Attitudes toward family housing had also started to change as urban plan-ners began to seriously research the feasibility of this housing form in socialist Yugoslavia. In 1967, the renamed Federal Institute for Urbanism and Commu-nal and Housing Questions (Savezni zavod za urbanizam i komunalne i stam-bene pitanje) published a study that it claimed was the first serious scientific inquiry into single-story family houses. The study established that there was a significant interest in living in this type of housing and challenged the com-mon assertion that including such housing in large cities was necessarily irra-tional. It pointed to examples of mixed-housing settlements in Germany that had used ingenious designs in order to make effective use of infrastructure like roads, such as Elbruchpark in Dusseldorf and Edigheim in Ludwigshafen.38 It concluded that single-story homes that were “adequately planned, organized, financed, designed, and built have their significant advantages and are entirely competitive with multistory habitation with regard to rationality and particu-larly sociological and psychological qualities.” The study also declared that it was “not possible to simply ignore the rights of a person, in the name of any principle whatsoever, to choose his or her own form of housing,” an act that would be “inhuman” and “inappropriate for the community that is ours.”39
In drawing up their list of objectives, therefore, urban planners expressed an understanding of the need to include a greater variety of housing types. At the same time, the majority of all new construction would continue to be in new settlements of freestanding multistory apartment buildings. Such settlements, as well as the insertion of new apartment buildings in the city cen-ter as a result of urban renewal, would account for the majority of the fifty thousand homes that were projected to be built between 1968 and 1970 and the further fifty thousand that were anticipated in 1971-75. During this time frame, individual family house construction would only be allowed on land that was already approved for this purpose in 1964. However, the working group recommended that additional city territory in the periphery be reserved in the master plan for this purpose. The right to choose where one lives and how one lives in combination with the conscious will to prevent urban sprawl, the working group emphasized, made it necessary to consciously implant new low-density settlements, primarily of individual family dwellings, on the out-skirts of Belgrade. The group working on housing was, therefore, advocating a more decentralized model for Belgrade than had been envisioned in 1950.40
This assertion that choosing where and how one lives is a right, made in 1970 in Yugoslavia, boldly anticipated a shift in urban planning that only took place after the end of socialism in the rest of the Eastern Bloc. Sonia Hirt has documented how experts advocated for a dispersed city model in postsocial-ist Sofia by arguing that “there must be freedom of movement.” Interestingly, Belgrade’s planning team justified this freedom of choice with reference to Yu-goslav-style socialism, whereas Sofia’s postsocialist planners drew a stark con-trast between “totalitarian” socialist practices and their “democratic” postso-cialist approach.41
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The Town Planning Institute’s staff thus clearly already had a certain notion of how they wanted the city to evolve in the following decades, even if some of their ideas appeared contradictory. Although the institute had sought to import a scientific methodology by hiring American consultants, rather than using methods that were “intuitive and creative,” as had been done in 1950, the planners’ opinions and beliefs regarding what made for a desirable urban en-vironment that is, their values ultimately shaped the outcomes. Indeed, the list of objectives that they had drawn up was used as the criteria for evaluating the four alternative models. Only in the case of the transportation sector was computer modeling applied to quantitative data on the existing situation and projected trends.
While the use of computer modeling did not have as much of an impact on town planning as the Town Planning Institute claimed, it did have one important consequence it forced the planners to confront their fear of urban growth. Barber and Bazan noticed that, throughout the discussions of the sectoral analyses, planners expressed disapproval of a population of two million people for Belgrade and of large cities more generally. “One outburst,” they noted, “went so far as to draw the analogy of a big city to a fat man by referring to a normal distribution and concluding that since fat men were abnormal, so were big cities.”42 They added that planners often made statements intimating that “the big city is bad, a kind of giant, uncontrollable monster, and further, a haven for the uncivilized lower class refugees of rural culture.”43 In spite of these misgivings, the population estimate of two million was kept. The land use-transportation study appears to have nudged planners into considering a more decentralized model for the city.
For the third cycle, a master plan was designed that synthesized the best elements of each of the four alternative models, based on the sectoral analyses conducted in the second cycle and consultations with municipal and commu-nal institutions. As in the first and second cycles, methodological rigor was sacrificed to pedagogy. Barber and Bazan described the evaluation method that was used as “primarily a process of education for the urbanists,” adding that “[definitive] answers about the social properties of each alternative pat-tern cannot be given.” They noted that the process of synthesis required “large inputs of professional judgment” in several areas, including “the strength and merit of each objective (feasibility, relations to prevailing ideology, political support, etc.).” They also felt that the list of objectives should have been sub-jected to greater review, to detect new problems and eliminate false ones.44 In many ways, then, the elaboration of the new master plan continued to be a highly subjective enterprise.
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