“L’atelier mobile” or Mobile design studio set by the national Department for Urban Planning headed by the French urbanist Michel Écochard to develop participatory rural development plans in the Moroccan Gharb plain during the last decade of the French Protectorate in Morocco, and the first decade of independence.

Modernist Reinventions of the Rural Landscapes


Project Summary

This project deals with rural landscapes produced by large-scale agricultural development and colonisation schemes planned in the twentieth century throughout Europe and beyond.

Conceived in different political and ideological contexts, such schemes were pivotal to nation-building and state-building policies, and to the modernisation of the countryside. They provided a testing ground for the ideas and tools of agronomists, environmental and social scientists, architects, engineers, planners, landscape architects and artists, which converged around a shared challenge. Their implementation produced new rural landscapes which have seldom been considered as a transnational research topic.

MODSCAPES aims to raise awareness of this largely underestimated shared cultural heritage which stands today as tangible evidence of recent European history. The project combines research-driven and bottom-up participatory activities. These are based on the collection, processing, elaboration and critical discussion of visual data and multiple narratives concerning 13 case studies located in seven EU and three non-EU neighbouring countries.

 

Prof. Luisa Moretto

Project Leader

Université libre de Bruxelles
Belgium


Ministry of the Economy, Internal Colonization Departement. Propaganda poster, late 1940s? Source: A colónia agrícola de Santo Isidro de Pegões. Câmara Municipal de Montijo, Montijo, 2013: p. 5.

Mussolini in Lybia. Cover of a propaganda pamphlet. (Milan: Mondadori, 1938, 165 pages).

Using the concept of landscape as a unifying paradigm for a transdisciplinary approach to the topic’s tangible (the built environment) and intangible legacies (the related cultural and sociopolitical context), this project aims to establish its European relevance, but also to bridge research, practice and policy. Hence, it aspires to test its outcomes against the current challenges faced by modernist rural landscapes as a resource for future ‘reflective societies’ and ‘inclusive environments’.

MODSCAPES’ various deliverables engage and target diversified audiences to enable a better understanding of the common patterns and rich diversities which shaped our national identities and may help to support shared European narratives.

View project website

Project Partners

Prof. Luisa Moretto

Project Leader

Université libre de Bruxelles
Belgium

Email

Dr Cristina Pallini

Politecnico di Milano
Italy

Email

Prof. Maria Helena Teixeira Maia

Cooperativa de Ensino Superior Artística do Porto
Portugal

Email

Dr Vittoria Capresi

Technische Universität Berlin
Germany

Email

Prof. Simon Bell

Estonian University of Life Sciences
Estonia

Email

Associate Partners

Ana Tostões

Docomomo International – Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement
Portugal

Inge Gotzmann

CIVILSCAPE: We are the landscape people!
Germany

  • Université libre de Bruxelles

    Université libre de Bruxelles

    Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50
    1050 Bruxelles
    Belgium

  • Politecnico di Milano

    Politecnico di Milano

    Piazza Leonardo da Vinci
    32, 20133 Milano MI
    Italy

  • Cooperativa de Ensino Superior Artística do Porto

    Cooperativa de Ensino Superior Artística do Porto

    Largo São Domingos 80
    4050-545 Porto
    Portugal

  • Technische Universität Berlin

    Technische Universität Berlin

    Straße des 17. Juni 135
    10623 Berlin
    Germany

  • Estonian University of Life Sciences

    Estonian University of Life Sciences

    Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwaldi 1
    51014 Tartu
    Estonia