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The reception and diffusion of Townscape theories in the United States and Brazil, from 1950 to 1980

Grant number: 13/07250-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 20, 2013
Effective date (End): July 19, 2014
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Fundamentals of Architecture and Urbanism
Principal researcher:Paulo Julio Valentino Bruna
Grantee:Lorenza Pavesi
Supervisor abroad: Vicente Eduardo del Rio do Nascimento
Home Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:12/08318-7 - Reception and diffusion of Townscape theories in England, Italy, France, United States and Brazil 1950-1980., BP.DR


The first half of the twentieth century witnessed an intense debate about the future shape and appearance of cities. Internationally radical reforms of the city were proposed by Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, and others. In Britain the garden city movement, with its tendency to lower densities and decentralization, was an important influence. Among these concepts emerges the Townscape movement, which questioned not only modernist planning as defined by CIAM defined congresses but also the influence of the garden city planning in the New Towns built during the post-war in Great Britain. Although the movement was generally regarded by historians as a strictly British and conservative phenomenon, these ideas were received, assimilated and incorporated into urban planning theories and practices of various countries. In this PhD research, therefore, we propose to map the Townscape movement and analyze how these ideas were received, assimilated and incorporated in the theories and practices of urban England, his home country and in other countries. The course will comprise the Italian debate of the second postwar and the insertion, or the attempted insertion, of Townscape theories in Brazil through the presence, among others, of David Gosling and the launching of the seminars on Urban Design at the University of Brasilia in the 1980s. We will continue evaluating the role of urban design in the critique of zoning and suburban sprawl in the United States and discussing the anti-suburban alliance formed between members of the Townscape movement and some American planners such as William H. Whyte and Jane Jacobs. This is the most complex and rich part of the research and involves the interpretation of a large volume of archives and texts. This is the part that we intend to develop during the period as Visiting Researcher in the United States that we are proposing. (AU)

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