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From Stalin to MaoAlbania and the Socialist World$
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Elidor Mëhilli

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501714153

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501714153.001.0001

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Mud and Concrete

Mud and Concrete

(p.159) 5 Mud and Concrete
From Stalin to Mao

Elidor Mëhilli

Cornell University Press

Albania’s push for planning took on the qualities of an epochal transformation. But a big problem was that it had no professional city planners. Brand new Soviet-financed plants and workshops rose, but the cities still looked pre-socialist. Urban planning had to be invented. This chapter shows how a socialist material culture came about through improvisation, by focusing on the problem of city planning in a largely agrarian country. It turned out that socialist city planning relied on the adoption of technical solutions from the much-denounced capitalist West. The country borrowed construction technology from the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, and these countries, in turn, also borrowed from France, Germany, and Scandinavia. Prefabrication became the socialist buzzword of the late 1950s. Materially, socialism helped produce uniformity on a mass scale. Politically, the socialist world was plagued by disagreements.

Keywords:   urban planning, architects, prefabrication, Khrushchev, East Germany, Standardization, concrete

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