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URBAN UTOPIAS OF THE PRESENT PAST: Wien-Süd and Parnell House, resilient experiences over the centuries.

Grant number: 23/10814-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2023
Effective date (End): November 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Fundamentals of Architecture and Urbanism
Principal Investigator:Renato Cymbalista
Grantee:Julia da Costa Aguiar
Host Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Utopian or idealistic experiences usually play a secondary role in the history of urbanism, as they are dutifully credited in historiography as forerunners, enablers of a lexicon of experiences, and amplifiers of utopian horizons. However, they ultimately play a small structuring role in these narratives. The greatest highlight is usually given to experiences in which urbanism incorporates to the machinery of government devices, methods, and responsibilities for territorial development. This scientific initiation project investigates some of the past urban utopian experiences that still exist as alternative spaces to the real estate market. These experiences are assessed beyond the magical originality of their birth syntheses and of their founding roles in modern and contemporary urbanism. The project addresses the dynamics and internal arrangements, decision-making instances, and individuals that held administrative and political positions, allowing experiences with utopian content to survive as time went by. Embodied in their different settings, the so-called Urban Utopias of the Present Past exist in an associative, communitarian, non-state, and institutional spaces. Yet, they are not private property either. The project investigates those territories, especially due to their capacity of forging realities and specific ways of life throughout centuries and decades until the present time. This specific project investigates two experiences of utopian territories built in the past, but which span decades and centuries as spaces of difference, alternatives to the mercantilist and capitalist dynamics of land markets, whose historically constituted institutional configuration is that of foundations: Parnell House, housing developed by one of the first philanthropic organizations, which today, after more than 170 years, still proves social housing in one of the most expensive areas of London and Wien-Sud, an organization that offers affordable housing, in a great outline of non-speculative housing offer in force in the city of Vienna.

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