Spatial Crisis and the Experimental Production of Urban Space in Franco’s Spain: The History of Madrid’s Poblados Dirigidos

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Abstract

The article analyzes the ideological reasoning, planning rationale, and construction of controlled/satellite neighborhoods (poblados dirigidos) in the metropolitan area of Madrid during the 1950s and 1960s. Poblados dirigidos were compact and minutely planned barrios on which the Franco regime (1939-1975) hinged its hopes for re-directing urban growth and controlling informal urbanization. While the phenomenon of poblados dirigidos was investigated by several Spanish architects and urban planners, their work focused mostly on the design of these neighborhoods, the structure of their housing units, and the innovative construction techniques. The current article suggests that the spatial crisis that drove the dictatorship to embrace the planning module of poblados dirigidos cannot be understood in isolation from the political and economic challenges faced by the regime during its “interim decades.” These challenges led to a progressive shift in the regime’s territorial representations and to a partial shift in its spatial practices, which the article analyzes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-77
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Urban History
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • Franco regime
  • Madrid
  • informal urbanism
  • satellite neighborhoods
  • territorial practices

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