Workshop: Concrete Dreams: Urban Infrastructure and the Regulation of Human Behavior in the Global Twentieth Century

Datum: 14.05.2023 – 15.05.2023

Ort: Los Angeles

A Workshop at the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA, USA). Co-sponsored by the German Historical Institute, the USC Dornsife Dean’s Office, and USC’s Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life.

This workshop explores the history of attempts to influence human behavior through interventions in urban infrastructure in Europe, the United States, and beyond in the twentieth century. It seeks to understand how the built environment and architecture regulated life and behavior through choices in form, size, material, or color. The papers will focus on how psychologists, architects, designers, planners, geographers, sociologists, and ordinary people directed and continue to direct people’s behaviors and social relations. They aim also to create a dialogue between scholars who work on the study of infrastructure in different times and places across the global twentieth century.


Day 1, Sunday, 14 May 2023, 5 PM

Workshop Welcome and Introduction
Paul Lerner (University of Southern California)

Keynote Address: Katherine Zubovich (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Architectures of Control: Stalinist Urban Design in Global Context

Participant Dinner, 7 PM

Day 2, Monday 15 May 2023

Panel 1: Socialist and Post-Socialist Landscape and Environment, 9 AM
Chair: Katherine Zubovich

Andrew Demshuk (American University, Washington, D.C.)
Cultural Landscapes out of Lignite Moonscapes: Dreams and Realities in Leipzig’s Coalfields before and after 1989

Brigitte Le Normand (Maastricht University)
Rebuilding Belgrade: Urban Planning and Behavioral Science after World War II

Ognjen Kojanic (University of Cologne)
Concrete Dreams in a Marshy Landscape: Environment, Socialist Planning, and Human Behavior in a Yugoslav Periurban Area

Coffee Break, 10:45

Panel 2: Urban Planning, Rural Retreats, and Behavior Regulation, 11 AM
Chair: Jan Hansen (Humboldt University Berlin/USC)

Juliana Kei (University of Liverpool)
“A Matter of National Importance”: Social Science and Built Environment Research in 1960s Britain

Oliver Sukrow (Technical University, Vienna)
From Embellished Landscapes of Health to Spaces of Leisure and Hygiene: Designing the 20th Century Spa Town as Space of Experience

Anna-Christine Grant (Occidental College)
Our Fellows Are Proletarians: Penitentiary Agricultural Colonies as Urban Spaces in a Rural Setting, From Nineteenth-century France to Early Soviet Ukraine

Lunch Break, 12:45 PM

Panel 3: Urban Flow: Mobility, Consumption, and Lived Experience, 2 PM
Chair: Milos Jovanic (UCLA)

Jan Hansen (Humboldt University of Berlin/USC)
Regulating from Below: Electricity Infrastructure and Urban Informality in Los Angeles, 1920–1940

Laura Isabel Serna (University of Southern California)
Home Economics, Material Culture, and Mexican Immigrant Americanization in the Early Twentieth Century

Coffee Break, 3:15 – 3:30 PM

Christoph Schimkowsky (University of Tokyo)
From Governing for Infrastructure to Governing through Infrastructure: The Emergence of “Orderly Boarding” on Tokyo’s Urban Railway Network in the 20th Century

Tambet Muide (Tartu University)
Soviet Modernist City Planning and the Permanently Temporary Mobility System of Tallinn

Panel 4: Closing Discussion and Future Directions, 4:45 – 6 PM
Chair: Andreas Greiner (German Historical Institute, Washington)


Dr. Jan Hansen
Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies
University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Diesen Blogbeitrag zitieren
Julia Ziegler (2023, 2. Mai). Workshop: Concrete Dreams: Urban Infrastructure and the Regulation of Human Behavior in the Global Twentieth Century. Stadtgeschichten. Abgerufen am 25. Juni 2024, von

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