Vilma Hastaoglou-Martinidis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki);
Maria Helena Maia (ESAP – Escola Superior Artística do Porto);
Cristina Pallini (Politecnico di Milano)

Modernist Rural Settlements in Southern Europe: Sociocultural Impacts

This paper focuses on the thematic core of WP 3 within the broader MODSCAPES project. We shall prioritise the tangible heritage embedded in rural landscapes and related built environment comparing the four case studies of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, each covering a different time span and presenting particular characteristics.

In Greece (1922-1930), agricultural development and inner-colonisation schemes (ADCS) met a refugee problem on scale until then unknown, and in conditions of extreme urgency.  Mussolini’s Italy (1922-1943) stands out for the close relationship between town planning and architectural design in the production of new iconic townscapes. The relevance of Franco’s Spain (early 1930s-1975) lies in the large scale of reclamation and agricultural works led by the newly founded Instituto Nacional de Colonizacion.

In the Portugal of Salazar, instead, the Junta de Colonizaçao Interna implemented only a few settlements from 1926 to the mid-1950s, despite a huge investment in infrastructural works and technical cadres.

The scope of our paper is to define some terms of comparability within this highly fragmented picture. We aim at outlining a theoretical framework and an operational methodology to address the relationship between agricultural units, village layout, rural house and complementary public buildings.

To do so, we shall targeting the following points:

  • Geographic location, and significance, of regions subject ADCS in the broader national contexts;
  • New settlement hierarchy brought about by ADCS;
  • Patterns of land subdivision and village layout;
  • Embryos of collective life (which buildings, community facilities and spaces formed the core of the village).

Consider modernist rural landscapes themselves as a repository of cultural meaning, we shall comparing a number of examples from the four case studies, trying to decode traditional and new socio-cultural practices, of the relationship between individuals, social sub-groups and local authorities.

FLORES SOTO, José Antonio (2013), La construcción del lugar. La plaza en los pueblos del Instituto Nacional de Colonización, Historia Agraria, 60. Agosto 2013, p. 119-154
KONTOGIORGI, Elisabeth (2006), Population Exchange in Greek Macedonia: The Rural Settlement of Refugees 1922-1930, Oxford University Press
PENNACCHI, A. (2011) Fascio e Martello. Viaggio per le cittŕ del Duce, Bari: Editori Laterza
SECRETARIADO DE PROPAGANDA NACIONAL (s./d.), Colonizaçăo Interna, Cadernos do Ressurgimento Nacional, Lisboa