Call for Papers: XX Century New Towns

By DOCOMOMO Belgium / December, 15, 2013 / 0 comments

CONFERENCE | 22-24.05.2014 | ESAP – Porto

20th Century New Towns | Archetypes and Uncertainties

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The planning and settlement of new towns were originated by different reasons. In twentieth century cities perhaps the largest reason was to determine new territorial and urban planning structures that would allow a better organization of the territory, treatment ensuring the development of more efficient and balanced socio-economic models.
In some cases the construction of these cities was inspired by the principles of the nineteenth century English utopias, vialis 40mg reflecting a strong concern in integrating the urban and natural components and highlighting the role of the natural landscape, understood as a city matrix on which articulates the urban structures.

In other cases the inspiration come from the rationalist ideals of the modern movement, seeking to personify the idealistic and democratic spirit of a new world order, producing rational and functional solutions and even if sometimes they do not fully overcome certain obstacles, an important contribution to the urban and architectural theory and practice advance was made.

Furthermore, other cases relate to the post-modernism and the emergence of critical views of the modern movement. These towns were born to give an answer to the problem posed by the large settlements deindustrialization and de-urbanization, assuming the role of organized urban extensions needed for controlling the sprawl of existing cities which was made through a process of unordered and peripheral urbanization.

Some focused mainly on a completely physical, economic and administrative independency in relation to major urban centres. Others, even if based partially on these principles of independence and geographical isolation, were planned as secondary structure networks dependent from a main urban conurbation. Many of these experiments have already been object of diversified studies addressing more or less specific thematic areas, seeking to define and apply critical and analytical methodologies to better understand and decode the processes and design criteria that were the basis of their urban and architectural morphologies.

Opting for an analytical prospective directed to re-contextualizing the urban and architectural contributions of these experiences, the conference 20th century new towns – archetypes and uncertainties aims to discuss their real effects in the present being especially welcome papers focusing on the following two aspects:

I. Archetypes | Spatiality, materiality and identities which persisted over time, not only because they have a high symbolism or because they are the emblematic testimony of a precise thinking about how to re-understand the city in a particular historical moment, but also and especially to continue maintaining the answering capacity to functional and practical demands of contemporary society. They are, in short, realities that did not required significant or radical changes to fulfil their function properly. The reasons for these archetypes remaining active and appropriate may contribute to recognize them as meaningful and timeless, distant from temporal gestures which respond only to contemporary needs.

II. Uncertainties | Parts or components of the urban system that remained incomplete, leading to realities that persisted “open” or that were completed through different intentions, appropriation processes or intervention criteria from those planned in their original design. The nature of these uncertainties could be a further indicator of the effects produced by these archetypes in the city development.

Additionally the conference will focus three main thematic/panels covering the post-war satellite towns (as the New Towns Programme and other European similar experiences), the modern cities (as Brasilia or Chandigarh) and a more local perspective embarking the Lusophone New Towns (mainly in Lusophone Africa, but also in Brazil). The conference peer-reviewed call for papers will cover these topics and the communications will be organized under the respective panels, not excluding the possibility of accepting other related topics if they reveal pertinent for the global aims of the conference.

Proposals for papers should consider the following elements:

-Title of the proposal
-Applicant´s identification (name, institution, country, position and email)
-Abstracts (should not exceed 300 words).
-Short curriculum vitae (should not exceed 300 words)
All proposals must present original research, and must not have been previously published. Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes and the official language of the conference is UK English.
Proposals must be sent in word (.doc or .docx format) by email to

Conference Schedule:

Deadline for abstract submission – December 15, 2013
Notification of acceptance of abstract – January 06, 2014
Deadline for full paper submission – March 30, 2014
Deadline for Registration – May 05, 2014
Conference – May 22-24, 2014

Conference Registration Fees: 175 Euros

The conference fees will include lunches, opening cocktail , coffee breaks and seminar package with conference proceeding.

Publication Proceedings:

Conference papers will be published in the conference proceeding CD with ISBN.

The guidelines for full paper will be sooner available. To make it easier for authors the document for author guidelines may be used as a template. It is crucially important to know that only papers formatted according to the guidelines can be accepted for publication. The other condition for publication is that at least one author of the paper is registered for the conference.
Additionally, a signed “copyright license agreement” form must be sent at the same time of the paper submission.
The authors of the selected papers may have some revisions to be made upon the reviewer(s) comments.

Conference Organizing Committee:

Paolo Marcolin
Joaquim Flores

go to the conference site