Townscapes in Transition (2019)

Townscapes in Transition
Transformation and Reorganization of Italian Cities and Their Architecture in the Interwar Period

ISBN: 978-3-8376-4660-3 | 2019-11-12, eng., 276 pages, 128 b/w ill.


This publication brings together the proceedings of the two conferences »Townscapes in Transition« (AAIS, Sorrento, 2018) and »Continuare la città« (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome, 2018) organized by Luigi Monzo and Carmen Enss. The conferences and their proceedings are also embedded in the DFG research project »Planned Heritage. Gustavo Giovannonis and Theodor Fischer’s Urban Planning for Historical Urban Areas 1889-1929«, directed by Carmen Enss, University of Bamberg.

The main subject of the volume is the process by which today’s urban Italy came into being. This collection of essays assembles recent studies in architectural and urbanistic history and theory exploring the historical paradigms guiding architecture and landscape design between the world wars. The authors explore physical changes in townscapes and landscapes, covering a wide range of architectural designs from strict modernist solutions to variations of regionalism, mediterraneanism (it. mediterraneità) and national style from all over Italy. Specifically, the volume explains how conservation, restoration and town planning for historic areas led to the production of heritage. By doing so, it also elucidates the role played by architects like Marcello Piacentini, Innocenzo Sabbatini, Pietro Aschieri, Mario De Renzi and Giulio Ulisse Arata and focuses on the cities Rome, Milan, Brescia, Bari, Bergamo, Rimini, Forlì, Predappio, Imola and Venice as central scenes of the analyses.


Carmen M. Enss and Luigi Monzo: Editing Cities in Interwar Italy, 9

Abstract: During Italy’s interwar period, a myriad of construction projects, restoration measures and excavationcampaigns were carried out. These building efforts shaped and re-invented dozens of cities in Italy andits colonies. Nationwide public construction works were part of the cultural policy strategy of theFascist party aimed to re-shape urban and rural landscapes. “Editing Cities In Interwar Italy” is anintroductory text to the essay collection Townscapes in transition: Transformation andReorganization of Italian Cities and Their Architecture in the Interwar Period. The text joins currentresearch on appropriating concepts and strategies for passing down architectural and historicalstructures at that time. Covering the whole interwar period in a chronological narration and merginginternational research results, the essay connects the various stages of political development in Italy tothe process of urban editing as a professional and political culture at that time. A resulting conceptionof architecture as a holistic discipline included urban planning, design, and monument restoration. Theresearch premise of this essay, and beyond that for the essay collection as a whole, is to considerarchitecture and monument preservation/restoration as parts of the same strategy of representing arenewed, but culturally deeply anchored Italy.


Paolo Nicoloso: Piacentini and Unitary Architectural Directions for Italian Cities, 47

Cettina Lenza: The Concept of Tradition in the Theoretical and Aesthetic Debate from the 1920s to the Second Post-War Period, 61


Cecilia De Carli: Transformations in Architectural and Urban Culture in the Sant’Ambrogio Area of Milan between the World Wars, 85

Scott Budzynski: Transformation and the Vertical City. Milan?s Early Skyscrapers, 99

Anna G. Vyazemtseva: The Transformation of Rome and the Masterplan to Reconstruct Moscow. Historical Heritage between Modernity, Memory and Ideology, 113

Alberto Coppo: Preserving the Old to Build the Modern. Visions of an Alternative Brescia in the Project by Pietro Aschieri, 127

Christine Beese: The Townscape of Bari. A Laboratory of Italian Urbanism during the early Twentieth Century, 141

Sandro Scarrocchia: Bergamo as a Case Study, 155


Elena Pozzi, Marco Pretelli and Leila Signorelli: Planning the Past I: Giulio Ulisse Arata. Urban Renewal in Emilia Romagna, 171

Giulia Favaretto and Chiara Mariotti: Planning the Past II: Rimini and Forlì in the 1920s. The Replanning of Two Squares in Romagna, 185

Micaela Antonucci and Sofia Nannini: Architectural and Urban Transformations in Romagna during the Fascist Era between Tradition and Modernity. The Cases of Predappio, Forlì and Imola, 203

Angela Pecorario Martucci: Autarky and Tradition in the Architecture during Italy’s Fascist period. Newly Founded Cities, 221


Alexander Fichte: Urban Expansion in Venice, 1918–1939. Continuity of the Urban Form in the Internal Periphery of the Residential Area of Santa Marta, 233

Lorenzo Ciccarelli: Innocenzo Sabbatini and the Construction of Modern Rome, 247

Acknowledgments, 261

Carmen M. Enss and Luigi Monzo: ›Terms and Conditions‹ of Interwar Architecture and Urbanism in Italy. A Tentative Glossary, 263

Authors, 271