The Exhibitionary complex and early twentieth century town planning

Marco Amati, Robert Freestone

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    In this paper our aim is to examine the historical role that planning exhibitions have had in communicating ideas. While the catalytic role in urban change of major expos is acknowledged, the staging, evolution and meanings attached to purposebuilt planning exhibitions have made only modest incursions into planning history, despite the importance attached to displays by pioneers like Patrick Geddes. Such events provide a useful aesthetic and historical lens through which to understand how the objectives of planning are marketed to planners and the wider community. Here, the objective is to frame the role of exhibitions in different time periods throughout the first half of the 20th century with special reference to the Australian experience. Exhibitions in the 1910s were often attached to conferences and helped codify the aims, icons and progress of the planning movement as an aclectic, albeit largely spatial discipline. The 1940s were arguably the golden era for planning exhibitions used to communicate and crystallize a universal canon of modernist planning ideals and values as a part of the post-war reconstruction effort. We conclude with reflections on a research agenda for the historiographical role of the planning exhibition and the shifting meanings of planning that they convey.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUrban Transformation
    Subtitle of host publicationControversies, Contrasts and Challenges : Proceedings of the 14th International Planning History Society Conference
    Place of PublicationIstanbul, Turkey
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventInternational Planning History Society Conference (14th : 2010) - Istanbul
    Duration: 12 Jul 201015 Jul 2010


    ConferenceInternational Planning History Society Conference (14th : 2010)


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