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Post-War Middle-Class Housing

Models, Construction and Change

Edited By Gaia Caramellino and Federico Zanfi

Post-war middle-class housing played a key role in constructing and transforming the cities of Europe and America, deeply impacting today’s urban landscape. And yet, this stock has been underrepresented in a literature mostly focused on public housing and the work of a few master architects.
This book is the first attempt to explore such housing from an international perspective. It provides a comparative insight into the processes of construction, occupation and transformation of residential architecture built for the middle-classes in 12 different countries between the 1950s and 1970s. It investigates the role of models, actors and policies that shaped the middle-class city, tracing geographies, chronologies and forms of development that often cross national frontiers.
This study is particularly relevant today within the context of «fragilization» which affects the middle-classes, challenging, as it does, the urban role played by this residential heritage in the light of technological obsolescence, trends in patterns of homeownership, as well as social and generational changes.
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II.4 ‘Radieuse’ Peripheries: A Comparative Study on Middle-Class Housing in Luanda, Lisbon and Macao


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(DINAMIA’CET, ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)

II.4 ‘Radieuse’ Peripheries: A Comparative Study on Middle-Class Housing in Luanda, Lisbon and Macao

Building the Periphery of the Portuguese and Colonial City

Between the 1960s and 1980s Luanda, Lisbon and Macao saw the emergence of a number of residential complexes that had a shared matrix: privately developed high-rise buildings aimed at the middle-classes and located on the periphery. The three cities had different urban histories, even if they were united by the common denominator of being under Portuguese political and administrative control. Lisbon was a European capital made up of successive strata and occupation phases with ancient and medieval predecessors. Luanda was an old outpost on the west coast of Southern Africa that gradually took on the status of main city of Angola over the course of the 19th century, and that in 1960 was in an ongoing process of rapid population growth, expanding through its many areas of informal occupation. And Macao, an Asian city within the confines of a peninsula and the boundaries that separated it from continental China, was in a process of self-renewal and permanent reutilisation of space, with the urban transformation processes being characterised by a high speed that set it apart from the conventional European city. It is in this context of diversity of backgrounds and conditions that an...

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