyes) of a quiet Europeanised town with a rich architectural heritage: the "Island of Calm" ("Ilha de Calma", written precisely in Portuguese language). Several heritage interventions were carried out by the local government, with the support of INTACH - Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, and some were also promoted by the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman; however, several of these interventions were contested, not only because of their colonial symbolism, but also because of the damage that the (alleged) restorations caused to the monuments, in some cases reinventing them in order to make them more attractive to a rapidly developing tourist sector in India.

Even Diu's urban matrix has been distorted by the replacement of old houses with new buildings and, above all, by the urban explosion that has taken place over the last two decades. The two traditional urban centres that always existed in the Portuguese period and in the first decades of Diu's integration into India have faded, also as a result of the emigration of Diu's people to Europe and the waves of immigration from other Indian states, which have contributed to diluting Diu's unique character. The post-colonial issues, where Indo-Portuguese heritage is becoming gradually contested, also appears to be a serious problem, with the recent destruction of heritage associated with the identity of the local Catholic minority.

This proposal aims to analyse and debate the urban evolution of Diu, especially in the last decade, during which there has been an urban explosion in the city and an attempt to patrimonialise the city for tourism purposes. Some comparative examples of other colonial cities in India that have been the target of attempts at patrimonialisation, such as Pondicherry (a former French colonial city) or Tranquebar (a former Danish colonial city), will be taken into account also. Equally important will be the debate on the heritage interventions carried out in Diu, pitting European and local heritage visions against each other: what for a Westerner could be seen as the destruction/devirtuation of heritage, for an Indian could be preservation.

Petra Hudek: Soviet War Memorials and the War in Ukraine

My presentation aims to explain the role of the Soviet war memorials and monuments in post-socialist countries after 2014, Russian annexation of Crimea, and especially after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Since the fall of communist regimes, the perception towards Soviet war memorials changed radically, as well as the relationship of former Soviet satellite states with the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. Russia's aggressive policy and invasion of Ukrainian territories caused a huge upheaval of protest. The colours of the Ukrainian flag appeared on several Soviet war memorials in Europe as a gesture of disagreement with aggression and sympathy with Ukraine. Many public debates and various initiatives occurred in former Soviet satellite states to remove or demolish war monuments. Objects glorifying the Soviet Union's merits in the Second World War generate today contradictory and confused approaches in these countries. The principal objective of this paper is to analyse Soviet war memorials as places responsive to geopolitical relations on an international scale rather than as places of memory, despite their original permanent memorial role.

S10 Urban Experience of the First World War in Central Europe

Main chair: doc. Mgr. Jiří Hutečka, Ph.D., University of Hradec Kralove
E-mail: jiri.hutecka@uhk.cz

1st Co-chair: doc. PhDr. Michael Viktořík, Ph.D., Palacky University Olomouc
E-mail: michael.viktorik@upol.cz

Short abstract

The planned session aims to put forward a representative selection of current trends in researching urban experience of World War I in the context of Central Europe. Papers dealing with the changing dynamics of power in urban context, supply issues, as well as with their representations in socio-cultural and spatial context, are welcome.

Keywords: First World War; total war; home front; new military history; social history


civil-military relations; rationing; state surveillance; survival strategies; popular protest

Session content

The proposed session hopes to present a representative overview of key issues that characterized the way urban communities across Central Europe experienced the First World War. From the first moments of mobilization in 1914, through the ever increasing pressures of wartime needs on human, economic as well as moral resources, towards the final moment of relief, or crisis, brought on by peace and/or emerging political upheaval, cities across the region were profoundly chonged even when not directly touched by military operations. The fabric of the community has changed across the board, war economy brought state regulation of supply and demand, and often the very geography of urban space underwent significant changes. Militaries became an ever-present part of urban life in either bringing more people in or siphoning them out, while the city magistrates were facing increasingly overreaching power of the state, or even states, embroiled in total war, being almost reduced to executors of war needs, while at the same time facing ever more desperate and often radicalized citizenry of all classes and genders who gradually expressed themselves through various forms of protest. The key point of the session is to bring together historians interested in the topics that connect to these developments and to discuss potential methodologies as well as research challenges, with the ultimate aim of establishing the current situation in this specific field via a series of representative papers.


Petra Svoljsak: Gorizia - City at War

The paper will present the case of Gorizia, a multinational and multi-confessional city on the border of the Habsburg monarchy , and  a city on the front line, all of which had an impact on the dynamics of urban life during the First World War. The interplay of historical events reflected the chronology of the First World War and the Isonzo front, and triggered a number of processes which were similar to those elsewhere in the monarchy (mobilisation, arrival of the first wounded, arrests, internments and confinations of the civilian population), on the other hand, the new Italian front triggered the processes typical of frontline towns and cities (imminent danger of war, refugees, disease, deprivation). The 12 Isonzo battles, had a significant impact on the demographic picture of the city - before October 1917, the city reached demographic point 0, and during the war, the city experienced demographic/refugee fluctuations, which had economic and social consequences. The special position of a border and multinational city was reflected in the political persecution over potential opponents of the monarchy (in the first year of the war) and the Italian-speaking population after the beginning of the war against Italy. The Italian occupation (August 1916 - October 1917) systematically Italianized the city in preparation for the post-war annexation to the Kingdom. The period after the withdrawal of the Austrian-Italian front was a period of chaos, since the provincial and city authorities did not return from the refugeedom. One the other hand the refugees were returning and already during the war the reconstruction of the city began. The end of the war brought rapid changes of power, as the military units of the State of SHS (established on 29 October 1918), took over the city, but according to the terms of the truce between Austria and Italy on 3 November 1918, the power was taken over by the Italian army, which marked a beggining of the Italian era of the city.

Monika Adamska: First World War Memorials as Significant Components of the Urban Space: Case Study of Silesia

The aftermath of the First World War was a wave of memorials erected across Europe to commemorate the fallen. The monuments, located in the area of main streets and squares, public parks and cemeteries, took a variety of forms: from simple stelae to elaborate sculptural compositions. This phenomenon was present in Central Europe too, including the region of Silesia, which features a complex history and multiple changes of national affiliation over the centuries. In 18th century Silesia became a part of Germany, since 1945 the vast majority of the region is located mostly in Poland. After the Second World War many memorials relating to the German cultural sphere disappeared from the urban landscape, some were transformed, less numerous preserved in the original version.

The aim of this study is an attempt to define the image, place and role of the First World War memorials in the urban space of the interwar Silesia. The scope of this study is limited to towns and cities of the region. The core of the research is an analysis of the memorials on the basis of selected criteria in order to formulate corresponding typologies. Firstly, the location of war memorials in Silesian towns is examined on the basis of desk research and field studies. Secondly, the analysis of form, composition, stylistics and symbolic content is carried out. Thirdly, the relation between the monument and the surrounding space is considered. Furthermore, the social role of the monuments for the local community is defined. Finally, the synthesized results of the analysis form expected typologies regarding location, formal and spacial solutions, symbology and urban context. They also indicate not only the repeatable features and unique elements of the memorials, but their artistic value and inspirations. The study contributes to the expansion of the knowledge of the history and heritage of the interwar Silesia.

Jiří Hutečka - Michael Viktořík: War and Changing the Geography of Urban Space: Olmütz/Olomouc 1914-1918

As recent research into the geography of urban space during the First World War has shown using the example of imperial, royal as well as provincial capitals of the Habsburg monarchy, the war has substantially shifted the symbolic as well as practical use of streets, squares and alleys across Central Europe, often creating both new meanings or altogether new physical spaces in the urban environment of the Habsburg home front. Using the example of a provincial town, the paper aims at following these changes a level below this traditional optics, looking at how the war has changed the practices of (re)building and using space in the Moravian town of Olmütz/Olomouc. Here, while the wave of building military installations peaked in 1914, war has brought an abrupt halt to any further public infrastructure projects, while at the same time it has re-purposed to further military use both public space (numerous barrack-hospitals) as well as existing public as well as private buildings (schools and association centers). The war has also brought massive changes in the nature of street traffic, all the while completely erasing existing patterns of spatial awareness (the gradual disappearance of markets) and creating new ones such wherever soup kitchens and ration-issuing stations sprang up. As the paper would like to argue, this complex process led to a complete symbolic as well as practical re-mapping of much of the urban space during the war years.

S13 Nationalizing Cities? Industrial Cities in Multi-Ethnic Central and Eastern European Regions and Their Impact on the Emergence of National Conflicts

Main chair: Hein-Kircher, Heidi PD Dr. Herder-Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg, Germany
E-mail: heidi.hein-kircher@herder-institut.de

1st Co-chair: Jaroslav Ira, Ph.D., Charles University, Faculty of Arts (Prague, Czech Republic)
E-mail: jaroslav.ira@ff.cuni.cz

2nd Co-chair: Hans-Jürgen Bömelburg, Prof. Dr., University of Gießen, Germany
E-mail: hans-juergen.boemelburg@geschichte.uni-giessen.de
Discussant: Catherine Horel, Prof. Dr., French National Centre for Scientific Research

Short abstract

The panel disusses the entanglements between nationalization, language policies and the emergence of inner-city conflicts during industrialization in Central and Eastern European industrial cities situated in border regions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Because of the lack of urban traditions, they became particular arenas, in which a nationalized modernity was negotiated in a distinct way.

Keywords: industrial cities, multi-lingualism, mult-ethnicity, security, national conflicts


Multi-Ethnic Industrial Cities in Central and Eastern Europe as arenas of  national conflicts

Session content

Since political and socio-economic borders ran grosso modo congruent with national ones in Central and Eastern European borderland cities, one particular national group could achieve and consolidate dominance in a city – but each city had another ethnic composition. In contrast to ‚traditional' cities with established urban institutions and long-established social and political elites, industrial cities in the multi-ethnic borderlands of European Empires (like Daugavpils, Łódź, Donetsk (Jusovka) and Tampere in Russian Empire and like Zlín, Drohobycz and Salgótarján in Habsburg Empire) often grew up from rural hinterlands and consisted of multi-ethnic migrant groups without major urban traditions. Unlike the Western European industrial cities, the people moving in came more or less from the immediate surroundings or from the same province. They consisted of in most cases of Jewish and of former peasant and socially subaltern groups which belonged to non-dominant ethnic groups. The industrial cities formed multi-ethnic immigrant societies without major urban traditions in which new urban political and social elites emerged.

Although industrial cities like Plžen, Dnepro (Jekatarinoslav) and Łódź gained economic importance, they never got acceptance as mayor political players within the provinces, because of the seemingly „dangerous" working class populations. Therefore, they were specific spaces for negotiating national and social issues. One particular aspect was the language issue, which was important for identity formation.

The session is devoted to pecularities of industrial cities in Eastern Europe. It wants to focus the interactions between nationalization and language policy programs and measures and the emergence of inner- city conflicts during the phase of dynamic industrialization and urbanization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It sees local language policy and practice as a hinge for the relationship between the various ethno-confessional groups. The session wants to focus on the connection between nationalization and the language question and the formation of a respective industrial city society. The papers are expected to discuss to what extent industrial cities formed distinct arenas for the emergence and the settlement of conflicts. Therefore, the session's presentations will address as questions:

  • What issues were negotiated there in contrast to those in more traditional cities?
  • Does nationality play a prominent role, or do the social question and problems of public health rather dominate the discourses?
  • What role does the respective language play in the processes?
  • Can specific patterns of argumentation, somewhat securitizing themes, be found for industrial cities?
  • Do topics such as environmental protection and/or health protection play a distinct role in these discourses?
  • What role do women play in this?
  • Can gender-specific sub-themes be identified?

Papers are especially desired that deal with multi-ethnic and multiconfessional industrial cities developing in East(-Central)-European border and cross-border regions, which are still under-researched in comparison to those in Western and Central Europe.


Andrea Pokludová: Moravian Compromise 1905. One of the ways of solving ethnic conflicts in multi-ethnic towns in Moravia

The paper will present the conclusions of the project The Moravian Compromise as a Laboratory for the Nationalization of Politics and Law: the National Partitioning of Moravian Towns in 1905-1914. In historical memory, Moravian industrial towns (Brno/Moravian Ostrava/Vítkovice/Olomouc etc.) became a symbol of the Czech-German national conflict at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

As an attempt at reducing national conflict, the Moravian Compromise has thus far been explored as a Moravian phenomenon (mitigating tension by means of personal national autonomy) and as a Cisleithanian one (the culmination of nationalisation). Wholly neglected has been the impact of the Moravian Compromise at local level, in the daily lives of ordinary citizens. Thus, we have chosen to tap the abundant primary source material for the largest of Moravia's linguistically mixed towns. The society of these towns is the main actor of our story. A story in which the mandatory national classification enacted by the Moravian Compromise is both cause and effect. It is an undeniable consequence of the intensifying process of nationalisation of politics, culture, and public life. The view "from below", from the communal level, should enable the perception of both causes and consequences where, from the view from the centre, only the consequences are recognizable.

The paper will provide answers to the following questions:
Why did Moravian towns become a symbol of the ethnic conflict between Germans and Czechs?
Why did it escalate in the industrial towns? Why did the resolution of the ethnic conflict become a priority for Social Democracy instead of dealing with public health issues?
Did the conclusion of the Moravian Compromise (1905) lead to ethnic reconciliation in Moravian cities?
What were the actual effects of the Moravian Compromise on the coexistence of Czech and German ethnic groups in the urban societies studied?

Anders Bloomquist: Nationalizing and industrializing in the Hungarian-Romanian Borderlands: The Case of Szatmár-Németi / Satu-Mare 1867-1930

This paper will focus on the city of Szatmár-Németi/Satu Mare from 1867 to 1930. The city was industrializing during the dualist period of the Austrian-Hungarian kingdom, receiving an influx of Jewish settlers, and having a Romanian rural hinterland. During this period, the official center of Szatmár County was Nagy-Károly, even though Szatmár-Németi became more significant and more economically significant as several industrial companies were established there. The linguistic Hungarian definition of ethnicity made the industrial sector an essential tool in nationalizing Magyars (Hungarian speakers) of Jews and Romanians in the city.

During the Hungarian republics in 1918-1919, the social and national questions were confronted and settled locally, mirroring the ethnic and social circumstances of an industrialized city on the Hungarian-Romanian ethnic borderlands with a relatively large share of Jews. In 1919, the city became part of Romania, and the Romanian local elite initiated a process of Romanianization. However, as the city had a population of 95 per cent of Hungarian speakers, the city became a significant challenge for the enlarged Romanian state to nationalize. The Minority Treaties restricted the strategy of Romanianization of the industrial sector in the 1930's. Therefore, the Romanianization of the local industrial sector was accomplished by state loans to specific companies provided with state contracts.

The paper will analyze how the nationality and social questions were discussed, especially the relationship between the so called Jewish and Romanian questions during the dualist period. It will also analyze this over the Hungarian republics' transition into the Romanian period in the 1930's. Furthermore, it will deal with the importance of language and religion in this process. Lastly, it will address the security issues concerning the Romanian and Hungarian questions with the transborder mechanism and questions of irridentism.

Kajetan Stobiecki: Industrialization, security, and national conflict in Plzeň/Pilsen 1860-1914

Pilsen, the second biggest city in the Kingdom of Bohemia, experienced significant growth and transformation during the second half of the nineteenth century. An old medieval town evolved into one of the most important industrial centers of the Habsburg monarchy and home to its largest armament plant, as well as the world-famous Pilsner Urquell brewery. The history of industrialization was in this case also a history of gradual nationalization, as Pilsen became another arena of the all-Bohemian Czech-German national struggle.

In my paper, I want to investigate the intersection of these two phenomena. I will analyze strategies the local industry employed to minimize, overcome, or use the national conflict to pursue their own economic goals. On the other hand, I will discuss how nationalist activists from both sides perceived the industrial city and used its resources to implement their agenda. I will also look for specific areas of friction or cooperation facilitated by the industrial environment.

On the theoretical level, I will build on the conceptual framework of critical security studies. I would like to emphasize the importance of notions such as security and threat in the national conflict and analyze, whether all-Bohemian patterns apply to the specific industrial setting of Pilsen. The same can be said about theories regarding the interconnectedness of nationalism and industrialization – the goal of my paper will be to check them against the reality of this particular nationally contested city and show the variety of strategies employed by different actors.

Aaron Bluem: Fostering Identities in a Multilingual Petroleum Boom Town through Securitization: Strategies and Local Policies in Drohobycz before 1918

The City of Drohobycz and its surrounding were the only example of a modern industry in Habsburg Galicia. Due to Galicias characteristic ethnic structure, Drohobycz (and neighbouring Boryslaw) became a contact zone of three ethnic-religious groups: Poles, Ruthenians and Jews. While the city of Drohobycz could be described as the administrative center of the oil industry, Boryslaw was the place were most of the mines existed. The mulitethnic enviroment and the pre-modern structured society led to an ethnicly-split labour market in which curtain ethnicities were connected to curtain jobs; a phenomenon which accelerated the national self-identification of those etnic groups towards nationalism. All of this is heavily influenced by the fact, that galicia was seen by the polish elites as something like a polish proto-nationstate and as a room where poles could "practice" how to gouvern a more or less modern statehood. In my talk I want to discuss how discourses on security influenced the transformation of the peoples self-identification, from fluid language and religious groups to stiff national groups, what supsequently led to fights between Poles and Ruthenians/Ukrainians after WWI where both sides tried to conquer the region as an main industrial hub for their building up national states (although the ukrainian state did never materialize). I want to ask which groups could identify an issue as an security issue and which methods were used to conect those issues to an nationality. Another question will be how the construction of the jewish group was influenced by antisemitism, an ideology which was just getting its modern form and would be allready very popular within the polish elites, who saw "The Jew" as an "Enemy within". Finally I want to ask whether the example of Drohobycz is not an ordinary example of an language and national conflict in a multicultural region, where while establishing the own national group "the other" was always described as a threat.

Lukas Pohl: At the centre of urban conflicts - (in)security of the Jewish population in the growing textile metropolis of Łódź (1961-1914)

Within a few decades, the rapidly growing city of Łódź went from a small village to a multi-ethnic boomtown, which, as a heart of the labour movement, was shaken by numerous social and political upheavals since the 1860s. In this industrial city of more than half a million inhabitants, various Jewish groups were offered a home — the Hasidic population (among others) from the surrounding area of the growing city, Reform Jews from the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Litvak population, that had begun to arrive in the 1880s for example. These very different, sometimes conflicting groups found themselves at the centre of social unrest and thus became the target of violence during those. This included physical attacks by the police and anti-Semitic legislation in the Tsarist Empire, amongst others, but also riots against Jews by demonstrating workers and anti-Semitism of the Polish nationalist labour movement. The perception of the Jewish population as a threat by workers and the authorities is analysed. (In)security and threats that were particular for the Jewish community and the organisation of self-protection measures as well as the common stand together in case of danger beyond the borders of the Jewish groups will also be examined.

S14 Edges at the center. The reinvention of cities at their boundaries

Main chair: Léa Hermenault, PhD, University of Antwerp & University of Amsterdam
E-mail: lea.hermenault@gmail.com

1st Co-chair: Julie Gravier, PhD, EHESS
E-mail: juliecatherinegravier@gmail.com

Short abstract

This session aims to explore the role played by cities boundaries in the evolution of polarities within urban space. It will research how boundaries became central to cities after specific activities were established there, and what were the consequences for the evolution of the organization of the city itself over the long term.

Keywords: Boundaries, Centres, Long term, Changes and continuities, Power, Space, Urban Fabric, Networks


Evolution & impact of polarization of urban space over the long term and role played by boundaries

Session content

In western Europe, new centers began to emerge in periphery of cities in the years 1960's, quite often around new commercial facilities. As their influence on the surrounding area gradually increased, they started to compete with historic city cores. Since it introduced new type of urban daily routines for inhabitants who consequently had to move over long distances to reach one center or another, this phenomenon is often described by geographers as the beginning of a new era in urban history.

Yet the emergence of new polarities on the fringes of already existing cities is a phenomenon well-known to urban historians, who have described it recurrently from Antiquity to the nineteenth century. We can for instance mention the apparition of small towns around saints' tombs during the Early Middle Ages at the boundaries of ancient cities, or the expansion of neighborhoods around newly built royal residences outside medieval or early-modern cities. However, the development of new centres at cities' limits have mostly been studied from the perspective of political or institutional history. The emergence of new centers on the fringes of the city is indeed often analyzed for its political signification: the attractiveness of newly settled places at cities' boundaries is understood as a sign of the power of those who decided that new buildings, infrastructures or specific activities should be established there.

We would like to develop a new perspective on that topic by exploring other factors and effects (notably spatial and material) of polarization processes that are triggered when a new center emerges. This session aims to focus on infra-urban polarity changes with a specific attention to the role played by places located at the edges of cities, in order to research how boundaries became central to cities after specific activities were established there, and what were the consequences for the evolution of the organization of the city itself (streets networks, spatial distribution of activities within the urban space, built environment, etc.) over the long term.

Papers from all chronological and regional contexts will be welcomed, in order to explore a large range of cities reconfigurations.


Julie Gravier: Out of cities' boundaries but closer to the center: understanding the differenciation of suburbs through spatial accessibility studies.

Research on the suburbs of French cities has extensively covered the medieval and contemporary periods, yet the period between the XVIth and early XIXth centuries remains relatively understudied. The population's relative prominence in suburbs compared to enclosed central areas varies significantly from city to city and region to region. Historical maps also reveal the differing sizes and densities of suburbs in any given city.

Existing literature typically attributes divergent developments to three main factors. Firstly, topographic constraints often lead to the emergence of smaller suburbs. Secondly, economic specialization, driven by specific resource demands (e.g., water), need for open spaces, or legal advantages (reflecting the barrier effect of the city's juridical boundaries, such as the ocroi tax), can foster rapid and spatially significant growth. Thirdly, the flows on the main axes, which link the city to its more distant systems, would polarize housing in varying degrees according to their importance. However, these factors overlook the interdependence of suburbs and urban centers, especially in terms of distance, a crucial component of city dynamics.

This study hypothesizes that disparities in the size and density of suburbs within a city are also contingent with their accessibility to the urban center. The communication aims to test this hypothesis through spatial analysis methods, using data of ten northern French cities in the early XIXth century, i.e. Compiègne, Ham, La Fère, Nesle, Noyon, Paris, Péronne, Roye, Saint-Quentin, and Soissons. These cities have diverse historical origins and positions within the political-administrative framework of the territories, and are also representative of the diversity of the demographic urban hierarchy at that time. Initial spatial data is derived from military maps, offering the advantage of detailed, harmonized 1:40,000-scale representations of the area under study.

Putrikinasih R. Santoso: Moving Away from Jakarta: Urban Expansion, Infrastructure, and the Land Consumption in Jakarta, 1600s–1950s

This paper examines how the urban expansion of Jakarta, Indonesia since the seventeenth century demonstrates a strong preference for tabula rasa development. While the sprawl has influenced the people's relationship to the urban centres (including how they move and commute to/from the city centres) it also suggests a planning attitude that relies heavily on land consumption and how land is viewed as abundant and almost seems to be a renewable resource. The analysis takes into account the urban expansions from Batavia (present-day old town Jakarta) in the mid-1600s to Weltevreden since the mid-1700s, going further south to Meester Cornelis in the 1800s, and to the Kebayoran Satellite City developed at the cusp of the power transfer between the newly independent Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1948. It also takes into account how the 1905 Decentralisation Law influenced how Batavia's boundaries were defined and how the city/districts were managed. At the same time, it will also show how the city's boundaries are defined and redefined throughout time until the absorption of Kebayoran Satellite City to Jakarta's administrative boundary after 1950.

Daniel Löschenbrand - Susanne Tobisch - Friedrich Hauer - Angelika Psenner: Old and New Centres in Vienna's 'Transdanubia'. The role of historical linear settlements as urban pols

Historic linear settlements are characteristic of Vienna's outer districts - not least because they represented a thoroughly common form of settlement agglomeration in large parts of the area of influence of the Austrian Habsburg monarchies. On the basis of a morpho-analytical approach within a clearly defined research area, the paper examines the extent to which the location and conception of these historical villages were formative for urban development (end of the 19th century to the present) and what role the linear settlement structures play in today's cityscape, which nowadays is characterised by polycentricity and patchwork structures.

Vienna has an extraordinarily compact and clear structure - but the boarder districts to the left of the Danube, called 'Transdanubia', present a completely different, heterogeneous pattern: an urban sprawl, a seemingly incoherent juxtaposition of many different building typologies.

Until the second half of the 19th century, Transdanubia was mainly characterised by agriculture and small-scale, scattered linear settlement structures. The typology of these linear compact village agglomerations, with their many subtypes, followed precise planning guidelines. They created a loose, large-meshed settlement network that cultivated and at the same time shaped landscape and territory alike.

With the regulation of the River Danube in 1875, which until then had historically represented a natural border with its marshy floodplains and its many small side arms and drifts, Vienna was finally able to expand to the north-east - to Transdanubia. As a result, very different urban planning approaches have been pursued here up to the present day, guided by various political and economic phases as well as diverse urban planning concepts. But in all these efforts of development and re-densification, the historical network of the linear settlements has always remained formative. Their basic structure has persisted and constitutes to form local centres with different characteristics.

The paper shows in what way the network of historical linear settlements influenced urban development on the periphery of the city - an inquiry that so far has not been conducted in the historical setting of Vienna. A special focus is placed on the second half of the 20th century, when motorisation in particular introduced new building forms and infrastructures: What were the connections, interactions and consequences for the historical typologies? Furthermore, the centres that are vital to Transdanubia's daily existence will be investigated, as well as the part that linear settlements play in the debate over local centres in the modern cityscape.

Michał Słomski - Katarzyna Wagner - Krzysztof Zwierz: Between City Centre and Periphery. New local centres at the city boundaries of 17th-18th c. Warsaw

In the closest vicinity of many important cities over the course of time another urban centres emerged. Situation in Warsaw, which served as the early modern capital of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was no exception. From the beginning of the 17th c. the importance of Warsaw as a royal seat, place of parliamentary meetings and of important urban and economic activities grew. This was associated with significant urban development and territorial expansion. In the 17th and 18th c. around Warsaw dozen of very small urban or quasi-urban localities were established. Such settlements were called most often "jurydyka" in sources, but were also sometimes called simply towns. These jurisdic­tions, characterized by diverse socio-economic structures and governance systems, played a vital role in shaping the city neighborhood's spatial dynamics. At the beginning of 1790's all those localities were united with Warsaw in one urban centre.

In our paper we would like to stress a chosen aspects of those small urban centres' existence. We will focus on the spatial and social conditions of those settlements. Did they develop organically or urban fabric was regulated? How big were they? Did they have typical urban facilities like e.g. town halls or market squares? How they related to Warsaw's urban and suburban space? Is it legitimate to call them towns?

S15 Architecture, Villages, and their Entangled Histories: Rural-urban Encounters in the Islamic World

Main chair: Mohammad Gharipour, Prof., University of Maryland
E-mail: mohammad@gatech.edu

1st Co-chair: Kivanç Kilinç, Assoc. Prof., Izmir Institute of Technology
E-mail: kivanckilinc@iyte.edu.tr

Short abstract

The historiography of architecture and urbanism in the Islamic world has mostly focused on cities and urban communities. This panel invites papers, which explore the making of villages and rural forms of governance over space in the Islamic world in interaction with urban centers and communities.

Keywords: architecture, the Islamic world, rural modernization, villages, urban planning


Frontier regions; urban-rural interactions; travelers' accounts; patronage; model villages; climate and topography

Session content

The historiography of architecture and urbanism in the Islamic world has mostly focused on cities and urban communities, leaving many societies settled outside urban areas largely unnoticed or marginalized. Villages are on the radar of scholarship so far as they are a site of heritage conservation or postwar reconstruction, or when presented as a fresh approach to modern vernacular architectural practices, such as in Hassan Fathy's New Gourna in Egypt. However, there is much to learn from these hitherto neglected sites. Travelers' accounts as well as chronicles refer to urban centers but also to dynamic lifeways in rural areas across the Islamic world. Due to their distance from political centers, some villages remained less affected by major decisions made by central governments, and their development was primarily the result of local forms of governance and internal dynamics. In other instances, villages that were located on global trade routes played an active role in the spread of goods, artworks, and material culture similar to urban centers. Expanded over time, or developed by city planners, such as in colonial or "model" settlements, villages also reflect some of the most potent applications of architecture to the articulation of cultural identity.

This panel invites papers which examine the making of villages in the Islamic world in interaction with urban centers from the medieval era to the second half of the twentieth century. Our goal is to provide a platform to discuss a much neglected aspect in urban historiography - rural forms of governance over space and how these forms have interacted with imperial or transregional edicts concerning use of resources. Papers may focus on a single village, planning or design of a building complex in a particular village, or any other topic relevant to rural-urban architectural intersections in the Middle East and North Africa. Submitted papers could clarify the impact of cultural, political, economic, and physical context on the development and transformation of villages; the spatial dynamics of local societies and their interrelations with the larger world; intricate methods for governing land and water use, marital patterns, and sociomoral codes and their impact on rural development; the perception of rural life as contrasted with urban life found in travelers' accounts and chronicles; how architecture responded to traditions and the changes within the economic or social context of villages, and how reformist ideas of urban and rural modernization reshaped existing rural settlements; and the spatial transformation of villages in frontier regions where Islamic societies encountered with non-Muslim settlers and traders. We welcome papers that employ archival materials or deploy new methodological approaches to the (comparative) analysis of villages and urban centers in the historic and contemporary geographies of Islam.


Michelle Craig: Formalizing the Informal: The Nawawil Neighborhood in Fez, Morocco

A nawawil (pl. nawwala) is a house of rammed earth with a pitched thatch roof, a type of residence built in rural areas of Morocco. This informal structure reads as a marker of rural identity, and it also indicates processes of urbanization as well as contestations of urban identity. Nawwala appeared on the outskirts of Fez in the late nineteenth century, and the term nawawil currently occurs twice as toponyms in the imperial city: a neighborhood in Fez el-Jedid and a street located on the edge of the Jewish quarter. These place names memorialize rural-urban migration. This presentation examines the Nawawil's buildings, textures, surfaces, and transformations to illuminate spatial pressures and shifting identities. Rural migrants flocked to Fez after a series of devastating droughts and plagues and built nawwala. These newcomers to Fez were branded as 'uncivilized' and were stigmatized for supposedly engaging in nefarious activities as political instability increased and colonial occupation loomed. The subsequent development of the Nawawil destabilized the definition of Fez even as it showed its potential for growth and diversity. Ostracization of nawawil residents and their homes reflects the difficulty of migrants faced in coming to Fez and their struggle to integrate into society. Yet, the neighborhood and its population were undoubtedly transgressive - the presence of vice and conviviality between Jews and Muslims potentially undermined the city's existing social order. Nawwala gradually gave way to more urban types of buildings; hybrid architectural forms reveal the ways in which residents sought to display modern Moroccan identities during the colonial period (1912-1956). Examination of the establishment of the Nawawil as an exceptional village in the mid-to-late nineteenth century and its incorporation into Fez in the twentieth century provides insight into the mobility of one marginalized, rural, architectural form and the resilience of its makers and users.


While in Isfahan in the 1670s, the French jeweler and traveler Jean Chardin expressed his amazement at the abundance he observed in the city, especially considering the city's landlocked nature and large distance from any sea and navigable water. He attributed this marvelous abundance to the city's agricultural hinterlands: more than 1500 villages of remarkable beauty and fertility within the 30-mile radius of Isfahan, which provided the majority of the food consumed in the city.

In the scholarship, cities of the Islamic world have not only been the main sites of scholarly attention but also have often been treated as independent units of analysis. This is while up until recent times, and certainly in the medieval and early modern period, most of these cities depended on their hinterlands for the food and raw materials consumed in the city. Furthermore, the socio-cultural life of the city was also connected with these productive hinterlands via the institution of waqf. Endowments that supported many urban public institutions, such as mosques, schools, hospitals, and other such amenities, were largely supported by the revenue generated in villages and productive estates. Endowment deeds, thus, encapsulate invisible financial lines that connected the city's social, cultural, religious, and political life to villages and settlements laid outside the city proper.

Focusing on the city of Isfahan, at its heydays during the seventeenth and early eighteenth century and closely examining two royal endowment deeds that supported major religious-civic institutions in the city (the Royal Mosque and Madreseh-ye Soltani), this paper suggests an alternative framework for thinking about pre-modern Islamic cities, where city and its surrounding villages, productive estates, and other natural resources are seen as a continuum, and treated as one unit of analysis.

Michele Tenzon - Ben Clark: Ruralisme in Late Colonial and Post-Independence Morocco: Village Design in the Gharb Valley (1950'-1980')

Drawing on field surveys and archival research, this contribution explores the emergence of so-called Ruralisme in Morocco as a technical and ideological approach to rural planning and village design during the second half of the 20th century. A peculiar combination of determinist regional planning models and rudimentary participatory practices based on localist principles, Ruralisme proved widely influential in Morocco and the Maghreb region. Yet, its scattered practical applications show its ambiguous, if not contradictory, nature. Our hypothesis is that this was related to a deliberate attempt by architects to extrapolate the rural-urban divide, both in representations and in the experimental projects implemented, with the aim of preserving the rural habitat specificity, which can be perceived as a contradiction with the inhabitants' "desire for the city".

With this contribution, we seek to uncover both continuities and changes in the discourse and methodologies of Ruralisme, spanning from the late colonial period to the post-independence era. How were these discourses translated, if at all, into the design of rural villages? What insights do these initiatives offer into the representation of the rural/urban divide? What was the role played by foreign architects in shaping representations of rural environments and architecture?

We discuss the practical implementation of these principles in different villages within the Gharb Valley, which were part of the extensive Rural Housing Program initiatives during the 1968-72 plan, and which had already been a priority area for the Service de l'Urbanisme before independence. We examine how the concept of Ruralisme emerged from theoretical frameworks, such as the "Précis de ruralisme", to practical experiments such as the Atelier Mobile surveys conducted by architect Elie Mauret and the activities of the Bureau Central des Etudes Rurales. Several experiments that played a pivotal role in shaping the discourse on rural planning and village design in Morocco, as part of a broader ambition to "modernize the countryside", encompassing both agriculture and ways of life.

Alexandra Koumpouli: Urban Villages Along a Salt Road in Late Ottoman Epirus: An Ethno-Archaeological Perspective

As part of my Ph.D. dissertation, this research embarks on an exploration of urban identities within rural settlements situated along a historical trade route in late Ottoman Epirus. This road connected the Ionian Sea coast of Epirus with Yannina, the central administrative hub of the periphery (sancak). Known as the 'salt road,' it played a pivotal role in the transportation of salt from the salt marshes near the estuaries of the Kalamas River. In conjunction with the salt marshes, the crucial local roadstead of Sagiada/Sayada that lead to Corfu, constituted the region's primary sources of wealth. They also bestowed upon the area a unique character as a transitional rural borderland between the Western world and the Ottoman Empire.

Located in today's prefecture of Thesprotia, Greece, these settlements have experienced profound demographic and cultural shifts since WWII, leading to abandonment and adaptation within a post-war reality. This transformation has reshaped what was once a multicultural countryside, inhabited by Christians, Albanian-speaking Muslims (the Chams), and nomadic tribes.

Yet, the architectural remains, predominantly from the late 18th century onwards, offer a rich material that speaks to the fusion of agro-pastoral traditions and modernity, as expressed in the large urban centers of the late Ottoman Empire. House architecture, marked by various styles, market streets with coffeehouses serving as hubs for daily exchanges and weekly commercial fairs, and the intangible aspects of festivities and celebrations, come to life through extensive architectural documentation and an ethnographic approach, rooted in systematic oral history and personal engagement with local communities.

The synthesis of this material unveils the intricate processes of space-making within these rural settlements during the late Ottoman period. These processes touch upon efforts for self and community definition, the circulation of wealth and tastes, as well as collective practices, daily interactions, and the politics of everyday life in rural settings.

Nur Özkan Öztürk: Rural Geographies: Mapping Ottoman Karakusunlar and its Environment

The scope of this paper centered on the rural network of Ankara, Turkey, within its authentic geographical domain. As an "Anatolian Highland", the city presents different topographical characteristics, consisting of terraces, valleys, slopes, and creeks related to the valley formations. The particular geographical relationships were maintained in the rural formation until the mid-20th century when tremendous urban growth started. After this process, the topographical layout has been flattened out in the built environment, while the waterscape has mostly been channelized.

The primary purpose of the proposed study is to portray the landform characteristics that generated rural settings and lifestyles within the Islamic domain. From a geographical perspective, the paper investigates the stories about topography and water in 19th-century Ankara based on Cadastral Record Books from the Ottoman period, travel books, and the 1839 Von Vincke Map. These sources provide rich insights into the landform characteristics, waterscape, rural landscapes, transportation networks (roads), and the transformation of the built environment over time. By delving into the 19th-century rural landscapes of Ankara, we aim to shed light on how the region's unique landforms and waterways shaped its rural life and, in turn, how they were impacted by the forces of urbanization. This study attempts to bridge this transformation's historical and geographical dimensions, offering a deeper understanding of rural-urban encounters within the context of the Islamic world.

Keywords: Landform, waterscape, rural landscape, transportation networks, Ankara

Vincent Thérounin: Urbanizing villages? Beyond the "town founding" pattern in Early Ottoman Bosnia

In Bosnia, at the beginning of the Ottoman period (15th-17th centuries), a singular phenomenon can be observed: at regular intervals, vakf structures were founded in rural areas, leading to the emergence of settlements. In most cases, these settlements developed to the point of being characterized as "towns" or "cities" by the contemporaries, their administration and later by historiography. Very soon, as exemplified with the case of Sarajevo, the history of these establishments had to be grasped from the teleological perspective of "becoming a city" (Šabanović 1960; Handžić 1975; Zlatar 1996). This bias has allowed several generations of researchers to disregard a precise observation of urban trajectories over the Ottoman period: from the immediate foundation to the "city's fully-accomplished development", the intermediate evolution and its stages are usually not traced. Similarly, no mapping of urban development is proposed, nor questioning of the actors and their means. Finally, the regional economic or strategic context is also rarely taken into account.

This presentation is based on the comparative study of four settlements undertaken within my PhD. dissertation in Islamic Archaeology, relying on an examination of both remaining architectural material and archival documentation (tahrir defter-s and vakf inventories). Thus, this presentation propose to investigate the transition from rural to urban spaces in Early Ottoman Bosnia. Without considering "becoming a city" as an end towards which these vakf foundations necessarily tend, the aim is to clarify the graduality involved in the development of these spaces, often spread over several decades. This allows therefore to establish a spectrum of rural-urban transition forms, going beyond the duality of "failure"/"success" inherent in the "town founding" pattern.

Daniel E. Coslett: Christianity and French Colonialism in Occupied Enfidaville (Tunisia) and Beyond

Located on Tunisia's Mediterranean coast about 100 km from Tunis, Enfidaville was developed as a colonial agricultural settlement on land owned by the French Société Agricole et Immobilière Franco-Africaine. Set amidst fields of olive trees and vineyards, the city center hosted the typical elements of a regional colonial town built during the French Protectorate (1881–1956), including a train station, school, post office, a mosque, and a Catholic church. Capitalizing on the area's rich Roman history, Church officials saw that Enfidaville's Church of Saint Augustine was designed and built to house 49 Early Christian mosaics unearthed nearby at the site of ancient Uppenna within the building. The landmark building was inaugurated in 1907 and became a site of Christian pilgrimage. This strategic exploitation of antiquity and early Christianity was common in the country's capital and adjacent Carthage, but less so in its far-flung villages and towns where church buildings were typically more utilitarian in their service of European residents.

This case study of Enfidaville's church offers an opportunity to consider built environments outside Tunisia's major urban centers and how they were—or were not—woven into the self-aggrandizing historicist narratives articulated by elite colonizers. As the paper illustrates, this single structure is revealing in its manifestations of the complex socio-political and architectural links between Paris, Rome, Tunis, and Enfidaville during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as interactions among the town's various European and Tunisian residents. In the church's design, decoration, and function, one comes to understand the expansive history of colonial occupation and sacred spaces that supported the image and agenda of the French Empire in North Africa.

S16 Refugees housing evolution in the European countries

Main chair: Despina Dimelli, Urban and Regional Planning Laboratory (UrbaRegplan Lab) School of Architecture, Technical University of Crete
E-mail: ddimelli@tuc.gr

1st Co-chair: Nefeli Alexopoulou (MSc), National Technical University of Athens
E-mail: nef.alexopoulou@gmail.com

Short abstract

The session intends to bring to light the role of refugees housing areas dealing with the historic framework and the policies of different European countries since the beginning of the 20th century with the analysis of the architectural and urban elements of the settlements that have been developed.

Keywords: Refugees housing, Europe, evolution, integration


Urban and architectural analysis of refugees housing in Europe since the 20th century.

Session content


to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, housing was recognized as part of the right to an adequate standard of living.

In Europe the political, social, and economic conditions of the 20th century have led to refugee's crisis in different periods and in different degree for each country. The refugees' access to housing have differed greatly between the countries, according to cultural, economic, politic, and historical conditions which shaped strategies and programmes. The session examines the urban areas that have been diachronically developed to house refugees in Europe during the 20th century.

It intends to bring to light the role of refugees housing areas dealing with the following issues.

  • The historic framework and the policies of different European countries since the beginning of the 20th century to cover refugees housing needs.
  • The architectural and urban elements of the settlements that have been developed and their adjustment on the cultural identity of their inhabitants.
  • The development of refugees' settlements and their degree of integration in the city today.
  • The placemaking procedures developed by their residents to create urban environments adjusted to their cultural identity.
  • The role of these areas in the city today as zones of segregation or integration.
  • The interaction between local communities and refugees, including through developing shared public spaces and activities to support integration.
  • The degree of these areas' conservation as urban historic elements.


Yifei Zhang: Stockholm-by-the-sea: Heterotopias in Action

Described by Foucault as the "heterotopias par excellence," ships defy spatial, social, and political episteme on land. By combining ship and migrant housing, Bibby Stockholm, an accommodation barge converted to a British migrant camp, represents the latest development of migrant housing in Europe. This paper formulates a critique of the barge in the following dimensions:
Historicity: The new accommodation barge recalls naval architecture of confinement since prison hulks of 18th and 19th century Britain. Historically, these nautical-carceral structures dramatize the politics of (das) Land and border while revealing that the two identities–punitive and maritime–are not just managerially convenient or typologically eclectic but colluding attributes that articulate sovereign power through spatiality.
Bibby Stockholm is a liminal non-place (floating migrant camp) in disguise by conjuring iconographies of urban domesticity (apartment), with lingering implications of surveillance and punishment (prison, deportation to Uganda).
Ad Hocery: Previously used as accommodation for oil rig workers, Bibby Stockholm presents itself as a temporary, expedient housing for migrants, implying a state of emergency à la Benjamin and Agamben. The temporariness and ad hocery reinforces conservative narrative that "borders are broken."
Biopolitics and Symbolism: The demographic composition of Bibby Stockholm (500 single male asylum seekers) reveals its biopolitical instrumentality. Ships, naval or civilian, are customarily feminized. Male marines aboard ships christened with names of (das) Land (USS Arizona, HMS Belfast) symbolizes a rewarding copulation with the patria. Bibby Stockholm mashes up obscure European corporatism, and as a moored barge, its feminization extends to the Picturesque landscape and nature, maligned by right-wing politics as an incubus rape of the Genius Loci.

George Kritikos: The geography of urban housing in interwar Athens

This study will attempt to shed light on a very particular angle of Greek urban history. It will investigate the urban web of the Greek capital after the settlement of the Asia Minor refugees after the end of the Greek-Turkish war in 1922 and the first obligatory exchange of populations in world history. Until that time accommodation and property were the privilege of the rich natives and there was no consideration for public housing. Since the 1920s different categories of housing attempted to cater for the needs of these destitute people. During this period, the uncontrolled housing and self-made constructions defined different new spatial configurations and reflected various forms of power relations. In this context, urban housing in interwar in Athens functioned as a mechanism of reclassification of refugees as well as a tool of social mobility. This paper will explore the impact of housing policy in creation of the social, political, economic and cultural boundaries within the city. It will examine how the need for housing of the masses of refugees led to the collapse of the limited infrastructure and had a catalytic effect not only on town planning designed by policy-makers from 'above', but also on the redefinition of social boundaries that were redefined from 'below', which means from the people of Athens.

Letsiou Styliani: Life and Space in a refugee camp in Greece through Refugees' "Voices"

The present research has been focused on the study of the daily life of asylum seekers placed in a refugee camp in Greece. The research prioritized and emphasized the making, the construction and the structure of the camp and the personal stories of the hosted asylum seekers concerning the ways in which they exploit their new space inside and outside the camp (inside the containers and outdoor space) as well as the ways they used to exploit their abundant daily free time all those months -almost two years- that they resided in the camp. The aim was an in-depth understanding of the experiences of asylum seekers during the transitional -multi-month- period which they lived within that camp through their own words and voices, making special reference to their needs and conditions of hospitality, as well as the psychological impact of their experiences in the transitional context and thus, in the camp. Therefore, the present research succeeds in precisely illuminating those aspects of the issue that have not yet been fully studied from the qualitative method of semi-structured interviews with the refugees in the refugee camp. In addition, in order to enrich and complement the data obtained from the interviews, the method of participatory and non-participatory observation was also used, while special emphasis was placed on further open discussions and descriptions of life in the refugee camp.

Despoina Dimelli: The spatial changes of two refugee settlements within a century: The cases of Nea Smyrni and Nea Philadelphia

Housing the refugees of 1922 was an issue that significantly shaped Greek city. In some cases, through organized interventions by the Greek state and in other cases through improvised initiatives, the refugees were housed in different areas, based on the available land, the proximity to industrial zones and ports for finding work and the social and economic profile of the residents of the existing residential areas.

The aim of this presentation is to investigate the evolution of two refugee settlements of Nea Smyrni and Nea Philadelphia from their construction until today and the way the conditions of each era affected their form and structure.

The methodology of the research includes the investigation of the areas in three phases. In the first phase, it examines the initial plans and the basic principles of the urban organization of the refugee areas. The second phase examines the changes that have taken place in these two areas over time in the form and structure and in the third phase it examines the form, uses and structure of these areas today, through the coexistence of old and new constructions. It analyzes the structural urban elements that are currently preserved and those that have been altered or replaced by new elements so that these areas can be adapted to the modern needs of their inhabitants.

The aim of the presentation is to evaluate the degree of preservation of the urban characteristics of the two case studies and to identify the factors that have influenced their spatial identity over time.

Despoina Dimelli - Nefeli Alexopoulou: Refugee housing and spatial planning - The case of the Mediterranean countries

The role of spatial planning can be decisive in periods of changes. Political, economic and social changes have diachronically in different degree formed the housing needs for societies. But how has planning faced the housing needs from the refugee's arrival? Greece has faced different phenomena through the last two centuries. With the arrival of 1,5 million refugees from Minor Asia, the Civilian War, the industrial development, and the recent waves of refugees from the Balkan countries and the Mediterranean war zones, it formulated proposals for their housing which differed. Since 1922, the Greek State faced the housing crisis with two main ways. The immediate construction of dwellings with the financial assistance of international organizations and the legislation of rules which defined ways for housing and areas which were proposed for their settlement of its new residents. During the same period Italy and Spain had faced refugees' arrival in different time periods but with policies that were characterized with differences and similarities with the Greek case.

Today, the new refugee crisis that is caused by the political scene in the Mediterranean and in other zones is faced with the same way. Again, the international funds assist housing and again the State proposes and legislates rules that will make housing easier.

The current paper attempts to investigate the policies for refugees housing now and then, the factors that influenced the housing issue and the similarities and differences presented in both periods in Greece, Spain and Italy. It will examine the housing programmes and the spatial tools that were developed in different historic periods, and it will evaluate their effectiveness in terms of integration with the rest urban zones and social cohesion. Finally, it will focus on the current refugees housing needs, and it will investigate the policies and the strategies for their integration with the use of case studies.

S17 'Liveable cities'. Ranking towns through history

Main chair: Prof. Dr. J.E. (Jaap Evert) Abrahamse, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
E-mail: jeabrahamse@gmail.com

1st Co-chair: Marcel IJsselstijn, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands,
E-mail: m.ijsselstijn@cultureelerfgoed.nl

Short abstract

This session focuses on ranking cities through history. We invite researchers to look at history or chorography and compare between cities, compare them over time, or approach rankings from a theoretical perspective. What arguments are made why a city would be best? How have arguments changed over time? Do they differ from ours, or are new indicators available as the city became a subject of scientific research?

Keywords: Urban history, urban chorography, city rankings


Urban history, urban historiography, comparative urban history, ranking cities

Session content

"Generally speaking, one leads the most agreeable life in the greatest, most populous, richest and most powerful cities, where continuous growth is taking place and is still expected." The polymath Simon Stevin wrote these words in the late sixteenth century, at the dawn of the Dutch Republic. Stevin was the main theorist in military science, fortifications, urbanism, water management, and a great many other subjects. His posthumous volume Materiae Politicae contains a dedication to the government of Amsterdam, the young Republic's boomtown. Stevin took the opportunity to wish its burgomasters, sheriffs, and councillors 'continuous expansion of their city'. Stevin summed up the benefits of big cities: they had a highly diversified economy with government institutions, businesses, and industries, they had universities so no one was forced to send their children abroad to study (at great cost), they had artists and a lively cultural scene, and in a big city you would be in the center of the world, because 'birds flock together at the bait', and news and curiosities from all over would amass there. Many early modern chorographies and city histories use comparable indicators of urban life.

When compared to the Global Liveability Ranking of today's cities, published annually in The Economist, we see that the relevance of many aspects of urban life has hardly changed over the centuries. The index ranks stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. The main difference seems to be that it is not by default the largest cities that offer the best quality of life; 'midsize utopias' seem to be the new gold standard in comfortable city living. The role of population as an indicator seems to have shifted during the Industrial Revolution. That was the result of not only the detrimental effects of industrial pollution and poor housing on the quality of life, but also the effect of emancipation: it was no longer only the urban elite that mattered.

In this session, we invite researchers to look at urban history or chorography in any media, either books, prints, pictures, or maps. We can compare between cities, to compare cities over time, or approach historical and modern rankings from a more theoretical perspective. What arguments are made as to why a particular city would be the best? How have those arguments changed over time? Do they differ substantially from those in our time, or are new indicators available as the city became more of a subject of scientific research?


Jaroslav Ira: Irrespective of Size: Claiming Urbanity in the Discourses of Small Towns in Czechoslovakia and Germany, 1900-1950

The proposed paper will explore how the criteria of urban quality were negotiated in the discourses about smaller towns in the first half of the twentieth century in Central Europe, with particular focus on small towns in Czechoslovakia and Germany. More specifically, it will analyze arguments that were formulated in various efforts to promote small towns – or develop them – as places that (potentially) provided commensurable if not in some respects better sense of urbanity than big cities, with the objective of a) finding key indicators of urbanity that were rendered important, b) identifying distinctively small-town assets, such as better accessibility of nature, c) assessing the role of big cities and metropolitan urban life as both a normative yardstick and a referential sphere, and as the Other to define against. Contrary to the prevailing narratives about small towns as obsolete places in the age of high modernity and economy of scale, the paper will argue that small towns often managed to assert their niche in the urban ranking and capitalize on new trends and changing values, such as the growth of leisure, turn to nature, discontent with centralization and overgrown metropolises, or the valuation of the historic landscape, while stubbornly contesting the assumptions that demographic or spatial size were vital condition for an urban settlement to provide fully-fledged urban qualities. In a broader sense, the paper will make a case for a more differentiated concept of urbanity, unlocked from its implicit association with big cities. The proposed paper is part of a broader and long-term research on smaller towns in the Czech Lands and Central Europe and builds on analysis of an extensive sample of texts that promoted particular towns, such as individual or collective town-portrait books, as well as on exploration of more general debates about small towns in the respective countries.

Réka Horeczki: The importance of economic history in the image of a settlement. Based Hungarian spa and agriturismo town case study

The fragility and the resilience of the smaller elements of the settlement is one of the greatest challenges in Europe. Its theory and practise are widely researched and disputed in macro level. Most research focuses on the extremes: metropolitan areas and depopulating villages. The importance of the research is that by examining the development paths of small towns, we can better understand how typical or atypical this change is. The Janus-faced character of the small-town in Carpathian basin* concept is further exacerbated by the current pandemic and requires a rethink. The prestige of rural life is rising, and this creates the opportunity for formal small towns to be filled with functions.

Liveability is synonymously identified in recent studies with the definitions of success, effectiveness, competitiveness, supportiveness, good functioning, agility and resilience. The criteria for successful/liveability settlement, can be defined based on the research carried out so far in four main points: natural and cultural resources, local society - local elites, stability of the institutional system (the mayor and representatives), financing. These factors can be linked to both objective and subjective measures of success. Furthermore, the study examines the concept of vulnerability in a functional sense in Carpatian small towns and seeks to answer the question: what dynamics have been observed in recent years with regard to the quality of life in small towns. The model presented focuses on the impact of five main factors: population dynamics (since the beginning of the 19th century), infrastructure (human, physical, health, digital), impact of public administration (legal status, central role), economic power, attractiveness.

* I use the term Carpathian Basin to refer to the neighbouring parts of the territory of the historical Hungarian settlements outside Hungary; Austria: Burgenland, Slovakia: Felvidék, Ukraine: Kárpátalja, Romania: Transylvania and Partium, Serbia: Vajdaság, Croatia: Drávaszög, South-Baranja-Slavonia, Slovenia: Muravian region.

Vincent Baptist: Defining, Measuring and Identifying Paradoxes of Liveability through Modern Urban Indices

Cities appear as counterintuitive entities when it comes to the realization of 'liveability': they concentrate infrastructure and industries, accommodate dense population groups, and stand in juxtaposition with the natural environment, both within and outside its boundaries. In this respect, rating and ranking cities according to their presumed liveability can be seen as rather paradoxical: despite all counterarguments and seemingly adverse characteristics, some cities nevertheless receive recognition for fulfilling certain degrees of liveability. This contribution uses the theoretical perspective of 'paradox research' as starting point to investigate and reflect on various initiatives that have measured and indexed urban liveability, particularly during the 20th and 21st century and in contexts of increasing global urban competition, such as the Global Liveability Index, the Happy City Index and the OECD's Resilient Cities. Based on a set of modern urban liveability indices, this contribution aims to raise questions regarding the composition of indices, their changes over time, and to what extent these signal broader shifts in defining and recognizing liveability as an empirically measurable urban characteristic. This will be further connected to the related concepts of urban 'health' and 'well-being', in order to reflect on how these indicators do or do not overlap with liveability, and can or cannot be measured and compared differently. Ultimately, this propels further questions about the definition of liveability in urban contexts and the, potentially paradoxical, interrelations with health and well-being: is a top-ranked liveable city by default also a healthy city? And how could urban populations' social well-being weigh in on comprehensive liveability measures?

S19 Industrial Heritage

Main chair: Miloš Matěj, prof., National Heritage Institute, Ostrava Branch
E-mail: matej.milos@npu.cz

1st Co-chair: Marek Peška, Mgr. Ph.D., Archaia Brno, z. ú.
E-mail: mpeska@archaiabrno.cz

Short abstract

Industrial heritage represents one of the cultural heritage segment with the direct formative influence for town development and urbanism. It's knowledge, evaluation and preservation requests interdisciplinary approach connecting a lot of scientific specializations: history, technology, archaeology, heritage preservation etc.

Keywords: cultural heritage, industrial heritage, industrial archaeology, methodology of research, evaluation, Ostrava, Brno


Industrial heritage and its formative influence for the city development, methods of the research, evaluation and preservation.

Session content

Industrial heritage represents one of the cultural heritage segment with the formative influence for town and city development and urbanism as well as region transformation.

It will be industrial heritage topic according to the heritage preservation presented at first, the main role is represented by specific values: historical value, typological (related to the development in the technical specialization), functional unit value, value of technological flow or value of systemic and technological interconnections. The principle of the evaluation is the recognition of these specific values and connection to the specific object, site, system, urban situation or region unit.

The subsequent contributions will focused to the specific research and its evaluation, include innovative aproach to application of archaeological methods and digital as well (laser scanning of the terrain etc.) and the conclusions.

The question of industrial city developmment and housig estate problematics is closely connected with industrial history and it is able to illustrated in Ostrava city.


Marinela Istrate: Adaptive reuse of industrial heritage, a major step towards urban regeneration. Evidence for Iasi city, Romania

Adaptive reuse is essential for heritage buildings, including those in old industrial areas. The implementation of urban regeneration projects can make a real difference in the vitality and sustainable development of cities. This is all the more important in Romania, where the de-industrialization of the last three decades has been a real social and economic challenge, with industrial areas seeing a large and rapid process of destruction, while the legislative vacuum has led to irreparable losses of industrial architecture.

This study aims to analyze the use of industrial heritage and its role as an engine of urban revitalization, using the city of Iasi as a case study. The research is based on official statistical data from 1912-2022, supplemented by qualitative data extracted from our own investigations, press information, and the use of images from Google Earth.

The results highlighted the predominant use of former industrial areas for real estate purposes, without concern to preserve buildings with real architectural value. However, there are also some successful examples, in which former factories dating back more than 100 years have been rehabilitated and integrated into the urban landscape.

The conclusions are generally valid for many cities in Eastern Europe: industrial architectural heritage must be used by creating new functional cores with a catalytic role, as the rehabilitation of these spaces contributes to redefining cultural identity and bringing back the sense of belonging to the inhabitants. In this regard, we hypothesize that in Romania (with a few notable exceptions) and especially in the city of Iasi there is not a clear trend of preserving the urban industrial heritage, but rather a fast and profitable capitalization from a financial point of view. The existence of a quality public space leads to an increase in the quality of life and to the creation of sustainable communities.

Miloš Matěj: Research on industrial heritage carried out by the Methodological Centre of the National Heritage Institute

Research on urbanisation of industrial agglomerations carried out by the Methodological Centre for Industrial Heritage (MCPD) is carried out systematically: by analysing and then synthesizing natural conditions (mineralresources, water courses and their energy potential), individual industries, transport infrastructure and settlement (residential development). In the case of research on individual industries, including mines, the research is based on precise location (identification of historical data from a particular location), analysis of technological developments and subsequent appreciation of preserved material remains, including the use of archaeological methods. The findings are placed in the context of the development on the territory of the Czech Republic and based on this comparison, historically, technically or architecturally the most important objects, technical equipment or archaeological sites are designed for protection under the Historical Preservation Act. Research on technical and industrial monuments for the purposes of monument care seems to us to be a useful partial view for the understood overall process of urbanization especially in the case of industrial agglomerations. Examples include publications and maps with expert content in the case of Ostrava, Karviná, Brno and Kladno.

Magdalena Mrázková: Creating and practical use of electronic maps at survey of industrial heritage

The electronic maps proved to be a valuable and easy tool in process of researching the industrial heritage. Maps provides register of survey results focused on industrial heritage of Ostrava showing layers of particular segments: mining and metallurgy. It provides the searching according the place, industrial segment, status of protection (cultural monument, national cultural monument, without protection) and more detail sublayers in each segments. The maps also complements the most recent publications about Ostrava industrial heritage and deepens knowledge of its research by findings of original surveys at industrial heritage in Ostrava from 70' and 90' years of 20th century. The aim of the paper is to  explain the process of creating a map (data collection and analysis, revision of previous findings) and a practical example of its use in the survey of industrial heritage.

Hynek Zbranek - Michaela Ryšková: Brno as an industrial centre – significant sites, research, conservation assessment, archaeological traces of industrialisation

Brno as an important industrial centre, mainly associated with textile production and engineering, underwent intensive development during the 19th and 20th centuries. In particular, the development of textile production led to its rapid growth, the development of existing and the creation of new suburbs. Large areas of the industrial suburbs were occupied by textile factories and the character was maintained until the end of the 20th century. The disappearance of the Brno textile industry at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries triggered the need for a systematic survey of buildings and areas of textile production. It was necessary to evaluate them from the perspective of heritage management, and also to try to protect selected objects. At the same time, however, demolitions in former industrial suburbs opened the way for industrial archaeology to learn about the older (extinct) layers of this development, especially those associated with the industrialization of factory operations. This process can be best documented archaeologically, especially through research into the energy facilities of the factories (steam boilers and steam engines). Given the scarcity of surviving historical building plans of Brno's factories, the archaeology of Brno represents an irreplaceable source and contributes to the understanding of the industrialisation of the city and the woollen industry centre of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Michal Zezula - Dalibor Prix: The relationship between mining activities and early urbanization of the Moravian-Silesian borderland on the example of the foundation of the town of Bruntál

The beginnings of the medieval settlement of Bruntál are connected with the exploatation of gold. The town of Bruntál was founded in the immediate contact with the panning sites in the valley of the Černý potok river before 1212, and its inhabitants were the first in the Czech lands to be governed by Magdeburg town rights. The presumed close relationship between mining activities and the the foundation of the town of Bruntál is evidenced by the results of montanist research, archaeological findings and also by new knowledge about the Romanesque building phase of the Church of Our Lady in the neighbouring site Staré Město. The extraction of readily available gold deposits then led to the reorganisation of the local settlement and the relocation of the town to its present location. The results of the new research allow Bruntál to be included among the model sites that show the close connection between the urbanisation of the mountain and submontane areas of Central-Eastern Europe and mining activities and cultural influences from Western Europe.

S20 Living at the edge: the form and function of the suburban villa, 1750–1840

Main chair: Jon Stobart, professor, Manchester Metropolitan University
E-mail: j.stobart@mmu.ac.uk

1st Co-chair: Kristine Dyrmann, Dr, University of Oxford
E-mail: kristine.dyrmann@history.ox.ac.uk

Short abstract

Focusing on the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century suburban villa, this panel explores both the architectural features and the social practices and functions of these dwellings in three very different parts of Europe: Romania, Denmark and England. The papers encompass the growing variety of villas and owners – from royalty to the bourgeoisie.

Keywords: Villa, suburban, architecture, social practice


Social and spatial practices; ways of living; domestic material culture

Session content

Villas were traditionally intermediate homes of the elite, situated on the boundary of city and countryside and forming an escape from both the pressures of urban life and the responsibilities of the country estate. Focusing on the 18th- and early 19th-century suburban villa, this panel explores the architectural features and the social practices and functions of these dwellings in Romania, Denmark and England. The papers encompass the growing variety of villa owners (from royalty to the gentry to the bourgeoisie); they explore the different uses to which villas were put and the ways in which function was linked to form.


Jon Stobart: The parsonage in late Georgian England: villa and village

Alyssa Myers: The eighteenth-century suburban London villa: a space for entertainment or retreat?

Ruth McManus: Elegant seats and picturesque retreats: the changing form and function of suburban villas in Dublin, 1750-1840

S22 Tange transnational – Japanese futures for European cities

Main chair: Katja Schmidtpott, Prof. Dr., Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Faculty of East Asian Studies
E-mail: katja.schmidtpott@rub.de

1st Co-chair: Beate Löffler, PD Dr., TU Dortmund, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering
E-mail: beate.loeffler@tu-dortmund.de

Short abstract

Tange Kenzō (1913-2005) was the first non-Western to influence modern urban planning ideas on a global scale. We aim to understand why he became accepted as part of the Western-dominated avant-garde of architects, and how his ideas and projects have shaped European discourses on urban futures.

Keywords: Tange Kenzō, urban planning, urban design, Europe, Japan


urban planning, urban design, transnational urban history

Session content

Modern ideas about urban futures easily transcend national boundaries. However, until the 1950s, urban theory and architectural design concepts invariably originated in Europe or in the US, and the resulting global flow of ideas was mainly unidirectional "from the West to the rest". Around 1960, the flow finally began to change direction when Tange Kenzō (1913-2005) became the first non-Western architect whose ideas were received globally. This resulted in a variety of influences, ranging from inspirations for certain single buildings or megastructures designed or built by European architects to the actual realisation of cities or parts of cities in Europe by Tange's office (e.g., Skopje, Bologna).

The panel aims at examining Tange's influence on European architecture and urban planning in a comprehensive way. We aim to understand why he became accepted as part of the Western-dominated global avant-garde of architects, and how his ideas and projects have shaped European discourses on urban futures.

We seek to understand how Tange's architectural and planning ideas were transferred to Europe in terms of networks, exhibitions, languages and media. What impact did his individual designs such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum or larger events such as the World Design Conference 1960 in Tokyo have in terms of Tange's publicity in Europe? What were the motives that led European stakeholders from different areas of construction-related decision-making, such as municipalities, interest groups and professional associations, to invite Tange to participate in competitions or to commission him directly? In a world divided by the Cold War, how important – if at all - was his Non-Western background, especially for the discussion of his works in eastern Europe and for the Skopje project? How did the planning processes in Tange's European projects proceed in terms of his involvement in the realization or the accompanying media coverage?

We invite scholars from various disciplines, including but not limited to urban history and urban planning, cultural studies and architectural history, to present case studies of realized or unrealized projects in various European countries. We also invite papers on the discussion of Tange's designs and buildings by European architects and urban planners or on the coverage of Tange in European architecture and planning journals or in the general media.


Jasna Mariotti: Metabolist urban utopias and the unfinished project for Catania: views from Librino

The paper will explore the changing character of Catania by exploring the planning practices and the changing image of the city in the past 100 years, by focusing on the plan for Librino by Kenzo Tange from 1972. The plan, embracing the principles of the metabolism movement, contributed to the ideas of the expansion of the city in its periphery and had an impact also on the overall organisation of Catania. Designed to house 70,000 inhabitants, Kenzo Tange's project for Librino aimed to create an ideal model of a neighbourhood where housing units, district centres and public amenities, parks and sport facilities were spatially adapting to the complex topographies of the site. A green axis and a green corridor represented central design principles for the spatial organisation of Librino, surrounding the housing units but also spatially connecting them. These open spaces of Librino were also designed to accommodate the everyday life activities of the local communities in the neighbourhood.

These ideas from 1972 formed the spatial structure of Librino, and also helped in defining the directions for the future growth of Catania. Building on the plan from 1972, this contribution will focus on the innovative approaches of Kenzo Tange's plan for Librino by analysing the original planning documents for the neighbourhood and through interviews with residents, tracing the origins, urban morphologies and structuralist approaches employed by Tange. The research will highlight the crucial role of international exchanges instilled in Librino by Kenzo Tange in 1972 and his involvement in the project. Furthermore, the research seeks to discuss the legacy of the original plan for Librino based on primary data collected through field investigations in Librino.

Ines Tolic: Cities of the Future Past. Kenzo Tange's Urban Designs for Skopje and Bologna

From the Tokyo Bay Project to the Masterplan for the Osaka Expo, Kenzo Tange's work has deeply influenced urban design on both sides of the Iron Curtain, redefining the image of cities in the Northern hemisphere as much as of those in the Global South. Among his most relevant projects, Skopje (1965-) and Bologna (1967-) stand out. Being only a couple of years apart, these two only partially completed projects offer an interesting opportunity to address Tange's peculiar approach to urban design and to evaluate his legacy in the field of both architecture and urban planning.

Using previously unpublished documents and after extensive archival research, the paper aims at investigating urban design according to Kenzo Tange from a transnational perspective. Peculiar to the professional and intellectual milieu of the "affluent society", Skopje and Bologna's case studies clearly exemplify the pivotal role of history and images within Tange's production. In fact, Skopje's "gate" and "wall" and Bologna's "porticoes" and "piazza" are not just references to characteristic local architectural and urban elements but are rather to be intended as metaphorical bridges capable of bringing together the past with the present, and then with a future yet to be built. This approach, the origin of which can be traced to Japan and to the interwar period to say least, met with great success in the second half of the 20th century, consolidating Tange's popularity well beyond the borders of his homeland.

Taking into consideration the context in which Kenzo Tange's ideas originated and investigating them then through the selected case studies, my paper identifies in the "future past quality" of his approach a crucial issue for contemporary urban debates and the very reason why he became accepted as part of the Western-dominated avant-garde of architects.

Florian Purkarthofer: The Limits of Control: Approaching Tange Kenzo Through Vienna and Vice Versa

This experimental paper takes up the idea of "parallax view" (the reading of authors/ideas through a different lens), which comes from Kojin Karatani's Transcritique (2003), as method to approach Kenzo Tange (1913-2005) and his urban ideas through Vienna and its architects Carl Pruscha (*1936) and Johann Staber (1928-2005) and vice versa. The aim of this endeavors is to rethink the limits of control, that are envisioned and experienced in the futuristic ideas of urban structures and buildings, based on two sets of case studies.

First, viewed through two art exhibitions regarding Tange's Plan for Skopje displayed in Vienna, namely "No Feeling Is Final. The Skopje Solidarity Collection" (at Kunsthalle Wien) and "A Revisionist Model of Solidarity" (at Secession) the contemporary Vieannese contextualization and interpretation of Tange's Reconstruction Plan for Skopje (1965) is analyzed. Second, based on the works "Global Linear City" (1963) by Carl Pruscha and "Vienna International Centre (UNO-City, Vienna)" by Johann Staber (planned 1968, built 1972-1979), the Kenzo Tange's 1960 Master Plan for Tokyo is revisited as an inspiration for coeval architects in Europe as well as an instance of the global landscape of urban ideas in the postwar era. By doing so, this paper tries to provide a close reading from a distant place of Kenzo Tange's urban master plans from the 1960s with a critical emphasis on the limits of control imposed by real life to these overarching plans.

S23 Awaiting the Attack. Border Towns and Cities in Times of Rising Military Threat in Central and Eastern Europe since the 19th Century

Main chair: Frank Rochow, Dr., Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany
E-mail: frank.rochow@b-tu.de

1st Co-chair: Heidi Hein-Kircher, PD Dr., Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe – Institute of the Leibniz Association, Marburg, Germany
E-mail: heidi.hein-kircherc@herder-institut.de

2nd Co-chair: Aleksander Łupienko, PhD, Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
E-mail: aleksander.lupienko@ihpan.edu.pl

Short abstract

By focussing on the complex interplay between their local actors and populations and the central state, the special role of border cities within modern states is highlighted. The session aims at bringing together analyses of different cities and spheres to develop a holistic view of the repercussions of military threat on urban communities.

Keywords: urban politics, securitization, multi-ethnic cities, military history, urban heritage, border


urban mobilisation in border cities in times of rising military threat

Session content

Border cities are seismographs of international relations. In times of peace and cooperation their economies can flourish and people from both sides of the border can interact. Consequently, they are also the first that witness repercussions of rising international tensions. Focussing on situations of (perceived) military threat from the neighboring country, this session will shed light on the various implications that modes of international politics have on urban societies and local communities since the 19th century in Central and Eastern Europe. On the one hand, towns and cities themselves will be object of investigation. How does the situation of rising hostilities affect local politics? How do modes of inclusion and exclusion change? What actors dominate the scene and within which discourses are they located? These questions are in particular interesting in multi-ethnic urban settings. It will involve the issue of how the function of border towns and cities as logistical backbone for military activities influences local politics and the economic life of these places. Once military troops are stationed, are they perceived as protectors of the city or rather as danger? How does the growing visibility of the military affect the security and gender roles in the city? And can the urban elite maintain its right to  self-governance in this moment of massive intrusion by central state power executors? How do local actors position themselves vis-á-vis central state activities? Another field of investigation will concentrate on how specific parts of the urban population deal with the perspective of their city eventually becoming a military battleground. What measures do they take to prepare and to protect themselves and their property? When do they decide to leave the city and how does this affect the urban life? A special focus will be laid on stakeholders of urban heritage and their role in the preparation and protection of the tangible as well as intangible heritage of the city.

On the other hand, we are interested in the role border towns and cities play within the state-wide discourse produced during the preparations for an awaited attack. What argumentative function is ascribed to them to mobilise the population for the foreseen military campaign? What role do militaries ascribe to border cities for the general combat morale as well as for strategic planning? And what measures does the central state undertake to prepare the hinterland for sustaining the city and to evacuate its population in case this will be necessary? By combining both perspectives, this session will provide insights into the complex interplay between the central state and urban communities in general as well as border towns and cities in particular. It will highlight the analytical potential of extraordinary situations to understand the complexity of urban settings in respect to political discourses and their existing, though not always openly visible, conflict lines.


Róbert Szabó: Occupied Timisoara? Everyday life in the schools of a big city in the shadow of three armies (1914–1920)

During the First World War, most school buildings were occupied by the armies of the Central Powers. Until the end of the war, the Austro-Hungarian, Hungarian and German armies used school buildings as military accommodation or hospitals.

Timisoara, the seat of Timis County, was one of the big cities where contact with soldiers of different nationalities became almost a daily experience for civilians. Although Timisoara did not become a theatre of war, the permanent military presence had an impact on the life of the local schools' public. In my presentation, I am going to focus on methods used by students, teachers and civilians to resist or coexist with this situation. Besides, I want to point out how they were helped by school authorities (minister, director general of the school district, headmaster). How did local politicians react and what solutions did they apply to defend their own population? How did the Romanian occupation change the situation in 1919? These questions are complicated by the fact that Timisoara had a mixed ethnic composition (Hungarian, Romanian, German) at the turn of the century.

On the one hand, the sources of my research were provided by the Hungarian National Archives (Usage of school building for military purposes, Hospital Affairs) and by the Hungarian Franciscan Archives (Franciscan High School in Timisoara). On the other hand, I also used fonds from the Timisoara Archives of the Romanian National Archives (Records of the Chief Bailiff Judge, Schools in Timisoara).

Renaud Dorlhiac: Waiting for whom ? Competing expectations in a transnational town (Shkodra 1912-1920)

Since the end of the Great Eastern crisis, the adriatic city of Shkodër/Skadar/Scutari was in the frontline of the Ottoman Empire against the national slavic projects. During the Balkan wars, the kingdom of Montenegro took possession of it for a year, after a long siege, before a naval blockade forced dit to give way to an international administration, following the creation of an Albanian state. The outbreak of the First World War enabled Montenegro to regain possession of the city, before being driven out by Austria-Hungary which occupied the city in January 1916 until its defeat in October 1918. In the immediate post-war period, Shkodër was once again placed under interallied administration before being permanently incorporated into the Albanian state in March 1920.

During the long First World War, Shkodra was on the borders of not just one but several countries occupying or coveting it (the Ottoman Empire, Albania, Montenegro, Austria-Hungary, then finally the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes), not to  mention the foreign powers who were intrusted with its management on two occasions (France, Italy and Great Britain). It therefore presents a unique case of a frontier town in which the stakes are exacerbated not only by the international context, but also by a sense of urgency and great precariousness. Each of the occupying powers therefore endeavoured to rapidly adopt measures to guarantee lasting possession, using all available means, both repressive (executions, expulsions) and encouraging (appointments, promotions). These multiple shifts in patronage inevitably raise the question of the longevity of allegiances and the reasons behind them, in a context where choices often involve a high degree of risk-taking.

The aim of this paper is firstly to study the positioning of local players in relation to the diplomatic and military narratives and strategies put in place by the various protagonists in order to secure definitive possession of the town. We will therefore look at how the various ethno-linguistic (Albanian and Slavic) and religious (Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim) groups position themselves in relation to the occupying powers, both local and foreign, and also in relation to those whose presence has ended (Ottoman Empire), is hoped for (Yugoslavia) or is yet to come (Albania). At the same time, we will study the way in which each of the protagonists projects their presence in this city, the place it is supposed to occupy in national history and in the concrete construction of newly born states. We will also pay particular attention to foreign military personnel and administrators whose personal or political convictions sometimes interfere with the theoretically neutral and disinterested action they are supposed to carry out by virtue of the mandate conferred on them. Finally, as this paper wishes to focus on individuals, we will be looking not only at the traces left in urban space by these successive occupants, but also at those left in collective and family memories. As there are very few scientific studies on this historic episode, this paper will be based primarily on archive documents, together with the press of the time and the many memoirs and accounts left by direct witnesses of the period.

Frank Rochow: Ready to fight? Fortifying Galician towns and cities during the Crimean War

The Crimean War changed the European system of alliances profoundly. For the Habsburg Monarchy this entailed the rising international tension with Russia which could easily result in a military confrontation. The border province Galicia, however, was not prepared for this case. Fortification strategies after the Revolution of 1848 had focused on internal security rather than external threats. Accordingly, Galicia remained what militaries had hitherto feared: a plain terrain impossible to defend. However, the consolidation of the state in the 1850s also introduced a change in the self-understanding of the state. Henceforth, no part of its territory was considered dispensable. Therefore, Galicia had to be prepared to counter a possible Russian attack.

This paper analyses on the one hand, how perceptions and fears by the imperial political elite caused alterations in the physical environment of many Galician cities. It shows what measured and what resources were at disposal to the central state to protect remote parts of its territory against an overwhelming military power. On the other hand, it sheds light on the limits of the central state in implementing its planned activities "on the ground". It asks how local actors were involved in the taken measures and how they could influence the outcome of politics followed by the central state. At last, this paper asks for the lasting effect these hastily undertaken fortification projects had on the development on the larger fortification strategy of the monarchy and on the appearance of the towns and cities in which they were exercised.

Anda-Lucia Spânu: Sibiu as border town of the Habsburg / Austro-Hungarian Empire

Built near the Carpathians, Sibiu was for several centuries on the geographical and political border of powerful empires, almost always in conflict.

Sibiu was the capital of Transylvania (1692–1791), and the seat of the commanding general and the Habsburg government (1703–1717, 1732–1790). The town became the military headquarters of Transylvania. The War Chancellery, the War Commissariat, the War House, the Military Court, the Main Supply Office as well as the District Defense Directorate functioned here. In 1914, the town had around 20 military facilities, including barracks, warehouses, training centers and a garrison hospital.

Over the decades, modernization, urbanization and systematization, spread in all aspects of the town's life. What began with the incorporation of Transylvania into the Habsburg Empire was not only the change of a suzerainty, but the connection to modern Europe.

The establishment of the army and the imperial administration in Sibiu led to many structural, cultural, economic, but also mental transformations. The most numerous buildings were erected during the Habsburg and then Austro-Hungarian administrations, the city tripling its area in those 230 years.

The Austrian and Austrian-Hungarian period influenced the urban evolution of Sibiu, not only through the large number of soldiers who required accommodation, situation solved by building barracks, but also through the creation of a true new town, with public facilities, administrative and bourgeois buildings, craft workshops and factories, cultural, religious and social settlements, creating a generation of educated and open-minded townspeople.

S24 City across the borders – borders across the city

Main chair: Aleš Zářický, prof. PhDr., Ph.D., University of Ostrava

1st Co-chair: Jarosław Kłaczkow, prof. dr hab., Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika / Nicolaus Copernicus University (Toruń, Poland)
E-mail: jak@umk.pl

2nd Co-chair: Hana Šústková, Mgr., Ph.D., Ostrava City Archive (Ostrava, Czech Republic
E-mail: hsustkova@ostrava.cz

Short abstract

The city is viewed as a heterogeneous organism. It perceives the city as a space in which negotiations take place among the various interests of vertically and horizontally separated groups, which are outwardly manifested in the transformations of the spatial arrangement of the settlement.

Keywords: city, borders, society, culture, ethnicity, nationalism, religion, separation, segregation


economic, social and cultural history

Session content

The aim of the section is to describe the transformations of the city during the 19th and 20th centuries in Central Europe. The emphasis is primarily on capturing this dynamic. Cities are not homogeneous mechanisms, but are primarily formed by the interests of vertically and horizontally separated groups. Although they influence each other, they can be quite impenetrable or antagonistic. Thus, the perception and conception of the city is influenced by social, religious,cultural, economic, ethnic or national affiliations and combinations thereof. The formation of these subcultures within the city may occur spontaneously, genetically, i.e. as part of the evolutionary change of the locality under study, or they may be the result of transformative revolutionary changes (wars, migration, economic development, etc.). Also, the city may be forcibly transformed by political decisions that do not respect historical developments. In particular, we welcome papers that focus on:

  • the causes of these dynamics and their consequences (a city divided by war, a city divided by industrialization, religious segregation, etc., etc.);
  • the theoretical concept of the divided city;
  • the urban organism as a response to historical events and its transformation;
  • self-identification and self-reflection of a selected urban group;
  • the ideology of the urban group and its manifestations in the space of the city;
  • instruments remodelling the inner boundaries of cities;
  • the problems associated with the reunification of divided cities.lines.


Aleksander Łupienko: The City as an Aggregate of Communities? The case of Lviv before 1918

In my presentation I would like to discuss the conclusions drawn from the forthcoming volume focused on the issue of community that I edited (to appear in 2024). The nineteenth-century city was a complicated multi-polar and multi-cultural organism that evades simplifications offered by the national narratives. In understanding what a city really was at the time of the emergence of the phenomenon of cities as we know it today (especially in the (East-)Central Europe), it is instructive to ask the question of urban communities. Most obviously these included communities based on ethnic components that were reinvented as nations shortly before and during that time, but trying to see cities as national, belonging to a nation in one way or another, one has to adopt an ideological perspective, which obscures more than it reveals. By studying communities tied by religious, professional, estate-oriented or imperial bonds – beside or within the new national ones – the researcher can be able to conceive of the society as an aggregate of groups rather than a synthesis, which in fact it has never been. The case study of Lviv (Lwów, L'viv, Lemberg), the capital of the Habsburg crown land of Galicia with its multi-cultural inhabitants is a good illustration of these theoretical premises. Perceived by many Poles as a Polish city, the object of symbolic appropriation (or taming) by Ukrainians, in fact it evades simplifications. I will show the discourse produced by different social actors in relation to the space of Lviv to argue that the urban society was an aggregate rather than a synthesis.

Mate Tamaska: Frontier Urbanism and School Buildings in the divided twin towns of Komárom (Hungary) – Komárno (Czechoslovakia) 1900-1938

In my planned study, I will undertake an urban analysis of the school map of the Slovak-Hungarian border town of Komárom-Komárno between 1900 and 1938. The unique feature of the settlement is that the northern (historically older) part of the former Hungarian town was annexed to Czechoslovakia in 1920. From this point on, Komárno and Komárom can be regarded as an area of disputed belonging, existing on the borderline of nation-state aspirations. Drawing on notion of "frontier urbanism" (R. Zetter, B. K. Blitz, W. Pullan etc.), whereby nation-states make an increased effort to strengthen and develop peripheries after conflicts, we will explore how this ambition is reflected in concrete examples of school buildings.

Educational architecture is thus discussed through the lens of nation-state building, one of the areas where the 19th century liberal ideal of the state was still dominated by political control rather than free competition, a view that was amplified to an extreme in the 20th century.

Looking at the pre-1920 period of building schools in the town, it can be stated that the new schools, designed to educate the state-loyal bourgeois elite, were built in a historical or 'Hungarian' style, according to the needs of the town's elite, which was then also ethnically Hungarian. These new structures stood out from the earlier school buildings by their mass and became dominant elements of the townscape. The aim was, together with other building projects, to create a significant medium-sized town.

After 1920, the border situation redefined the framework. There was a significant exodus of intellectuals from the Czechoslovak-annexed areas, while the Slovak League wanted to establish a new secondary school that would reflect the spirit of modern architecture. Meanwhile, Slovak classes were opened in the former Hungarian-style school buildings.

The southern part of the town, which remained in Hungary, had previously been more of an industrial suburb. However, in the late 1920s, with government support, the town began to develop in a planned way. As part of this, a new gymnasium was built on a completely newly shaped square opposite the town hall, which was also built at the same time, raised in the neo-baroque style, reflecting the political conservativism of the period in Hungary. By the 1940s, although political conservatism had not changed, and in fact had shifted to the right, modern architectural solutions were increasingly gaining ground in Komárom as well, following the Italian model.

The study of Komárom - Komárno is a possible example of how central power manifests itself in local space through school buildings that define the identity of the state. In my presentation I will show some parallel Central European examples for further comparing studies, too, like Český Těšín – Cieszyn or Götlitz – Zgorzelec.

Susanne Tobisch – Daniel Löschenbrand – Angelika Psenner: Settling on the Left Side of the Danube: A Historical Spatial Analysis of the Transformation of the Settlement Structures in Vienna's Transdanubia

The city of Vienna is an example of a dense, historically developed city, that expanded outwards from the city centre as the population and the demand for space increased. There is, however, one area that was not included in this otherwise uniform development: The area on the left side of the Danube known as Transdanubia. The river, which in its unregulated state was a wide floodplain dividing the landscape of Vienna into two parts, was a natural border that the growth of the city could not overcome for the longest time.

Even until the 19th century, the polycentric network of different streets and villages in this area was still very rural in nature until regulation measures of the river were undertaken and several new bridges were constructed. These interventions made Transdanubia a focus point of urban development. The following increasing urbanisation of the settlement structures represents a trend that has been growing even more rapidly – especially alongside traffic axis – since the increasing motorisation in the 1960s. One of the consequences of this shift in the relevance of Transdanubia in the urban context, was a significant change in the population, both in numbers – from only 12 per cent in the 19th century to currently over 30 per cent of Vienna's total population by current area – but also in occupation – away from farmers living off their own land towards workers. In connection with these processes changes in village structures and settlement patterns can be observed. The village cores were densified and transformed, and the surrounding fields were used for new development.

The visible and invisible historical developments, which are spatial, social, political and technological in nature, have a strong influence on the development of the city, they manifest themselves physically in the city and their traces are still ecident today. This contribution aims to comprehensively examine these transformation processes in the context of Vienna's Transdanubia.

Wojciech Święs: A city of many borders. Cieszyn's developments and declines 1848–1939

The aim of the paper is to attempt to show the changes in Cieszyn and their dynamics through the prism of the social divisions of its inhabitants and the surrounding population, as well as the division of the city along the Polish-Czechoslovak border in 1920. The divisions of the community living in the city (since 1920, two cities – Cieszyn and Český Těšín) took place mainly on the basis of nationality (Germans, Poles, Czechs) and religion (Catholics, Protestants, Jews). The national and religious groups living in the city competed with each other, which resulted in the intense social development of Cieszyn, which came to be called "little Vienna" (mainly due to its architecture), less often "little Athens" (due to the number of schools) or "little Rome" (due to the number of churches and location on the hills). The situation changed in 1920, when the historical center of the city, previously managed by the Germans, found itself in Poland and retained the name Cieszyn, while the less urbanized areas west of the Olza river, along with some strategic infrastructure (especially the railway station), were included in the borders. Czechoslovakia, giving rise to Český Těšín. Deprived of an economic base after the collapse of Austria-Hungary, Cieszyn quickly transformed from "little Vienna" into a "provincial hole". The new Polish rulers of the city tried to reverse these changes throughout the interwar period. The situation was different in Czechoslovakia, where a new city was practically being built. Due to cold relations between Poland and Czechoslovakia, both parts of Cieszyn developed in isolation from each other. Throughout the period in question, external factors also played an important role in the transformation of Cieszyn (and later two towns) – especially extensive migration processes and the development of industry in the Ostrava-Karvina Basin and the Bielsko subregion, where Bielsko, Polish (since 1919 Silesian) Ostrava or Karvina joined the race for the title of the most significant city in Cieszyn Silesia.

S25 Building Codes, Morphology, And The Appearance Of Cities

Main chair: Josef Holeček, Ing. arch., Fakulta architektury ČVUT v Praze
E-mail: josef.holecek@fa.cvut.cz

1st Co-chair: Prof. Dr. Harald R. Stühlinger, FHNW Muttenz, Switzerland
E-mail: harald.stuehlinger@fhnw.ch

Short abstract

In most of Europe, modern building codes began to emerge in the 19th century. They vary in different environments according to political and economic developments, and their wording often directly influences the future shape of cities. The aim of this session is to confront different regulations and to reflect on what their heritage means for today.

Keywords: building codes, 19. and 20. century, urban planning, street network, composition of the facades, perception, urban landscape


Description and comprehension of the influence of building codes on the urban development of European cities

Session content

Contemporary building regulations have an unprecedented impact on the built environment. The regulations determine the position of the building on a plot in relation to the street line and other buildings, the required layer of thermal insulation in conventional construction usually determines the composition of the façade, the requirements for energy self-sufficiency of the building determine the number of solar panels to be installed on the roof. The final project is thus determined by different regulations that the builder must consider whilst designing.

A similar story has been playing out across Europe since at least the nineteenth century, and in some places even earlier. However, the simpler the legislation was at that time, the more clearly it affected the form of the cities: the composition of their street network, the dislocation of specific functions, but also the morphology of the development, the size of the building or the very form of the facade (a factor that is not insignificant, especially in the nineteenth century, when a wave of historicism is on its way through Europe).

The reality of the specifics of individual building codes and how they, along with other regulations, have affected different cities is usually confronted in specific cases of settlements where these developments are traced chronologically. In most European countries, this topic is independently examined, but these experiences are not confronted with each other. The intention of the session is to  enable the meeting of different synchronic situations and approaches that existed across Europe, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The contributions should also follow the actors of the process. The legal arrangements influenced both the founders themselves (nobility, industrialists, and especially local governments) in the demarcation of new territorial units, and smaller investors, for whom the arrangements clearly defined the extent of their investment. Reflecting on these requirements was then the task of urban surveyors who designed street networks and architects who submitted designs for grand competitions, but also built simple and plain tenement houses. However, many other people are also part of the process: officials, contractors, and independent workers. Even their position is often clearly specified in contemporary law, and it may be relevant to recall them in certain situations.

Building codes are usually constructed with the clear and obvious goal of enabling the development of a modern, habitable, and sanitary city. However, their wording indirectly influences many other factors, such as the appearance of buildings themselves. The general aim of the session is to use historical facts to highlight the influence of legislation on the built environment, and through this excursion to show how many unexpected factors are limited by building legislation today, and whether these are intractable problems or architecturally solvable obstacles.


Matthijs Degraeve: Building skills and regulations. Interactions between building codes and the plumbing trade in London, Paris and Brussels (1850-1940).

In many nineteenth- and early twentieth-century cities, extensive urban sanitation schemes were introduced to improve public health, which usually involved the construction of new water supply and sewer systems. For these public systems to take effect, however, they also had to be extended on private property as indoor plumbing. There, the need for new plumbing codes came in. Urban governments aimed to influence the hygienic conditions indoors, which implied closely regulating the manufacturing, installation and use of private sanitary installations.

By thus imposing the use of specific building materials, skills and technologies, the adoption of detailed building regulations placed great and growing demands on building contractors, workers and artisans. Especially in a rapidly developing field as sanitary engineering, they frequently had to adapt their skillset and business operations in response to new building codes. Looking at this process through the case study of plumbers and manufacturers of sanitaryware, however, this paper argues that this was a two-way process of interaction. Builders not only passively adapted, but also actively tried to influence regulations in correspondence with their own business interests which, as a result, have played a role in shaping the morphology of cities as well.

As sanitary habits and forms of water use were highly dependent on local political, urban morphological and environmental conditions, the research focuses on and compares three capital cities, London, Paris and Brussels, where different sets of plumbing regulations were introduced, and where different types of interactions between governments and builders consequently emerged. Based on various government-drafted sources, the paper discusses government-industry interactions in (i) the drafting process of building regulations, (ii) the enforcement of these regulations, and (iii) the attempts to establish a licensing and registration scheme for plumbers.

Eulàlia Gómez-Escoda: Disruptions in the morphological configuration of the regular city: the permanence of historical traces in the plot structure of six blocks of the Barcelona's Eixample grid.

The grid of Barcelona's Eixample designed by Cerdà in 1859 is known today by its high density of inhabitants and its high intensity of uses. Despite the homogeneous layout, the blocks that configure the grid are composed by property units varying in shape and size due to the permanence of embedded historic traces of the agricultural plots that preceded the extension of the modern city. Therefore, the morphology of the resulting buildings, but also the configuration of the membranes that separate the vies [roads] from the intervies [inter-roads] – terms Cerdà used to designate streets and blocks – are determined by invisible imprints that once corresponded to watercourses, paths, or the first tree-lined promenades. Moreover, due to its magnitude and ambition, the grid has been completed over more than 150 years, so the succession of construction ordinances over time has contributed to transferring the boundaries between plots to the three dimensions of the built environment. The limits between Barcelona's Eixample and the once independent municipality of Horta constitute a rich laboratory in which it is possible to find the imprint of traces of the past in the configuration of the grid. Based on the reading of six historical maps and the morphological dissection of the architectures that compose six urban blocks, the paper explains (1) the reasons for the permanence of the agricultural plot structure in the current urban form; (2) the disruptions in the built continuity due to different ordinances; and (3) the architectural outcome of these distortions. The research argues that the permanence over time of the plot structure determines the architectural form which, in turn, shapes the relationship between the public and the private; the balances between fixed and transient activities; and the ways of living, working and occupying the city at ground level.

Roksolyana Holovata: Greening of the city – the "beautification" policy in the late 19th century Lviv

In this presentation, I will introduce the key actors responsible for shaping the municipal policy related to the city's "beautification" and their arguments regarding the arrangement of green spaces. I will also explore how their ideas correlated with the urban policies in late 19th century Lviv.

The broader frame of my research includes several groups of actors who participated in these processes. The first group of actors consisted of the city authorities, specifically the deputies of the Lviv city council who worked at the particular sections. In this case, my focus lies within the building section. The second group comprised the executive body, the Magistrat, whose specialists were involved in the planning and executing parks, including architects and gardeners. The next group included those who used the parks and left their impressions, reflecting on the actions taken by the first and second groups of actors towards the city's greening. Finally, though often invisible to research, the suburban landscape plays also a significant role in my study. However, this presentation will primarily concentrate on the first two groups of actors.

My current research is mainly based on the transcripts of the plenary meetings of the Lviv city council's building section, which have not been analysed in Lviv's historiography before. These documents shed light on the discussions and communication between deputies and the Magistrat.

Using Stryjski Park as an example, which was not the first public park in the city but was perceived by local city authorities as their finest achievement and something to be proud of after the city gained its self-governing status in 1870th, I will explore how this specific milieu aroused the concept of creating a green belt, the "Corso", to unite the city's green areas. Finally, in accordance with this, I will address the following questions: Were there precise strategies for implementing the "Corso"? Was it a unique plan or influenced by examples from other European cities?"

Cate Meredith: Belfast Building Codes: A Hidden Aspect of the Troubles

Thirty years after the signing of the Belfast Peace Agreement, Belfast is no longer the site of assassinations, bombs, and sectarian riots. However, the city remains on permanent war footing – because the British Army designed it that way. Divided by so-called 'peace walls' and carved up by other hidden architectures that are the result of the British Army's usurpation of municipal planning decisions during the Troubles, Belfast is a city unable to rise above its past because it is literally planned to fail.

Using primary source material extracted from the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, the Royal Engineers Museum in Kent, UK, and the National Archives at Kew, my paper illuminates the ways building codes were weaponised for political and military/tactical advantage, which irrevocably altered the morphology of Belfast. Research shows that features that are considered 'typically Belfast', are in fact the result of the security service's demands on the building code: one-way streets, cul-de-sacs, lack of trees and street landscaping, and empty lots were all deliberate choices to advantage the British Army and disadvantage ordinary citizens of Belfast, particularly the Catholic community.

I argue that resulting unattractive features – such as derelict homes and overgrown lots – were intentional attempts to further devalue Belfast's real estate, thus making the city even more reliant on London for its survival.

This paper expands the historiography of the urban history of an important European city, as well as pinpoint the interference of the UK army in what should have been ordinary municipal issues, a subject that has been rumoured for years but never investigated fully.

I submit that as long as Belfast remains stamped with the legacy of the British Army's design, Belfast will never reach its full potential as an open, modern city.

Harald Stühlinger, Josef Holecek: Prague and Vienna - Comparison of Incomparable

Modern building codes have been introduced into Austrian legislation since the beginning of the 19th century. The Prague one in 1815, the Vienna one at the end of the 1920s. The building regulations merged the existing fire regulations and lay down the basic conditions for how houses should be built to be safe and their construction durable. The physical form of the houses is gradually regulated by partial additions to these regulations. These stipulate that modern cities in the first half of the 19th century are not to be lavishly decorated and that facades are to be kept simple.

Similar alterations in both cities diverged significantly after the middle of the century. The Viennese legislation has been responding to the rapid growth and the need to redevelop the city centre since the 1950s, and the new building codes are thus written to allow for more significant redevelopment and expansion. In Prague, this legislative adjustment and expansion would not occur until the century itself.

In both cases, the new legislation will regulate storeys, street widths and other basic parameters that will affect the overall urban design of new and redeveloped neighbourhoods. In various forms, however, the nature of the legislation will also affect the appearance of the buildings themselves: it will affect the number of balconies, bay windows, but not least the sheer variety of styles (from Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Gothic and Neo-Baroque to Art Nouveau and Wagnerian Modern Architecture).

This paper will attempt to show that building codes do not only affect the overall urban regulations, but extend to the design of the building detail itself. These examples will be developed mainly on Prague and Vienna, but will also peripherally touch upon other Austrian cities (Brno, Cracow, Lvov).

S26 Visual Representations as a Path to Participatory Urban History?

Main chair: Kathrin Meißner, M.A., Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technische Universität Berlin
E-mail: kathrin.meissner108@posteo.de

1st Co-chair: Sebastian Haumann, Prof. Dr., Department of Economic, Social and Environmental History, Paris Lodron, Universität Salzburg
E-mail: sebastian.haumann@plus.ac.at

Short abstract

Visualizations are widely understood to facilitate communication between academic historians and an interested public. They seem to hold great potential to open up urban historiography towards the ideals of "Citizens Science". With this session we want to initiate a critical discussion on visualizations as a mean to engage actors beyond academia.

Keywords: Citizen Science, visualisation, participation, visual methods, urban representation, communication


Citizen Science, Participatory Urban History, Visual History, visual representation

Session content

Visualizations have become an integral part of urban historiography because they are seen as a means to reach out to a broader public. This includes the reproduction of historical photographs or plans but also mapping techniques and increasingly interactive digital representations aimed at engaging diverse actors beyond academia. However, the potential of visualizations to serve as a catalyst for communicating urban history across different audiences has not yet been discussed systematically. On the one hand, the use of visual representations has become more sophisticated as historians developed a refined methodology and new technologies opened up new horizons for analyzing, sharing and presenting visual materials. On the other hand, visual representations are central to the popular understanding of the urban past as they depict fragments of 'lost' urban realities and vest them in new meanings. But are maps, photographs or images therefore really suited to bring together academic scrutiny and popular interest? With this session we critically address the potential of visualizations as a communicative instrument that brings together analytical methods of professional historiography and the public interest in images as representations. We want to discuss how the analysis of visual sources as well as methods of visualization can be used in research practices oriented towards the ideals of "Citizen Science". How can professional and lay researchers collaborate e.g., on the interpretation of old photographs or in the production of digital maps? What is to be gained by involving different actors in these research practices? How can visualizations help to diversify the social basis of urban historiography? Because visualizations are both an object of academic scrutiny and a means to engage a broader public, they might open up new ways into participatory research. But are they more accessible to lay historians and the interested public or does their use create new obstacles? How important are scientific competences and the sophisticated methodologies to analyze visual sources and their multilayered representations? What kind of historic realities will be reproduced, and can new approaches contribute to overcome fragmentation in urban historiography? How do research practices need to be adapted to fully make use of visualizations as a communicative instrument?

We invite papers that examine the potential as well as the challenges of using visual media to engage diverse actors in urban historiography. We are interested to learn not only about the success stories of inclusion but also about the persistency of exclusion that might come with the use of visual material. We welcome contributions that discuss these issues from a theoretical perspective as well as from the experience of concrete research projects. The broader aim is to place the reflection on the use of visualizations in urban historiography within the emerging debates on "Citizen Science" or architecturally solvable obstacles.


Vincent Baptist: Sharing Authority and Bridging Objective-Subjective Data Collections in Mapping Rotterdam's Katendrecht

This contribution presents participatory, mapping-oriented research endeavors in Katendrecht, a neighborhood in Rotterdam, the Netherlands' main port city. Throughout Rotterdam's modern history, Katendrecht has occupied a unique position, as an artificial peninsula created during early 20th-century port expansion plans and housing a Chinatown and red-light district in the ensuing decades. Ultimately, Katendrecht saw its long-lasting status of marginalized port area overturned in recent decades, as the neighborhood became the emblematic example of capital-intensive gentrification processes in the port city. Based on apparent tensions between its past and present, experiential ambivalences in and about Katendrecht have been explored with local residents. Initial research set up in Katendrecht comprised the organization and visual mapping of walking interviews with residents. The methodological aims of these interviews were to both construct a substantial sense of 'shared authority' between researcher and participant (particularly, by letting interviewees determine the walking routes themselves), and to bridge objective and subjective data indicators (particularly, by linking interviewees' neighborhood recollections to meaningful 'standstills' during the walks). Resulting in a map that linked together temporal and spatial dimensions of the conducted walks, this visual outcome subsequently formed the starting point of a new participatory research project, aimed at mapping residents' experiences of sound in Katendrecht's public spaces. Currently ongoing, the project's main output, an interactive sound map, will be presented and discussed, both in terms of its methodological underpinnings (linked to ideas of 'deep' and 'mental' mapping) and its potentials and pitfalls in establishing a historically grounded conversation with Katendrecht's community.

Justin Colson: Visualising Layers of London: Participatory Online Mapping across Communities?

Layers of London (layersoflondon.org) is a participatory mapping project which aims to bring together the overlapping layers of experience and community heritage within the city through the paradigm of web mapping. The project was funded by the UK Lottery Heritage Fund from 2017 to 2020. It enabled partnerships with key national heritage organisations, the majority of London's local borough councils, and many independent community groups and schools. There are now more than 400 georeferenced historic map 'overlays' to explore, and more than 14,000 user-contributed mainly photographic 'record' pins. The project also catalysed the development of the HUMAP mapping platform, which now supports numerous other projects and digital library resources.

Layers of London was a major departure from traditional research project approaches for the Institute of Historical Research, and fostered new approaches to community collaboration and partnership. Naturally, this involved both successes and challenges, and prompts reflection on how map-based visualisation can connect academics and communities. Participation worked at many levels and attracted different communities, from crowdsourcing georeferencing of aerial photographs, which attracted a dedicated enthusiasts; to community archiving workshops; and perhaps actually most powerfully community mapping days with chalk and blackboard! Layers of London now continues to grow during its maintenance phase, as we reflect on how best to target our limited continuity resources, and consider future developments in digital infrastructure for community-led place-based histories.

Anda Lucia Spânu: Visual Representations of Towns (of nowadays Romania) as Historiography

Over the centuries, important towns and cities around the world have been the subject of a significant number of drawn, painted, engraved, but above all printed representations. Partial or general urban views made between the two 'cultural revolutions' (printing and photography), i.e. from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 19th century, were printed in books and/or have circulated as prints.

Showing intellectual elitism, cultural historians and art historians have neglected this type of images considering them of low quality. But historical images are important testi¬mo-nies, recording on-the-spot observation of the events depicted, thus allowing us to imagine the past more easily. In fact, their role was to bring the public news, or even better, curiosities from the exotic world of others, be it with other customs, another language, another religion, other geographical location and so on. They satisfied the need for images from distant places felt by those who could not travel.

We are tempted to look at historical images only as valuable objects displayed in museums or kept in special cabinets, forgetting that their purpose was different. It is an error of the modern, dependent on technology people, who forgets that in another historical period people lived differently.

This paper aims to draw attention to the cultural, educational and historiographical role of historical images of towns, studying their role as a medium for transmitting knowledge; from teacher to pupil, from father to son, from author to reader, from artist to viewer.

Erik Sigge: Yesterday's Shared Experience: Historical Visual Representations as the Historian's Research Material

American scholar and city planner Kevin Lynch (1918-1984) was a pioneer in conducting projects for visual representations. Lynch was interested in representations that could be drawn by or communicated with ordinary citizens. A typical example was what Lynch called "community visual survey" for which citizens together with design and planning professionals surveyed a particular community of its current visual form and appearance, while simultaneously addressing historical, present, and future design and planning qualities and problems. Although Lynch and his collaborators were interested in urban history and actively addressed the meanings of historical buildings and the urban past in visual surveys and questionnaires, Lynch's participatory projects were not primarily conducted to investigate or communicate urban history but intended to find out what people thought and felt in urban environments, and ultimately, what kind of architecture and urban design people preferred and wanted. Lynch could be identified as a forerunner in using visual representation for citizen participation in design and planning projects, and there were also parallel explorations, elsewhere, as well as followers of Lynch's ideas and methods.

This paper studies historical participatory projects of urban research (i.e., projects from the past) through the lens of Kevin Lynch and deploys the projects as primary research material. The focus is on the history of participatory visualization projects and their aims, methods, processes, and results, with specific attention on ordinary citizens' visualization of their immediate physical environment. The paper discusses the possibilities of using historical participatory projects as sources for history research and writing. Additionally, the paper speculates on the possibilities and usefulness of using historical participatory projects as means to communicate urban history: whether through renewed analyses of historical "citizen science" projects; as blueprints for reenacting historical projects and their questionnaires and tasks again and comparing the results with the original; or as models for new visual representation projects that could produce what Lynch called "public transcripts" of urban life.

S29 Border cities in the Öresund-region

Main chair: Henning Bro. Senior researcher, PhD, City archive of Frederiksberg, Denmark
E-mail: hebr02@frederiksberg.dk

1st Co-chair: Hanne Sanders. Professor, PhD, The Department of History, Lund University, Sweden
E-mail: hanne.sanders@hist.lu.se

Short abstract

At the session, an introduction to the development of the cities along the Öresund in southernmost Scandinavia is given. It begins with a brief presentation of this urban development and a status of the research positions. This is followed by three presentations that shed light on aspects of the interaction between the Öesund cities from the Middle Ages up to the post-war period. The presentations lead to a discussion about differences and similarities in the development and interaction between the cities across the state border in the Öresund, and other European border city regions, and whether these have acquired the character of more integrated city regions.

Keywords: Scandinavia, Sweden, Denmark, Zealand (Denmark), Northeast Zealand (Denmark), Scania (Sweden), Öresund, The Öresund region, Copenhagen, Denmark), Malmö (Sweden), Helsingborg, (Sweden), Elsinore (Denmark), Landskrona (Sweden), Trelleborg (Sweden), Lund (Sweden), Baltic states, Western Europe


The Middle Ages, the 16th-17th century, the 19th century, the 20th century, market towns, The Danish capital metropolis (The Copenhagen region), urbanization, industrial capitalism, interaction, urban belt, city regions, border cities, border city regions, border.

Session content

As the only place in Scandinavia, already in the Middle Ages, five market towns arose along the Øresund at a relatively short distance: Copenhagen, Elsinore, Helsingborg, Landskrona and Malmö. The cities linked the western and eastern Danish landscapes (Zealand and Scania) together and were at the same time a central point for international trade between the Baltic countries and Western Europe. A position that from the 17th century was weakened or changed by the direct sailing between these parts of Europe and by the fact that the border between Denmark and Sweden was laid in Öresund in 1658.

Although the market towns at Öresund continued to be decisive for the interaction between Zealand and Scania, this southernmost Swedish province did not share in the denser settlement, greater prosperity and occupational differentiation that came to characterize Northeast Zealand until the middle of the 19th century. A consequence of Copenhagen consolidating the economic and political-administrative position of the Danish capital and Scandinavia's largest city from the 17th century.

Regional differences between the landscapes on either side of the Öresund, which were evened out to an ever greater degree with the urbanization of industrial capitalism from the middle of the 19th century. So that in the 20th century two urban regions developed on opposite sides of the Öresund: In Danish Zealand a capital metropolis with Copenhagen as the center and in Swedish Scania an urban belt between Trelleborg in the south and Helsingborg in the north and with the center in Malmö.

At the round table meeting, an introduction to the development of the cities in the Öresund region and a status of the research positions are given. This is followed by three presentations that shed light on: The market town of Elsinore in the urban system around Öresund from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, labor migrations in the Öresund-region from the end of the 18th century to 1900 and Swedish electricity export to the Danish capital metropolis and Danish leisure settlement in southern Sweden since the mid-20th century. The presentations lead to a discussion about differences and similarities in the development and interaction between the cities across the state border in the Öresund region and other European border city regions and whether these have acquired the character of more integrated city regions.


Hanne Sanders: The History of the Öresund Region

The Öresund region is the area around the Sound of Öresund, between Denmark and Sweden. Before 1658 it was the centre of Denmark with Copenhagen, the capital and the political centre, from at least the 17th century, on the western side and the centre of the Danish Church, from the early Medieval time, in Lund on the eastern side. Around Öresund, there were lots of trade activities and trade towns. And in the rural areas, there were lot of peasants and rich noblemen. It was the wealthiest and most important part of Denmark.

In the middle of this area, a new border between Denmark and Sweden was the result of a war in 1658. In traditional history writing, this is the story about a hard borderline between the Danish and the Swedish states – between national laws and national identities. A border stopping the old contacts and the possibilities of making new contacts.

In our research group we are critical to this. The early modern states did not have those strong borders – not that strong states and not such fixed national identities. We want to look for a transnational region with contacts similar to those before 1658, but also contacts using new possibilities after that. This was of course equally important for all the towns and urban areas – they got a special and interesting position in this border region, which we will show.

Jørgen Mikkelsen: Elsinore – frontier town, transit town and one of Denmark's most distinct network towns

Elsinore takes up a unique role in the Danish urban system. Situated in the North-Eastern corner of the island of Zealand, Elsinore has a more limited catchment area than most of the Danish towns, and in addition the hinterland has always been a well-wooded area. However, as the distance to Scania is just c. 5 kilometres, there has - probably since the Middle Ages - been much maritime traffic between Elsinore and the villages near the Western coast of Scania. And since Elsinore was much bigger and presumably had more trades than the towns in this part of Scania, we may assume that the tradesmen in Elsinore were able to attract many people from parishes east of Öresund at market days in Elsinore. It is, however, widely held that the relations between Elsinore and Scania were much reduced after 1658, when Scania was transferred to Sweden. From c. 1500 to the 1850s the development of Elsinore was strongly influenced by the towns' role as the place, where the skippers going through the Danish fairways on their journeys between Western and Eastern Europe paid the Sound Toll. This function laid the groundwork for different trade and service activities in Elsinore. Besides, it gave the town a much more international character than other provincial towns in Denmark. Thus many tradesmen from other countries, especially Britain, settled in Elsinore. Entries in the towns' books about trade licence show that Elsinore got many citizens from Scania in the 18th century. Likewise, registers about passport examination give evidence of a rather large-scale immigration from Scania to Elsinore in the 19th century, though many of these persons only used Elsinore as the first place of sojurn on their way to other parts of Denmark. In my presentation I'll point out several features making Elsinore to something special in the Danish urban landscape, but I'll also describe, how the town interacted with neighbouring towns and villages in Zealand and Scania.

Per-Markku Ristilammi: The Bridge, The Nation State and Shape Shifting Modernity

Before and during the building period of the Öresund bridge in the late 1990´s, the diminished importance of nation-states was predicted. A new Europe of the border regions would emerge and more and more decision-making would take place at a supranational EU or regional level. The new transnational Öresund connection would, both symbolically and practically, be at the forefront of this development and be a growth engine for the entire new border region.

An important element in the marketing and identity building around the new region was the highlighting of a special form of Scandinavian state-led modernity in the region with an emphasis on high quality of life, open and democratic societies, with egalitarian ideals and with rationality as a guiding light. At the same time, this promotion was also aimed at international capital markets with an emphasis on high technological know-how and peaceful labor markets.

However, what was already clear during the bridge-building period was that the nation-states were not as weak as a certain form of rhetoric suggested. National differences in the perception of how the rational, modern society should be organized became clear when national regulations were to be adapted through regional construction.

The development since then with the refugee crisis in 2015, the introduction of border controls in Europe and the region shows that the national modernity projects have changed shape.

S30 (De)constructing Cold War Urban Space Along the Border: the case of Yugoslavia, Italy, and beyond

Main chair: Federico Tenca Montini, Regional Institute for the History of the Resistance and the Contemporary Age, Trieste
E-mail: federicotenca@gmail.com

Short abstract

This session will discuss urban policies as a constituent factor of the Cold War representations. The case of the Italian-Yugoslav border poses the basis for further discussion to  strengthen/deconstruct the discourse on ideologically-charged urban policies as a field of confrontation which may or may not be an exclusive feature of the Cold war.

Keywords: Borderland cities, Cold war cities, Contested cities, Modernism, Media and the city.


A discussion between experts on the importance of cold-war dynamics in urban developments

Session content

The case of the Italian-Yugoslav border area, which is the topic of interest of the ERC project Open Borders, will pose the basis for further discussion to strengthen/deconstruct the discourse on ideologically-charged urban policies as a field of confrontation between States which may or may not be an exclusive feature of the Cold war, provided such confrontation was more visible between countries which belonged to different ideological blocks or other poles of political and ideological confrontation such as developed/ developing countries. The Yugoslav hence offers a perfect point to start a discussion on the topic, as Belgrade was both the capital of a socialist country and the capital of the country which de facto led the nonaligned movement.

Speaking first about contested city of Trieste on the border between Italy and Yugoslavia, its urban fabric underwent post-war reconstruction that left little space for anything outside the imaginary of "Italianess". On the other side of the border, Venetian towns were reconfigured along the new requirements of the socialist modernization and the new town of Nova Gorica was built as the spatial semblance of socialism opposite to the capitalist order on the other side of the border. Numerous monuments erected on both side of the border conveyed a clear message to whom this area belongs.

Although ideological markers remained clearly visible, urban space along the Italian-Yugoslav border changed its function of national and ideological demarcation into the place of exchanges. Rather than assuming its original role as a "lighthouse" of socialism/capitalism, these towns established themselves as an entering point either in Western or Eastern direction, a meeting space of people, goods and ideas. If the Berlin ceased to be such place in 1961, towns along the Yugoslav-Italian border welcomed increasing number of visitors from the other side of the border.

Talking about Italian and Slovenian (Yugoslav) political and media discourses revolving around urban space, our round table will deal with the issue how the changing political circumstances influenced the discourse about the urban space: what was espoused as divisive in the immediate post-war years and how the later transformation was represented before the general public from both sides of the border. In this regard, the typical issue was how to accommodate and justify Nova Gorica's gambling facilities. Moreover, media discourse analysis offers insight of both how the Yugoslav press and TV portraited urban developments on the two sides of the border, how the Italian media did it, and the role of the media controlled by the Slovene minority in Trieste.

The discussion will be open to scholars who are familiar with urban studies in borderland other than the contact zone between the Communist and Capitalist worlds, which will help develop an approach to borderland urban studies better aware of stereotypes which often affect even the most established scholars.


Jure Ramšak: The Hard and Soft Tissues of Socialism in the Urban Spaces along the Yugoslav-Italian Border during the Cold War

The border dispute and clash of ideologies that defined the Northern Adriatic in the aftermath of WWII, coupled with the geopolitical rivalry that made it one of the earliest Cold War hotspots, endowed this region with a specific spatial dispositive. In the northern part of this area, where a new border between Italy and Yugoslavia was established in 1947, Yugoslav authorities hastily began building the new town of Nova Gorica, just across the barbed wire from the old regional capital Gorizia, which remained in Italy. Instead of adopting typical forms of socialist realism, its architect Edvard Ravnikar applied Le Corbusier's principles of modernist urban planning and architecture to create an environment that would be presented as ideal for the "new socialist man". In the southern part of this area, where the border remained disputed until 1954 and the final agreement was only reached in 1975, spatial representation of power was imposed in a similar fashion through modernist interventions into the fabric of medieval Venetian towns. The counterpoising of these new tissues of socialism with more commercially-oriented venues along the length of the Italian-Yugoslav border increasingly reflected Yugoslavia's new, in-between position from the early 1960s onwards. Initially unassuming places of consumption evolved into enclaves of purely capitalist entertainment during late socialism, with glittering casinos only accessible to Italian and other western European visitors as the most obvious example. With a view on the massive shifts that Yugoslav political economy and culture underwent from the 1940s to the 1980s, my paper will explore the complex relationship between the socialist identity, values and urban governance, on the one hand, and the profit-oriented re-invention of borderland urban landscape, on the other. This transformation eventually resulted in changes to the prevailing aesthetic regime, the local labour structure, and the overall process of respatialization.

Raimondo Mercadante: The Architecture of the Karst Group in the framework of the economic development perspectives made possible by the Osimo Treaty (1976-1989)

The architecture of the Kras Group (1976-1989), whose projects and achievements have been decisive for Slovenian architecture of the end of 20th century, was inextricably linked to the socio-economic developments following the Osimo Treaty, signed in 1975 by the Italian and the Yugoslav governments. The Treaty put an end to the political tension lasting since the beginnings of the Cold War, paving the way for the economic cooperation agreements and the protocol for a industry and trade free zone. This extraordinarily animated moment, albeit destined to failure both in its economic and socio-political side, stimulated the entrepreneurial activity of the building firms, like the construction company "Kraški zidar" from Sežana, whose project office TOZD Projektiva Inženiring was joined by the architect Vojteh Ravnikar (1943-2010), together with his colleague Marko Dekleva (Postojna, 1943), Matjaž Garzarolli (Ilirska Bistrica, 1948-2018) and Egon Vatovec (Vremski Britof, 1944), who even designed the logo for the company. The architectural and planning work of the group may be interpreted as a sign of the economic boost given by the Osimo agreements, which gave a renewed impetus to the construction sector in a peripheral area of Slovenia. For a few years, in fact, the Karst area became the seat of the new architectural tendencies with several works in Sežana, Dutovlje, Nova Gorica, Fernetti, Kozina and Lipica, where the typological elements rediscovered by the Italian coeval masters, like Semerani and Rossi, merged with the lemmas of the vernacular architecture from Karst. The paper analyzes the architecture of the Kras Group as a concrete answer to the issue of redefining the identity of the border between Italy and Yugoslavia (scilicet with the Slovenian republic from 1991 onwards), by rediscovering the material and economic background of the "Kraški zidar" building firm, which has not been sufficiently considered in the previous studies.

Federico Tenca Montini: Cold architectural war in Urban Spaces along the Yugoslav-Italian Border during the Cold War

The integration of the Upper Adriatic region, which had formerly been part of distinct imperial settings, into two states with differing ideological orientations following World War II - Italy, oriented toward the West, and Yugoslavia, initially pro-Soviet and later independently socialist - gave rise to various forms of collaboration, competition, and distinct strategies for valuing the pre-existing cultural heritage across various domains. Among these domains, architecture stands out due to its association with the diverse construction and reconstruction approaches employed in the border-adjacent areas. These dynamics were exacerbated, on one hand, by the fact that these regions had borne the brunt of the haphazard redefinition of border lines. On the other hand, these were also areas heavily affected by conflict, as seen in the case of Zadar.

With historians having already thoroughly examined the institutional and architectural aspects of this issue, the purpose of my paper is to delve into the usage of post-war architecture in the context of the Cold War. Such usage of architecture is primarily viewed as a symbolic contest between distinct political systems. By scrutinizing local newspapers such as "Il Piccolo," "Slovenski Jadran," "Nova Gorica," and "Primorske Novice," reviewing pertinent scholarly works and exploring relevant films and documentaries, my contribution aims to provide a foundation for discussion and future research. This research is essential for comprehending a crucial aspect of the Cold War's history at the Italy-Yugoslavia border, where capitalism and socialism, Venetian and Habsburg heritages, neoclassicism and various modernist architectural approaches intersect.

Updated: 20. 05. 2024