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Title: The history of the socialist city of Yekaterinburg (formerly Sverdlovsk) : planning, construction, social urban development and architectural design, 1920s-1980s
Author: Gobova, Nadezda
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 1531
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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My thesis explores the architecture and urban history of Yekaterinburg (formerly Sverdlovsk), investigating the period of its Soviet development between the 1920s and 1980s. This project shifts the focus of studies of Soviet socialist cities from the example of Soviet Moscow as well as other Eastern European non-industrial cities to the lesser-known Soviet economy’s supply centre – the industrial city of Sverdlovsk, located in the Urals in Russia. The research demonstrates the continuity and evolution of the early Soviet theoretical pursuit of the Soviet socialist city into the actual planning and construction of Sverdlovsk and ascertains the essence of its function and spatial organisation, which was continuously determined by economic, spatial and ideological interrelations of its industrial and residential zones. Investigating the processes of architectural design, city planning and construction in Sverdlovsk, my research reveals that its Soviet urban growth was complex and largely predetermined by the expansion and operation of its industrial enterprises, yet it resulted in the creation of architecturally diverse and socially programmed urban fabric. My investigations are framed by a sequence of changing paradigms in Soviet architectural history. The first chapter considers the early Soviet ideological pursuit of the new Soviet socialist city in the projects and writings of Soviet architects and ideologists. Chapter 2 introduces the pre-revolutionary history of Yekaterinburg and explores its transformation into Soviet Sverdlovsk, which was conducted through the restructuring of its historical centre and the construction of new self-sufficient industrial sotsgorods (socialist cities) on its peripheries. Chapter 3 considers the period of rapid urban and industrial growth of Sverdlovsk between the late 1930s and mid-1950s and discusses spatial and social divisions evident in the urbanisation and embellishment of certain of its districts and the simultaneous ruralisation of others. Chapter 4 explores Sverdlovsk’s late Soviet period of expansion and investigates local specifics of rationalisation, standardisation and optimisation in industrial and residential planning. It also explores the spatial organisation and performance of its new residential districts – mikrorayons or microdistricts – in the condition of the socialist industrial city.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available