1.1 The built environment & politics of architecture in pre-war fascist Italy.
In starting this essay, it will be useful to situate the project by introducing the reader to its political and historical Italian context.
The years preceding World War II in fascist Italy are particularly important for the domain of architecture in that they feature a number of significant changes in the built environment. New infrastructure was being built around the country as extravagant sums were being spent on the public sector.1 New neighbourhoods and urban centres were being built both in major cities (with the likes of the Garbatella and Quartiere Coppede in Rome, influenced by the theories of Unwin, Abercrombie, Erberstadt and Stübben, in the form of the “Città-giardino”)2 and in the country side or the coast (with small towns such as Littoria and Sabaudia). Archaeological feats in the capital were revealing the historical Roman heritage of the country, while intellectual elites were starting to implement new policies for the built environment through the creation of specific governmental and academic bodies (the year 1930 marks the creation of the INU, Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica, and thus the birth of urbanistica, a new formalised discipline).3