Giving Up on Great Plans? Transforming Representations of Space in City Plans in Russia and Sweden

Main Article Content

Lisa Kings
Zhanna Kravchenko

Keywords

City Planning, Representations of Space, Stockholm, Saint Petersburg

Abstract

This article analyzes representations of urban space by exploring city planning during the last half century in Stockholm and Leningrad/Saint Petersburg. City plans that constitute the empirical foundation of the article were enforced during the nodal points—1950s–1960s and early 2000s—of the historical development of both countries and reflect specificities of their ideological and sociopolitical heritage. Our study explores how representations of space—crystallized as ideas about goals and possibilities for spatial planning—have changed over time and how they reflect larger political, economic, and ideological transformations in Sweden and Russia. Two overarching themes are identified in our analysis. First, the ideal of equality, which dominated both the socialist and social democratic ideologies in the 1950s–1960s and provided opportunities for extensive normative control and manipulation of social life by means of a planned physical environment. Second, the ideal of the “European/global” city is distinguished in the early 2000s as a means of promoting economic development by incorporating new actors and shifting the focus to a more market-oriented approach to planning. In English, extended summary in Russian.

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