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Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (BUW)

Aliaksandr Shuba

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Contact: aliaksandr.shuba@uni-weimar.de

Education: MA in Heritage Studies, European Humanities University, Vilnius

Supervision: M. Welch Guerra (BUW), M. Pekár (UPJŠ)

Research Project: The Soviet historiography of urban planning. A critical analysis of cross-nationally oriented publications from the 20th century in Slavic languages.


For decades, the interpretation of the history of architecture and urban planning in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe was directly determined by the Communist party and institutional control. Since the 1980s and 1990s, a new urbanism historiography has been emerging, with differences between individual nations. More recent cross-national representations of the history and theory of urban planning in Slavic nations are rare. This IRP will provide an analytical overview of works published in Slavic languages from the Soviet era, which apply a multi- or transnational perspective and incorporate such insights into an overreaching pan-European historiography.


“The individual research is dedicated to the Soviet historiography with a critical analysis of Soviet cross-national publications on the global history and theory of urban planning. The main objective is to deconstruct and contextualize the Soviet meta-narratives with the available historiographic corpus of esteemed publications in the Slavic languages with their compelling perspectives. The research would mark the distinguished publications with professional architectural discourses and debates, which is contextualized with archival documents and personal memories.” 

Helene Bihlmaier

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Contact: helene.bihlmaier@uni-weimar.de

Education: M.Sc. in Architecture, ETH Zurich

Supervision: M. Welch Guerra (BUW), M. Castrillo Romón (UVa)

Research Project: Manuals as agents in the formation process of town planning as an academic subject and profession in Great Britain 1900–1915 [working title]


In response to the poor housing conditions in extensively growing cities of the 19th century, an independent town planning discourse emerged in Great Britain around 1900. This discourse soon opened up to innovative concepts from Germany, France, and North America, which at that time already had several years of experience in that field. Professional exchange at national and international level inspired British pioneers to compile their practical know-how and fundamental studies into comprehensive textbooks. Due to the high actuality of the topic, such early town planning manuals were used widely for education purposes or as reference works. Owing to their introduction of professional terminology and their impact on legislation and education, these handbooks shaped the contemporary discourse on town planning and, in the same way, still affect our current understanding of its concept.

„In my research, I focus on the diffusion of town planning knowledge – and in particular historiographic narratives – as documented in British town planning manuals between 1900 and the outbreak of the First World War. I assume that such an investigation, especially in comparison with crucial contemporary German-language and North American writings, will shed light on the role, which these manuals played during the formative years of urban planning as an academic subject and profession.”

Azmah Arzmi

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Contact: azmah.arzmi@uni-weimar.de

Education: Masters in Architecture (M.Sc.), University of Kent

Supervision: M. Welch Guerra (BUW),M. Spurný (UPJŠ) 

Research Project: Central planned economies and weak urban planning. Explaining a paradox in the European countries of state socialism.


This IRP aims to provide an analysis of the relationship between urbanism and dominant steering mechanisms in two state socialist nations with divergent political approaches. The Soviet Union and – in the second half of the 20th century – the countries in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe applied urbanism as an important instrument for the implementation of development strategies. Although there were regional differences (e.g. between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union), the centrally planned economies went generally along weak urban planning.


“With land nationalization and restriction of private land ownership, it may be tempting to assume that the countries of centrally-planned economy would be better in urban planning. However, in the former socialist states of Central and East Europe, urban planning has always been subjugated to heavy industrialization and other aspects of sectoral plannings. Thus, I intend to use this paradox as an initial idea to explore further and do a comparative study between the GDR and Czechoslovakia of its different historical phases, political processes and other factors that formed the cities of its time.”

Marcelo Sagot Better


Contact: marcelo.sagot.better@uni-weimar.de

Education: MSc in Spatial Planning, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; MSc in European Spatial Planning and Environmental Policy, Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom

Supervision: M. Welch Guerra (BUW), A. Abarkan (BTH)

Research Project: Urbanism in Europe in the 20th century. One-Hundred years of reforming capitalism.


The initially reparational, punctually reactioning and later society shaping function of urbanism developed in an important instrument for structural adaptations of capitalism in order to reroute the societal modes. This pertains to the broad spectrum from parliamentary democracies to terrorist dictatorship. Housing policy since the 1920s is an example of how the different regimes applied urbanism to continue developing the capitalist model according to a modified mode of reproduction. Housing policy was often a means to re-appropriate resources from real-estate to large industry. This was accompanied by the adoption of Fordist innovations for urban production and, during the final third of the century, a reorientation towards a post-Fordist developmental model. 


“Regarding the research, my aim is to explore the relation between housing schemes and the development of the European capitalist agenda from the perspective of the dispositive , in order to develop a theoretical critique of the different historical stages of the phenomena over the 20th century. “

Universidad de Valladolid (UVa)

Noel Manzano

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Contact: noelantonio.manzano@uva.es

Education: M.A. in Architecture, Universidad de Valladolid, M.A. in Sociology, Université Paris 8

Supervision: M. Castrillo Romón (UVa), M. Welch Guerra (BUW) 

Research Project: Housing and early 20th century urbanism in Europe: sharing ideas, models and practices beyond frontiers


This IRP is intended to study the history of housing urban areas growing out of institutional rules in the European cities from the point of view of the different relationships that it set up with the evolution of the urban planning in Europe along the 20th century. This subject is related, on one hand, to the research field focusing on the history of marginal working-class housing in Europe and, on the other hand, to the history of urban planning. The approach proposed looks for focusing on the mutual influences and adaptations between the effective urban making and the conception of urban planning as a spatial tool for the government of the cities.


“The purpose of the research is to study the interactions between marginal urbanisation and urban planning in the European 20th century. 

Elvira Khairullina

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Contact: elvira.khairullina@alumnos.uva.es

Education: M.A. in Urban Planning, University of Granada

Supervision: L. Santos y Ganges (UVa), J. Hofierka (UPJŠ)

Research Project: Contemporary History of Technical Infrastructures in European Cities and in Urban Planning


The research objective is to contribute to the knowledge about road infrastructure and transport planning and its role in urban transformation in Eastern European cities in socialist period. The topic will be approached from the perspective of history including 3 main focuses: history of socialism, history of urban planning and road infrastructure planning history in conjunction with the city. Through the analysis of urban theory and different contexts it is expected to determine the level of interrelation of theoretical ideas in road infrastructure planning, as well as applying comparative analysis of case studies to identify its specific contexts and urban characteristics.


“I plan to identify the interrelations of currents and patterns of ideas in planning transport infrastructure, as well as their urban characteristics in order to contribute to an overview on the planning of the cities of Eastern Europe during the socialist period.“

Federico Camerin

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Contact: federico.camerin@uva.es

Education: 2-year graduate degree in Inter-University Graduate Degree Programme in “City and Environment: planning and policies”; European postgraduate degree in “Planning & policies for cities, environment and landscape”, Department of Design and Planning in Complex Environment, IUAV University of Venice

Supervision: A. Álvarez Mora (UVa), M. Welch Guerra (BUW)

Research Project: Urban Heritage Planning, its Relations to Real-Estate, Economic and Social Models in 20th Century Europe


This IRP aims to describe relations among governmental practices on urban ‘heritagisation’ and class interests expressed in dominant real-estate, economic and social models along 20th century in Europe. Particularly, it aims to explore the historical evolution about use and ownership of urban heritage areas, and also its relation to urbanism.


“The thesis has a double objective in an exercise of urban history periodization of the twentieth century. Firstly, it is aimed to understand why the “urban empties” coming from the great properties are taken place in the European city, and how they take part in the historical construction of the city as they are produced as a real estate object. Secondly, and in close relation with the first objective, it will be studied how the urban voids intervene, a posteriori, in the materialization of a new “model” of city in the process of its construction.“

Ksenija Krsmanovic

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Contact:  ksenija.krsmanovic@uva.es

Education: M.Sc. in Urban Planning and Policy Design, Politecnico di Milano

Supervision: J.L. de las Rivas Sanz (UVa), A. Abarkan (BTH)

Research Project: Urbanism and landscape in the evolution of urban heritage policies during the 20th century


Objectives are, in the first place and with a comparative method, to expose the evolution of planning concepts and tools for urban preservation in several European Countries, secondly to investigate how landscape is interpreted by European urbanism related with the historic cities and, third, to inquire into the European urban culture about the evolution of ideas related with the historic city preservation and about the consolidation of common concepts, principles and practices in this issue.


"My research focuses on precedents of urban regeneration concept and the evolution of urban preservation and regeneration policies, on the river waterfronts cases in inner city areas of various European historic cities, in the second half of the 20th century. The aim is to develop acknowledgement about the interaction between urban regeneration policies and urban landscape by using selected cases. ”

Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Šafárika v Košiciach (UPJŠ)

Agnès Dudych

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Contact: agnes.dudych@upjs.sk

Education: M.A. in Urban Planning, University of Lille

Supervision: P. Roubal (UPJŠ),  Š. Šutaj (UPJŠ), M. Welch Guerra (BUW)

Research Project: Soviet urban studies and their influence on urbanism in Central Europe


To explore the impact of the Soviet urban studies on the urban planning in Central Europe both as an academic discipline as well as practice. The project will look at how the Soviet urban planning influenced the left-avant-garde projects of the inter-war period, the direct “sovietisation” of the urban planning under Stalinism (especially in the case of new cities) and the impact of Khrushchev criticism of architecture and shift to the pre-fab housing. The project will look at the conceptual competition between the two main blueprints for Central European urbanists, the Soviet urban planning and the mainstream western urban planning.


“My work will consist of analysing the site of housing estate in Košice, Západ, and by comparison with western examples it will aim at underlining its specifics. “

Adam Górka

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Contact: adam.gorka@upjs.sk

Education: Master degree in Geography, Jagiellonian University, Kraków

Supervision:  J. Hofierka (UPJŠ), A. Abarkan (BTH)

Research Project: Understanding the morphological changes in post-socialist cities using virtual 3-D city models


Rapid economic changes in many post-socialist countries are the most visible in large cities. The continued urban growth, profound social and economic changes have led to new suburban areas as well as development of new buildings and zones within the cities. This is manifested by a construction of large shopping and business centres. This has also lead to changes in visual perception of the urban landscape by inhabitants or visitors of the city. The aim of this project is to use virtual city models derived from available data source to understand morphological changes in the selected post-socialist cities over the last few decades. This comparative analysis will help to understand the factors and dynamics of the urban development.


“In my research I'll try to detect and understand processes that took place and changed morphology of post-socialistic cities. To do that I'll use a virtual 3-D model of the cities and refer to available historical sources. “

Ondřej Jirásek

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Contact: ondrej.jirasek@upjs.sk

Education: Master degree in Geoinformatics, Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, Olomouc  

Supervision: M. Pekár (UPJŠ), M. Jiménez Jiménez (UVa)

Research Project: “Small” European dictatorships in the 1st half of the 20th century – the national principle and its place in the public space


To explore and analyse the wide-spread practice of the symbolic transformation of European cities in the interwar period and in the years 1939 – 1945 that was accompanied by physical ethnic and political “cleansing”. The project will look at how the dictatorships tried to change the symbolic map of cities (often reflecting their inability to change the physical map) and to create a new city semiotics. It will look at the everyday practices of accommodation and resistance of the city dwellers to these changes.

“The project is based on the exploration, analysis and comparison of the widespread practice of symbolic transformation of European cities under "small" dictatorships in the interwar period and between 1939 and 1945 accompanied by physical ethnic and political “cleansing”. It aims at comparing the approaches of the dictatorships to change and transform the symbolic map of the cities and its semiotics. “

Jovana Janinović

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Contact:  jovana.janinovic@upjs.sk

Education: M.A. in World History, Charles University Prague; M.A. in Social Sciences (Territories, Spaces, Societies), EHESS Paris  

Supervision: Š. Šutaj (UPJŠ), L. Santos Ganges (UVa)

Research Project:  Institutionalised historical memory and the city


Based on selected examples of European cities, the IRP aims at analysing and comparing the state and local authority approaches to their own national history - through activities and the way of existence of institutionalized elements of historical memory (archives, museums, different levels of education, textbooks and teaching materials) and through promoting the history of the city.


“This research project presents a critical inquiry into the role of uncomfortable heritage in urban “re-branding”, with the particular focus on the specifics of politics of memory, forgetting and revisionism in post-communist Europe. It addresses legacies of unwanted, ambivalent or unacknowledged past and different strategies employed by both states and private actors in “re-branding” their national history and heritage, ensuring its preservation, but re-contextualizing the narrative of the past through contemporary tourism practices. It questions the interplay between nostalgia, memory and market in the post-socialist urban development, and the role of heritage in “polishing” the history of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes in Europe. “

Blekinge Tekniska Högskola (BTH)

Susanna Weddige

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Contact: susanna.weddige@bth.se

Education: M.A. in History, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena

Supervision: A. Abarkan (BTH),  M.Pekár (UPJŠ) 

Research Project: Theoretical Writings and The Establishment of urbanism as profession and discipline


The influence of writings on town planning in German (Städtebau, Stadtbaukunst) at the end of the 19th century had a pivotal impact on the development of the discourse on urban planning and its emergence and consolidation as a new discipline in Europe. The early protagonists developed topics around the consequences of industrialisation and urban growth, that is mainly town extension (Stadterweiterung) and a highly artistic definition of this new professional task. Vienna provided important impulses, for example through the competition of the Ring Road in 1858. This research project focuses on less noticed and known authors like the countess Adelheid von Poninska, the art historian Rudolph Eitelberger von Edelberg as well as the architect and master builder Ludwig Förster, to examine their influences on the discourse and the transfer of ideas in a European context. 

“The challenges and problems of urban planning today result from decisions that have been made by the time of the establishment of the profession at the beginning of the 20th century. Understanding these decisions and their consequences in the complexity of a European context is central for my research. “

Andreea-Christiana Blaga

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Contact: andreea.blaga@bth.se

Education: M.Sc. in Architecture, “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest; M.Sc. in Spatial Planning (Specialisation: Sustainable Urban Planning), Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Karlskrona

Supervision: A. Abarkan (BTH), M.Welch Guerra (BUW)

Research Project: Planning for growth and social welfare


Urban growth is and has always been the most targeted aim in urban policy development and governance. Cities worldwide set up their agendas and strategies for urban growth, albeit with different focuses, but still aiming at social and economic growth. Urbanism as the tool of planning the growth has also been “constructed” in a new liberal discourse field, rarely in a participatory attempt aiming to involve communities in urbanism. The necessary questions in this field of growth and welfare society include: Are planning policies meant to promote the growth of the whole society on an equality basis and with an orientation towards sustainability? Are urbanistic tools and strategies adapted to promote growth for all? What are the differences and the similarities in the discourses, planning instruments and outcomes among European large cities? A comparative study on the issue of planning for the growth and welfare society in major Western European cities aims at deepening the understanding of urban growth and the extent to which planning for growth and welfare society can be possible in the actual multicultural European city.


“In my research, I plan to analyse the transformation of the social city which will be addressed both empirically and theoretically in a number of concrete case studies, whereby the Swedish capital, Stockholm, will be the central figure. The time frame that I will cover starts with the beginning of the twentieth century, more specifically with the emergence of the garden city concept. Accordingly, my research will step-wise follow the evolution of the social city until the establishment of the welfare regimes. The case studies will concentrate on the urban development trying to have a closer look at the economic and social structure in order to trace the particular response to site-specific social problems. “

Andrea Gimeno Sánchez

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Contact: agi@bth.se

Education: Master degree in Advanced Architectural Projects,MPAA.,Madrid School of Architecture ETSAM; Architect from Polytechnic University of Valencia ETSAV  

Supervision: A. Abarkan (BTH), M. Castrillo Romón (UVa)

Research Project: New liberal planning and sustainable urban development


The power relation between politics and economy has often been crucial to the urban models advocated and shaped and to a corresponding urbanity. This power relation is therefore an important field of investigation in order to elucidate how economic development has been dealt with from the political sphere, and what are the consequences of the different political regimes’ consideration and programmes for welfare and growth. The promotion of growth is the agenda of every city and regional development authority, thus the manner to promote the development and growth has been oscillating between nationalising and privatising the means and sources of production and growth. It seems that this bipolarity is disappearing to leave the whole field of action to an economic development steered and managed by the capital and investment companies. This new arena of planning and shaping growth has been labelled New Liberal Urbanism, which is today advocated in the majority of cities in Europe.


“My research is a historic comparative study on the issue of planning for the growth and welfare society in major Western European cities  from the housing perspective and how it is promoted in different political regimes. “

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