In the Suburbs of History: Modernist Visions of the Urban Periphery
Published: December 2020© 2021
In the 1960s, socialist and capitalist urban planners, architects, and city officials chose the urban periphery as the site to test out new ideas in modernist architecture and planning: the outskirts of Prague and a bedroom suburb of Toronto would be the sites for experimental urban development.
In the Suburbs of History overcomes the divisions between East and West to reassemble the shared histories of modern architecture and urbanism as it shaped and re-shaped the periphery. Drawing on archives, interviews, architectural journals, and site visits to the peripheries of Prague and Toronto, Steven Logan reveals the intertwined histories of capitalist and socialist urban planning.
From socialist utopias to the capitalist visions of the edge city, the history of the suburbs is not simply a history of competing urban forms; rather, it is a history of alternatives that advocated collective solutions over the dominant model of single-family home ownership and car-dominated spaces.
List of Illustrations
1. Introduction: Crossing Divides
2. Looking for the Antithesis of the Suburb
3. Socialist Space
4. South City as a Work of Art in the Age of Mass-Produced Dwellings
5. Redesigning the Post-war Suburban Landscape
6. The “Total Image”: The Making of Willowdale Modern
Conclusion: Unearthing the Suburban Core
“Steven Logan's book is a pleasure to read with lively prose that is dense with information without feeling ponderous. Well-written and well-argued, In the Suburbs of History showcases Logan’s breadth and depth of knowledge, approaching the topic and his case studies of Toronto and Prague from an admirable range of disciplines, writers, thinkers, and projects.” Kimberly Zarecor, Iowa State University
“Beautifully written and illustrated, In the Suburbs of History is a special treat for any fan – or critic – of modern urbanism. Steven Logan is a master of the twentieth-century urbanism literature with an incredible gift to weave wide-raging theory with in-depth empirical work.” Sonia Hirt, University of Georgia