1st Edition

Cold War Cities Politics, Culture and Atomic Urbanism, 1945–1965

Edited By Richard Brook, Martin Dodge, Jonathan Hogg Copyright 2021
    332 Pages 112 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    332 Pages 112 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the impact of the Cold War in a global context and focuses on city-scale reactions to the atomic warfare. It explores urbanism as a weapon to combat the dangers of the communist intrusion into the American territories and promote living standards for the urban poor in the US cities.

    The Cold War saw the birth of ‘atomic urbanisation’, central to which were planning, politics and cultural practices of the newly emerged cities. This book examines cities in the Arctic, Europe, Asia and Australasia in detail to reveal how military, political, resistance and cultural practices impacted on the spaces of everyday life. It probes questions of city planning and development, such as: How did the threat of nuclear war affect planning at a range of geographic scales? What were the patterns of the built environment, architectural forms and material aesthetics of atomic urbanism in difference places? And, how did the ‘Bomb’ manifest itself in civic governance, popular media, arts and academia? Understanding the age of atomic urbanism can help meet the contemporary challenges that cities are facing.

    The book delivers a new dimension to the existing debates of the ideologically opposed superpowers and their allies, their hemispherical geopolitical struggles, and helps to understand decades of growth post-Second World War by foregrounding the Cold War.

    Cold War Cities: Spatial Planning, Social and Political Processes, and Cultural Practices in the Age of Atomic Urbanism, 1945-1965
    Richard Brook, Martin Dodge and Jonathan Hogg

    Part 1: Planning the Cold War City

    1. Properties of Science: How Industrial Research and the Suburbs Reshaped Each Other in Cold-War Pittsburgh
    Patrick Vitale

    2. The City of Bristol: Ground Zero in the Making
    Bob Clarke

    3. Towards a Prosperous Future Through Cold War Planning: Stalinist Urban Design in the Industrial Towns of Sillamäe and Kohtla-Järve, Estonia
    Siim Sultson

    4. Nuclear Anxiety in Postwar Japan’s City of the Future
    Sebastian Schmidt

    Visual Essay: Urbanism of Fear: A Tale of Two Chinese Cold War Cities
    Tong Lam

    Part 2: Building the Cold War City

    5. The Warsaw Metro and the Warsaw Pact: From Deep Cover to Cut-and-Cover
    Alex Lawrey

    6. Competing Militarisation and Urban Development During the Cold War: How a Soviet Air Base Came to Dominate Tartu, Estonia
    Daniel B. Hess and Taavi Pae

    7. In-Between the East and the West: Architecture and Urban Planning in ‘Non-Aligned’ Skopje
    Jasna Mariotti

    8. Atomic Urbanism Under Greenland’s Ice Cap: Camp Century and Cold War Architectural Imagination
    Kristian H. Nielsen

    Visual Essay: Warfare or Welfare? Civil Defence and Emergency Planning in Danish Urban Welfare Architecture
    Rosanna Farbøl

    Part 3: Culture and Politics in the Cold War City

    9. Urban Space, Public Protest, and Nuclear Weapons in Early Cold War Sydney
    Kyle Harvey

    10. In the Middle of the Atomic Arena: Visible and Invisible NATO Sites in Verona During the Nineteen Fifties
    Michela Morgante

    11. Conceiving the Atomic Bomb Threat Between West and East: Mobilisation, Representation and Perception Against the A-bomb in 1950s Red Bologna
    Eloisa Betti

    12. Making a ‘Free World’ City: Urban Space and Social Order in Cold War Bangkok
    Matthew Phillips

    Visual Essay: Cold War Telecommunication and Urban Vulnerability – Underground Exchange and Microwave Tower in Manchester
    Martin Dodge and Richard Brook


    Richard Brook is an architect and Reader at Manchester School of Architecture, UK. He is author of Manchester Modern (2017). He has talked, written, curated and published extensively on post-war British architecture. He researches the policies of planning and regulation and their impact on urban form.

    Martin Dodge is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Manchester, UK. His major research interests are currently visual culture and the politics of mapping, and infrastructural geographies read through historical and archival perspectives.

    Jonathan Hogg is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Liverpool, UK. He has conducted extensive research on the cultural and social history of the British nuclear state. His recent publications offer a new interpretation of nuclear culture and the Cold War by tracing the tensions between 'official' and 'unofficial' nuclear narratives.