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How Long are New Towns New? European Post-War New Towns as Authentic Places in a Comparative Perspective

How Long are New Towns New? European Post-War New Towns as Authentic Places in a Comparative Perspective

Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam / Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam, Ana Kladnik, Andreas Ludwig
Am Neuen Markt 9d, Large Seminar Room / Großer Seminarraum
Vom - Bis
23.02.2017 - 24.02.2017
Ana Kladnik

Over recent years, European New Towns have been debated in architectural, social and historical perspectives respectively. They have been interpreted as model cities of the post-war era, solutions to housing shortages, a new way of living, either a social failure or success, and as nation-building projects. In contrast to architectural and urban history and social sciences, a historical perspective has not yet been fully developed. The workshop will address the historical dimension and recognition of the New Towns. Should they be seen as mainly functional housing entities to serve industrial and urban development or, for example, as places with specific authenticities of the post-World War Two era and high modernity? The workshop’s title "How Long are New Towns New?" refers to the possible "making" of New Towns as authentic places of their time. It will inspect their historicity within East and West European context and touch the Mediterranean and global developments. The workshop will raise questions whether New Towns have already been discussed as places of national or cultural heritage and how are they represented in the public sphere (museums, tourism, and media)? By examining the existing research on New Towns within the fields of contemporary history and within the debate on historical authenticity, the workshop aims to reconstruct the developments and the different layers of authenticity of New Towns, to discuss attributions of authenticity to New Towns, and to analyze forms and actors of rediscovering New Towns as authentic places.


THURSDAY, 23 February 2017

Greetings (14:30-14:40)
Martin Sabrow

Introduction (14:40-15:00)
Ana Kladnik and Andreas Ludwig

Panel 1 (15:00-17:00): Historical Recognition of New Towns in Post-War Europe
Chair: Christoph Bernhardt (Erkner)
Rosemary Wakeman (New York): Ideal Cities and the Origins of the New Town Movement
Loic Vadelorge (Paris): Building and Conserving the French New Towns: From the Uses of Past to the Management of Heritages (1970-2010)
Eszter Gantner (Marburg): Heritagezation of New Towns after 1989 in East Central Europe

17:00-17:30 Coffee break

Panel 2 (17:30-19:00): Mass Housing as Erinnerungsort
Chair: Thomas Lindenberger (Potsdam)
Miles Glendinning (Edinburgh): European Mass Housing in its Global Context
Florian Urban (Glasgow): ‘The Slab’ in East Germany - an Ambivalent Heritage

19:30 Dinner

FRIDAY, 24 February 2017

Panel 3 (9:00–11:00): New Towns as Cultural / National / World Heritage
Chair: Thomas Schaarschmidt (Potsdam)
Marina Epstein-Pliouchtch (Haifa): "White City" Myth of Tel-Aviv, Canonization of the Modernist Heritage
Shane Downer (Milton Keynes): From New Town to International City – Culture Led Development in the Growth of Milton Keynes
Kaja Širok (Ljubljana): Rise and Shine: The Construction of the City of Nova Gorica and its Present-Day Social Legacy

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break

Panel 4 (11:30-13:00): Public Representation of European Post-War New Towns
Chair: Albrecht Wiesener (Cottbus-Senftenberg)
Michał Wiśniewski and Helena Postawka-Lech (Krakow): The Architecture of Nowa Huta
Michelle Provoost (Rotterdam): Coming of Age: Reinventing New Towns in the Rotterdam and Amsterdam region

13:00 Lunch

Round Table / Final Discussion (14:30 – 16:00): Characteristics of European Post-War New Towns as Places of Historical Authenticity
Moderators: Ana Kladnik and Andreas Ludwig
Discussants: Wolfgang Kil, Michelle Provoost, Achim Saupe and Rosemary Wakeman

This workshop has been kindly supported by
the Leibniz Research Alliance Historical Authenticity.

The workshop is open to the public.
Due to limited seats, please register via
until 17 February 2017. There is no registration fee.


Ana Kladnik

Am Neuen Markt 9d, 14467 Potsdam

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