EAUH Conference 2018


Session SS41. Building Cities and Architectures in the Aftermath of the Second World War: the Role of the American Programs in Shaping the Discipline and the Built Environment

Coordinators: Patrizia Bonifazio (, Filippo De Dominicis (, Nicole De Togni (

The immediate second post-war period sees the launch of reconstruction programs all over Europe. The American support of the European Recovery Program (1948-1951) comes together with other extensive programs as the one of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and with the presence in Europe of institutions and associations (as the Office of International Information and Cultural Affairs, the American Friends Service Committee, ). They contribute to the reconstruction of European cities and territories both through direct funding for the realization of built projects and finalising and participating in cultural programs fostering the circulation of architectural models and the construction of architectural imaginaries.
The largeness of the American programs and the involvement of local actors and institutions in the different European contexts constitute a significant and not enough explored field of research. The aim of this session is to understand how in a crucial period for the European history architecture and politics mutually interplay in the construction of the city and of the landscape, and how the local actors variously involved in the urban policies hybridize, transform or resist to the instances of these programs.
Expected papers should contribute to:
- Exploring the geographies also with regard to the following dynamics of the Cold War and the chronologies of the American programs and of their results, to organize a first mapping encouraging the comprehension of the general strategies and the measuring of the exported message in respect of the various willfulness of the actors involved;
- Analyzing the circulation of settlement models and the disciplinary proposals in the different European contexts;
- Outlining the role and profiles of professionals and experts affiliated to government agencies, institutions, associations and corporations participating in the definition and actualisation of architectural programs, settlement models, new disciplinary tools in the different European contexts;
- Delineating the role on a local level of technicians, architects and planners in receiving, embracing or resisting to the proposals of these programs, both in the definitions of contents, models and reference layout and in the built results.
We welcome case-studies to promote a fruitful discussion of the proposed topics and to foster new research directions.
Keywords: second world war; reconstruction, american programs, ERP, UNRRA