The Ghost Boulevard
Time: Fri 2020-03-06 14.00
Subject area: Architecture, Urban Design
Doctoral student: Bojan Boric , Stadsbyggnad
Opponent: Reader Tahl Kaminer, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK
Supervisor: Professor Helena Mattsson, Arkitekturens historia och teori; Associate Professor Meike Schalk, Arkitektur; Associate Professor Jennifer Mack, Arkitektur
In 1947, Soviet architect Alexey Shchusev developed a large-scale urban renewal project for the post-war city of Chisinau, the then-capital of the SSR of Moldova. Part of the master plan was the construction of Boulevard D. Cantemir, which would cut through the city’s historic fabric. Only two sections of the boulevard were built before the project was abandoned. During the period of radical institutional political and economic shift towards a market economy in the early 1990s, initiatives to build the boulevard re-emerged through red lines, zoning documents, and planning regulations. The lack of political consensus caused planning paralyses over the city, creating a legal void where different actors competed to appropriate spaces. The power of the red lines has prompted various kinds of materializations of the boulevard. The real battle takes place in the sphere of the imaginary, and memory management is one of the main planning tools. Exploring the trajectory of the “Ghost Boulevard,” I reveal conflicting political and economic agendas and the many forces that constitute complex processes of planning today.