Throughout the 20th century, urban planning constituted itself as an important tool to spatially direct social developments. This applies to Europe more so than to any other continent. Urban planning contributed significantly to the emergence of the welfare state, strong economies and a relatively balanced settlement structure. However, urban planning also caused the suppression and destruction of some population groups, alongside natural and cultural resources. With the collapse of socialism in 1990, and the increasing importance of the EU, the 20th century ended with a multi-layered convergence in regard to the implementation of urban planning as a regulative and shaping instrument. Most studies on 20th century urban planning adopt a national perspective, while studies aiming to provide an overview focus on several core countries. Furthermore, methodological approaches are very heterogeneous.
UrbanHist is a multidisciplinary research and training program whose aim is to develop and sustainably promote a joint understanding of the history of urban planning in the 20th century from a European perspective. 15 early stage researchers will work in 8 thematic fields on the development and sustainable promotion of a joint understanding of 20th century European urbanism. They will be embedded into a network of high-profile academics and practitioners.
The programme is run by a consortium of universities in co-operation with institutions and companies operating in the fields of planning, urban design, architecture, management, history etc. The Consortium is formed by Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Germany), Blekinge Tekniska Högskola (Sweden), Universidad de Valladolid (Spain) and Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Šafárika v Košiciach (Slovakia).
Complementing contributions of academic and non-academic partners will systematically increase the scientific level of the project. New knowledge, critical debates and dissemination will be strengthened. A reflective European identity will be promoted. UrbanHist intends to facilitate the breakthrough of the European planning history debate, which is currently in its initial phase of development. The four beneficiaries and their partners have different areas of expertise with regard to international planning history as well as international cooperation. They can look back on a long history of collaboration. The promotion of foreign doctoral students is part of daily university routine. In regard to the promotion and internationalisation of doctoral students, the four universities have already achieved a high standard.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 721933 — UrbanHist.