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The Urban Scale of Science and the Enlargement of Madrid (1851-1936)

AutorLafuente, Antonio ; Saraiva, Tiago
Palabras claveUrban expansion
civil engineers
science and the city
Fecha de publicaciónago-2004
EditorSage Publications
CitaciónSocial Studies of Science, Vol. 34, No. 4, 531-569
ResumenDuring the Enlightenment Madrid scientific institutions such as the Botanical Garden or the Natural History Museum served the demands of court ornament as well as colonial efficiency. They were landmarks of new urbanism and new science. In the XIXth Century engineers and hygienists shifted from empire to the city. The relevance of their know-how was now certified by their capacity to solve the city problems. They had to bring water, design urban expansion and fight epidemics. Once again the sites from which these new actors reformed the city were heterotopias, symbols of the promised metropolis: new monuments both by their architecture and their noble function as scientific institutions. All these local concerns were to be set aside by a new scientific community emerging in Madrid in the first decade of the XXth century. A group of physicists, chemists and biologists in search of international recognition, formed a new scientific campus on the outskirts of the city. The rationalism of their buildings was the best symbol of the new scientific culture of precision. A change of architectures which also meant a change of cultures. Our aim is to recover a lost sense of the city by placing ourselves at the beginning of the process of urban production. We hope that such a focus will reveal the fundamental role of scientific activity in the definition of the urban spaces.
DescripciónPost-peer-reviewed version with permission from SSS
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