Universitatea „Babeș-Bolyai”, Cluj-Napoca / “Babeș-Bolyai” University of Cluj-Napoca
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8-9 / 2016
Towards a Corpus of the City’s Historical Social Problems
The article reviews Zoltán Rostás’s anthology on the “Bucharest of architects, sociologists and doctors: between urban projects and lethargic poverty”, a collection of writings initially published during the interwar period. The review highlights the importance of social problems in understanding urban history, by suggesting how the contribution brought together by different specialists writing about the interwar Romanian city may constitute fundamental texts for any future urban study in Romania. The Capital city of Bucharest is depicted in the book not only with uncommon brushes, different from the fashionable representations of the interwar city life, but with preoccupations on diagnoses of and solutions to a variety of problems: from urban planning to integration of rural culture in the city life, and from orphanage asylums to neighborhood sanitation. This kind of anthologies are quite rare, and gathered together material like this would constitute a valuable corpus of any city’s historical social problems.
Keywords: Bucharest, social history, social problems, urban policy, modernization, anthology, urban studies