Conference Report: Windows upon Planning History Kassel, Germany, 7-9 February 2013

By Diefendorf, Jeffry M. | The Town Planning Review, July 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Conference Report: Windows upon Planning History Kassel, Germany, 7-9 February 2013


Diefendorf, Jeffry M., The Town Planning Review


Part of the inspiration for this conference, hosted by Uwe Altrock and Friedhelm Fischer - town planning historians at the University of Kassel - was concern about a generational change brought about by the retirement or forthcoming retirement of major scholars/participants, such as Harald Bodenschatz, Dirk Schubert, Gerhard Fehl, Hans Harms, Ursula von Petz, Hartmut Frank, Giorgio Piccinato and now Friedhelm Fischer. Thus, the goal of the conference was to explore how the history of the field of planning history and the directions it might go in the future have been shaped by new insights, paradigm changes, professional associations, journals and electronic resources. Altrock and Fischer hoped that the presentations and discussions would interest established scholars and inspire the numerous Kassel students in the audience to devote themselves to planning history. The term 'windows' was to serve as a heuristic metaphor - a framework for looking outward at specific examples of planning history and looking inward at underlying theories and challenges for scholars. As Fischer stated, one should ask why some 'windows' have been neglected or not opened at all. Throughout the conference, there was sufficient scheduling flexibility to allow for full Powerpoint-aided papers and ample comments from those in the audience.

About half of the paper presenters, session chairs and discussants were German, with the remainder from other European countries, Australia and the United States. The language for everyone, however, was English, and Fischer expects to publish a book in English containing the papers that were presented. This is itself interesting, since the keynote speaker, Stephen Ward (Oxford Brookes University), and others observed that English has been the primary language in international planning history, as well as being dominant in terms of publication and conferences -something that has perhaps been to the neglect of the history of planning in non-English language countries, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America, even 'though planning history is truly international and interdisciplinary'.1 Ward also observed that planning history has tended to be highly empirical, concentrating on modernist planning models and planners, individual cities or types of cities (such as new towns, capital cities and war-damaged cities) and the influence of such things as local culture and the conservation of historic monuments. The discipline has shied away from theoretical thinking, offering big generalisations or providing grand narratives.2

Eye-openers and long-range perspectives

Max Welch Guerra (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar) opened the first conference session by discussing how the evolution of urban studies and planning history at Aachen's Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH Aachen) helped to shape the field in Germany. Social-scientific studies of housing during the era of National Socialism and urban design in fascist Italy involved the examination of planning, the inhabitants of realised housing projects and the broader impact on the city as a whole. This approach marked a move towards urbanism based on social-science theories, which included the political, social and economic conditions underlying planning and urban design. Harald Kegler (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar) then offered a new perspective on continuities in design and planning history in the former German Democratic Republic that spanned the twentieth century. Thus, in the 1970s and 1980s, colloquia were held in Weimar to explore the history of the Bauhaus, celebrate the birthdays of Walter Gropius, Ernst May, Mies van der Rohe and Hannes Meyer and examine issues such as urban ecology and how economic and technical advances would shape future planning. In other words, the study of planning history was not restricted to a narrow post-1945 Marxist perspective.

Harald Bodenschatz (formerly of the RWTH in Aachen, now the Technische Universität Berlin) followed by offering a new window on urban design under the dictatorial regimes of Mussolini, Stalin, Salazar, Hitler and Franco. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Conference Report: Windows upon Planning History Kassel, Germany, 7-9 February 2013
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.