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High-rise housing estates were intended to fulfil the socialist dream of social equality and living in the nature. By proposing free-standing housing based on orthogonality, Le Corbusier on the one hand made a reference to the human need for geometrizing space, which is unique among other mammals, and on the other hand – to the fact that being born equal, people ought to have comparable living conditions: surrounded by green areas and an infrastructure that would enable them to live a friendly life in the housing estate and ensure easy access to other functions, more distant from one’s place of life.
What is modernist urban planning really like? Did it truly improve the quality of social life and make the conditions equal? Has living in well-aired flats among the greenery solved the problems stemming from inequality? To what extent has the modernist utopia been implemented? Do slab blocks – which were usually built in this urban typology – have a humane character?
If we take into consideration the additional functions that were supposed to be fulfilled in high-rise housing estates, will these spaces ensure a high quality of life?
Last but not least, how to evaluate the quality of flats in high-rise housing estates that were built in the People’s Republic of Poland against flats in inner-city tenement houses and contemporary housing projects? Are the conditions improving or deteriorating?
Curator of the Anatomy of Tower Blocks cycle Tomasz Bojęć
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