Sylvia Necker

urban research &
modern history :::  
exhibits & installations :::
radio & sound art :::

minden :::
frankfurt/main :::
hamburg :::


Socialist Green vs. Capitalist Green? 5.9.2014

Cities in Europe, Cities in the World
12th International Conference on Urban History.
European Association for Urban History. Lisbon, September 3-6, 2014

Session M30. Ubiquitous yet Unique: Green Spaces in Cities from the 18th Century to the Present

Green spaces can be found throughout European cities and beyond.  Parks, children’s playgrounds, sports fields, allotment gardens, city farms, lidos, and urban forests have been integrated in different urban formats for different purposes.  Historical and contemporary debates underscore the central significance of green spaces within urban arenas and their future relevance for creating liveable cities. Yet if one tries to come up with an overarching definition about the meaning of urban green spaces, one is faced with a wide variety of descriptions and quantitative categorizations that make it rather difficult to gain an overall understanding of what is meant by ‘urban green spaces’ and how they have been linked to the historical development of different cities.

How do we explain these differences? The proposed panel would examine this topic by raising the following questions: Why are parks and boulevards so widespread while other types of green spaces are not? How important are climatic factors and seasonality? How do such green spaces reflect particular cultural connotations about urban nature, including the place of women and different ethnic groups? What factors have shaped municipal policies and notions about public living spaces? Who is/was responsible for the planning of green spaces? What role do ‘bottom-up’ politics play in the greening of urban spaces in different places of the world? This session would aim to encourage comparisons not only between different parts of Europe but also with North and South America, the Middle East and Asia.  It would aim to use the theme to shed light on wider urban issues such as the importance of urban seasonality, nature and the city, planning, the role of the green movement, and NGOs, as well as property owners and developers. Organized by Dorothee Brantz (Germany) and Peter Clark (Finland).

Accepted papers:
(1) “A Few Hardy Trees, a Patch of Green Sward, and a Spread of Gravel”: The Public Park in Australia, America and Britain 1860-1900 Susan Joan Reidy
(2) Different motives, different greens – London’s green spaces in the 20th century Matti O. Hannikainen
(3) Generous Harvest: Allotment Gardens and the Politics of Urban Green Space in Sweden Jennifer Mack, Justin Scherma
(4) Running for Health’: Informal Recreation and Green Space in the 1970s and 1980s Suvi Talja
(5) Shades of Red: aerial photography in service of green cities Sonja Duempelmann
(6) Socialist versus capitalist green? Large housing estates and their green spaces in the western and eastern part of Germany (1960s-1980s)  Sylvia Necker
(7) The Implementation of the Garden City Idea in Colonial Contexts: Between Dakar and Tel Aviv  Liora Bigon and Yossi Katz
(8) The multifarious meanings of urban green space & the importance of the alternative perspective: a case study of nineteenth century Antwerp Bart Tritsmans
(9) Urban parks in an extended professional and cultural context 1930–1970 Catharina Nolin
(10) Urban Planning and Green Open Spaces: the Ghent Congress of 1913 and the spirit of modernity Helen Meller