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Skopje Resurgent: the international confusions of post-earthquake planning, 1963–1967
journal contributionposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Mirjana LozanovskaMirjana Lozanovska, Igor MartekIgor Martek
In the period of the Cold War, architecture became a critical medium of knowledge transfer, facilitating the processes of modernization. The Cold War protagonists, the USSR and the USA, vied to gain the political allegiances of third world nations of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas. This was done through development and aid programmes that offered to lift nations out of poverty, and thereby also deliver them into political commitment to one side or the other. The destruction of Skopje, capital of Macedonia, in 1963, along with the subsequent efforts to replan and rebuild the city, brought with it a significant disruption to the Cold War dynamic. For one thing, Skopje happened to sit within Yugoslavia, a non-aligned country. For another, the winner of the competition to rebuild Skopje was a Japanese, Kenzo Tange. Moreover, the rallying efforts of the United Nations to bring people and resources from around the world to the aid of Skopje managed to transcend much of the partisanship characteristic of international politics. This paper explores the actors, networks, and mechanisms that came together from both sides of the Cold War divide to deliver one of the most defining trans-national urban projects of the 1960s.