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10 Cheap Living Room Design Ideas

In the same issue of Pregled, novelist, dissident, and enfant terrible Dobrica Cosic made a similar argument for regional planning and refocusing attention on the urbanization of villages. Like Prelog, Cosic felt that urban planning had failed because it was not ambitious enough. In his view, spatial planning should no longer focus only on cities as if they were islands cut off from the hinterland: “In our existing policy, or nonpolicy, of urbanization, there is no conception of the complementary natures of the village and the city, no con-ception of a broader space of regional urbanization.”33 Furthermore, also like Prelog, he envisioned a renewed flourishing of Yugoslavia’s villages. He added that any vision for the development of Yugoslavia had to include a program for the urbanization of the villages.

It should be emphasized that Prelog and Cosic were not only criticizing the implementation of urban planning. They were critiquing its fundamental premises and methods. Urban planners had failed, in their view, because they did not recognize that cities were part of the much larger system of the national economy. Urban growth simply could not be regulated at the municipal level—it had to be coordinated at the regional or national level. Prelog, a Croat, emphasized regional planning, whereas Cosic, a Serb, argued in favor of national coordination.

In Cosic’s view, the task of comprehensive planning called for completely new methods: “can we think of urban planning in our society not only from the perspective of anachronistic studios, of an artisanal, traditional, ‘artistic’ understanding of decorating, but rather from the perspective of modern design institutes that use computers, . . . in which specific and complementary disciplines are concentrated and united?”34 This—computers, interdisciplinary collaboration—was the urban planning of the future.

While the social sciences were increasingly critical of town planning practices, they did envision a continued role for planning. However, they advocated a completely different kind of process, which involved collecting and processing social and economic data at the local, regional, and national levels to develop spatial development plans. The urban planner’s personal vision for the city was put to the wayside.

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It would be oversimplifying things, however, to understand the critique of urban planning merely as an assault by sociologists and other social scientists on monolithic urban planning and architectural professions. At the same time as social scientists were developing their critique, urban planners and architects came to their own conclusions about the weaknesses of the modernist func-tionalist city. While they were indubitably influenced by the sociologists with whom they came into contact in their workplaces, at conferences, and on the pages of their professional journals, their critique reflected their awareness of the global disenchantment with this urban planning model, as well as their own personal experiences in the field.

The reality is that the Athens Charter became outdated soon after it had been formulated. While the charter only recognized four functions as being relevant— living, working, leisure, and circulation—CIAM members quickly became interested in also exploring the importance of the “heart of the city.” This preoccupation became the main theme of the eighth CIAM Congress, held in Hoddesdon, England, in 1951.The heart or core was defined not merely as playing a functional role but also as having an important symbolic, even spiritual role, whose purpose was to provide a focus for life in the city and to create a sense of common purpose. The youngest generation of architects to become involved with CIAM further nurtured this interest in the relation- ship between urban planning and social cohesion. At the ninth CIAM Congress, held in Aix-en-Provence in 1953, Alison and Peter Smithson famously presented their “Urban Reidentification grid,” in which they proposed that the four functions be replaced by a hierarchy of four scales of community: the house, the street, the district, and the city. Essentially, the Smithsons were arguing that the main problem of decorating and urban planning was to find ways to allow people to once again identify with their environment, a connection that had been severed through the implementation of isolated modernist neighborhoods. The “return of the street” featured prominently in efforts to reconnect people to their neighborhoods. 10, by the Smithsons and like-minded colleagues have been attributed to this clash both of generations and of ideas. However, it is noteworthy that Le Corbusier himself expressed serious doubts as early as 1952 about the applicability of prewar CIAM ideas in the postwar era. In 1954, CIAM’s advisory committee, made up of members of the older generations, including Josep Lluis Sert, Walter Gropius, Siegfried Giedion, and Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, acknowledged that, while the Athens Charter was still useful, its “generaliza-tions . . . need to be amplified when one gets down to details, and the Charter now needs to be developed and completed to include the concept of human association, which was introduced in CIAM in our studies of the Core.”35 Architectural historian Eric Mumford notes that, by the 1960s, “the theoretical basis of modern urbanism was evolving in a direction that now appears to be more like that of its critics such as Jane Jacobs and Team 10.”36 Indeed, there is evidence that practitioners were responsive to criticism of their failure to pay attention to social life in the settlements they had designed, as in the case of the second generation of the Grands Ensembles in France, which tried to promote “animation” by reincorporating elements of the traditional street. Candelis-Josic-Woods’s project for Toulouse le Mirail and Robert Camelot and Francois Prieur’s project for Bures-Orsay are two good examples of this.37

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