The city as a witness of social and political changes

Analysis of post-war reconstruction of Minsk as a Soviet urban model


  • Aliaksandra Smirnova Polytechnic University of Catalonia




devastasion, reconstruction strategies, Minsk, Soviet urban model, Soviet urban heritage


In contemporary urban studies, the physical reconstruction of cities is achieving a new dimension, which is reflected in the urban resilience that is expressed as the physical, social, cultural and economic capability of urban structures to respond to anthropogenic or natural catastrophes. In this paper, we study the reconstruction processes of Minsk, Belarus, which was almost completely destroyed and rebuilt as a new city after World War II, in order to understand in which way specific social and political conditions may have influence on the physical rebuilding of urban and architectural form in “devastated” cities. We based our analysis on study of Master Plans from different periods. In particular, we focused on the Master Plan 1946 analysing its specific characteristic and linking them to political and social circumstances of post-war period. We conclude that Minsk was reconstructed as a model for a new Soviet city that brings us to a question: could the Soviet architecture and urbanism fill the void in Minsk’s urban heritage?




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