Call for Papers: 'Urban Studies and Practices' Journal

A special issue 'Urban Standard and Norm and Their (Post)-Socialist Transformation': admission of articles extended till 14 October

The utopia of standardisation was most fully implemented in the Soviet urban project. Rigid socialist understanding of the standard tended to equate it with the ‘norm’, both in urban planning and architectural design. In the second half of the XX century Soviet architectural production underwent a significant process of ‘normalisation’ expressed in the creation of norms, ‘design rules’ and the use of typical projects. A centralised and strictly hierarchical institutional system was established to develop these norms and localise them for the vast territory of the USSR. In the post-socialist period, planners in various countries undertook particular efforts to adapt Soviet planning modus to the new economic and political realities or to develop new urban standards. Attempts to develop design guidelines, manuals seek to address the weight of new residents’ requests, new urban realities of decentralisation of authority and emerging new players in urban planning, and fill the legal void. On the other hand, these projects sometimes replicate old Soviet methods of finding ‘universal formulas’.

A special issue of ‘Urban Research and Practices’ places standards in housing and urban environment in the foreground, and in doing so aims to propose them as a means to discuss the post-socialist transition. We invite contributions about the standards of the housing sector and city planning. Proposed articles may cover, among others, the following topics:

  • The role of the state in regulating urban and residential environment at the local level;
  • Constructive, technical and urban standardisation;
  • Tools for standardisation: typical architectural projects, design standards and the role of institutions and regulators;
  • Geography and territories: the relationship between universal and local in regional development;
  • Post-Soviet transformation of the institutional system of town-planning and architectural design;
  • The influence of Soviet norms in the infrastructure and urban environment on the current situation;
  • Legal regulation, economics and ecology of the residential environment.

‘Urban Studies and Practices’ is an international peer-reviewed academic journal issued by Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism of the HSE University Russia. The journal is indexed in the RISC (Russian Index of Science Citation).

We publish original research papers both in Russian and in English. Articles may include any visual materials i.e. photos, graphs, maps, formulae etc. We accept research articles under 9 000 words, and reviews up to 3 000 words.

Please send your materials to our email address before October, 14 2018 and mark them as ‘Article’ (‘Review’) in the header of the email.

Ernst Neufert. Bauentwurfslehre, 1936 (Architects’ Data - Standard)
Ernst Neufert. Bauentwurfslehre, 1936 (Architects’ Data – Standard)