Journal Article

Urban planning visits and Anglo-Soviet communication in the 1930s and 1950s


Professional visits allowed specialist groups such as urban planners to learn about Soviet thinking, practice and life. This paper examines the communication and learning which occurred during two specific visits in 1936 and 1957/1958. The paper shows the visual nature of planning assisted non-verbal communication and learning. It also highlights the impacts of different political contexts and the forms of visit, particularly between one-off trips (1936) and reciprocal exchange arrangements (1957/1958). In 1936 the bold and comprehensive Soviet approach to planning was admired, bolstering domestic British arguments for a stronger planning system. By 1957/1958, however, the balance had shifted so that the visit to the U.S.S.R. served more symbolic, quasi-diplomatic and touristic functions. Despite a relatively warm and informal encounter, British planners now found less in the U.S.S.R. to admire professionally though Soviet planners were eager to investigate and apply British planning achievements.

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Ward, Stephen


Year of publication: 2016
Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-06-26

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