Athens Charter

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New Urbanism

Le Corbusier (1887—1965) French architect and town planner, born in Switzerland


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In 1933, the fourth CIAM congress investigated thirty-three major cities, and evolved principles based on Le Corbusier's notions of the distribution and ordering of the functions of the city, including rigid zoning, housing in high-rise blocks, and wholesale destruction of existing urban fabric. Le Corbusier published the dogma of Modernist urban planning in his La Charte d'Athènes in 1943 (published as The Athens Charter in 1973), in which such functions were treated concisely, simplistically, and crudely. Great damage was inflicted on countless towns and cities through the widespread acceptance of the pernicious dogmas enshrined in the Charter, prompting the reactions of New Urbanism and a dawning realization among a few that the supposed panaceas applied after the 1939–45 war were leading to the destruction of civilized urban living.

J. Jacobs (1961);Jeanneret-Gris (1973)

Subjects: Architecture.

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