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Wartime destruction and post-war urban reconstruction: Case studies of Barcelona, Bilbao and Madrid in the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath.

Munnoz-Rojas Oscarsson, Olivia (2009) Wartime destruction and post-war urban reconstruction: Case studies of Barcelona, Bilbao and Madrid in the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

There are few investigations that consider both the practical and symbolic dimensions of wartime destruction and post-war reconstruction of cities, and almost none that do so for the particular case of the Spanish Civil War and Franco's dictatorship. This thesis examines the wartime destruction and post-war rebuilding of three prominent sites in Barcelona, Bilbao and Madrid during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the first two decades of the Franco regime (1939-1959) from an interdisciplinary perspective at the intersection of history, social and political theory, urban planning, and architecture. The thesis is based on extensive archival material, and includes primary textual sources (military reports, administrative documentation, and official publications), secondary textual sources (press material, political, academic and technical literature, and fiction), and primary visual sources (maps, plans, architectural drawings, and aerial photographs of the sites). The thesis introduces the selected sites as exemplary of three propositions on the relationship between history, political discourse, and the built environment during and in the aftermath of conflict and violent regime change. While Barcelona's Avinguda de la Catedral demonstrates that wartime destruction can act as a catalyst for urban redevelopment, Bilbao's bridges exemplify the way that postwar reconstruction can be used to mark a change of political regime, and the ruins of Madrid's Cuartel de la Montana reveal how post-war regimes tend to design ambitious reconstruction plans, which they are not necessarily able to implement. By considering the historical, military, political-administrative, and aesthetic aspects of the destruction and rebuilding of these sites, the thesis proposes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of urban destruction and reconstruction.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, European, Political Science, General, Urban and Regional Planning
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Sociology
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2535

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