Housing and Urban Development in the USSR
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The “architects of the Russian Revolution” were indeed architects and town planners insofar as their designs for dwellings and social facilities provided an ideal setting for the new society. Yet, almost seventy years later, the Soviet housing goals a
This study of housing and the urban environment in a socialist society sheds light on the discrepancy between plan and reality. It investigates the sources and consequences of the problem and shows how the U. S.S. R. has attempted to find solutions.
Following a general background and overview section, the book deals with the construction, control, and use of buildings in Soviet cities. It then investigates the types of housing considered to be most appropriate for today's Russian urbanite. Focusing on housing sites, it shows the reality of the housing situation in the U. S.S. R. and uncovers spatial patterns of social segregation in Soviet urban development. The question of high- and low-rise housing for workers is also discussed.
Andrusz shows how today's Soviet society has evolved away from certain patterns created by the architects of the Revolution. New norms, values, and demands—particularly in the visible form of a more privatized lifestyle: the consumer-oriented, car-ownership-seeking, nuclear family with segregated role playing—have resulted in new dwelling needs.
The book is enriched with tables, notes and references, and a useful bibliography.
Gregory D. Andrusz is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Middlesex Polytechnic of Great Britain.