Book reviews: Designing Tito's capital: urban planning, modernism, and socialism in Belgrade
In this history of New Belgrade, historian Brigitte Le Normand writes one of the first comprehensive municipal-level case studies of a postwar socialist urban planning project. The book chronicles the development of a new urban district within the capital city of Belgrade from the first modernist plans for the area just after World War II through several stages of stop-and-go development that finally accelerated in the late 1960s with the construction of both official housing blocks and informal settlements. The text highlights the difficulties encountered by urban planners, residents, and the local government to agree on the project's goals and then to implement them. Le Normand frames the discussion around New Belgrade's adherence to and deviation from the Athens Charter, Le Corbusier's 1943 text based on discussions at the 1933 CIAM meeting. Arguing that the original 1950 master plan closely followed the functional city diagram from the Athens Charter, Le Normand shows that the city's subsequent development was far from the controlled modernist vision put forward by its earliest planners.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Planning Perspectives on 22 January 2015. Available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02665433.2014.1002211.