Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Obsessively Writing the Modern City

The Partial Madness of Urban Planning Culture and the Case of Arturo Soria y Mata in Madrid, Spain

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2019), 13, (1), 21–37.

Abstract

The article blends disability studies and urban cultural studies in order to explore the geometrical obsessions of modern urban planners. It sets the stage by including the figure of the urban planner in the list of specialists (artists, scientists, writers) at the core of the argument made by Lennard J. Davis in Obsession: A History (2008). One planner in particular typifies the way in which obsessive thinking comes to be prized and somewhat normalized during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Arturo Soria y Mata’s plan for a Linear City follows the renowned examples of Baron Georges von Haussmann’s Paris and Ildefons Cerdà’s Barcelona. Soria y Mata’s plan for Madrid touts the triumph of conceptual space through bold geometrical vectors that effectively erase the variations of urban life in both symbolic and practical terms. An urban cultural studies framework, grounded in the urban thinking of Henri Lefebvre and others, extends the notion of culture beyond literary approaches and effectively urbanizes global disability studies. It also draws attention to modern urban planning’s paradoxical reliance on both ableist ideology and cognitive difference, framed by the concept of “partial madness.”

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Baker, Ed and Malcolm Alan Compitello, eds. Madrid. De Fortunata a la M–40: Un siglo de cultura urbana. Madrid: Alianza, 2003. Print. Madrid. De Fortunata a la M–40: Un siglo de cultura urbana Google Scholar

Boileau, Ivan. “La Ciudad Lineal: A Critical Study of the Linear Suburb of Madrid.” The Town Planning Review 30.3 (1959): 230–38. Print. La Ciudad Lineal: A Critical Study of the Linear Suburb of Madrid The Town Planning Review 30.3 230 38 Google Scholar

Boys, Jos, ed. Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 2017. Print. Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader Google Scholar

Butler, Ruth and Hester Parr, eds. Mind and Body Spaces: Geographies of Illness, Impairment and Disability. London and New York: Routledge, 1999. Print. Mind and Body Spaces: Geographies of Illness, Impairment and Disability Google Scholar

Cerdà, Ildefons. Teoría general de la urbanización. 2 vols. Madrid: Imprenta Española, 1867. Print. Teoría general de la urbanización 2 Google Scholar

Choay, Françoise. The Modern City: Planning in the 19th Century. Trans. M. Hugo and G. R. Collins. New York: George Braziller, 1969. Print. The Modern City: Planning in the 19th Century Google Scholar

Chueca Goitia, Fernando. Breve historia del urbanismo. Madrid: Alianza, 2011. Print. Breve historia del urbanismo Google Scholar

Collins, George and Carlos Flores, eds. Arturo Soria y la Ciudad Lineal. Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1968. Print. Arturo Soria y la Ciudad Lineal Google Scholar

Compañía Madrileña de Urbanización. Guía de la Ciudad Lineal. Valladolid: Maxtor, 2011. Print. Guía de la Ciudad Lineal Google Scholar

Davis, Lennard J. Obsession: A History. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2008. Print. Obsession: A History Google Scholar

De Terán, Fernando. Antecedente de un urbanismo actual: la Ciudad Lineal. Madrid: Cuadernos Ciencia Nueva, 1968. Print. Antecedente de un urbanismo actual: la Ciudad Lineal Google Scholar

—. Historia del urbanismo en España III: siglos XIX y XX. Madrid: Cátedra, 1999. Print. Historia del urbanismo en España III: siglos XIX y XX. Google Scholar

Delgado Ruiz, Manuel. Sociedades movedizas: pasos hacia una antropología de las calles. Barcelona: Anagrama, 2007. Print. Sociedades movedizas: pasos hacia una antropología de las calles Google Scholar

Dolmage, Jay. “From Steep Steps to Retrofit to Universal Design, from Collapse to Austerity: Neo-liberal Spaces of Disability.” Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader. Ed. Jos Boys. London and New York: Routledge, 2017. 102–15. Print. From Steep Steps to Retrofit to Universal Design, from Collapse to Austerity: Neo-liberal Spaces of Disability Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader 102 15 Google Scholar

Doxiadis, C. A. “On Linear Cities.” The Town Planning Review 38.1 (1967): 35–42. Print. On Linear Cities The Town Planning Review 38.1 35 42 Google Scholar

Elden, Stuart. Understanding Henri Lefebvre: Theory and the Possible. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Print. Understanding Henri Lefebvre: Theory and the Possible Google Scholar

Fraser, Benjamin. Toward an Urban Cultural Studies: Henri Lefebvre and the Humanities. Backingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Print. Toward an Urban Cultural Studies: Henri Lefebvre and the Humanities Google Scholar

Gleeson, B. J. “Disability and the Open City.” Urban Studies 38.2 (2001): 251–65. Web. 23 Oct. 2017. Disability and the Open City Urban Studies 38.2 251 65 Google Scholar

—. “Disability Studies: A Historical Materialist View.” Disability & Society 12.2 (1997): 179–202. Web. 23 Oct. 2017. Disability Studies: A Historical Materialist View Disability & Society 12.2 179 202 Google Scholar

Hall, Thomas. Planning Europe’s Capital Cities: Aspects of Nineteenth-Century Urban Development. London: E and FN SPON, 1997. Print. Planning Europe’s Capital Cities: Aspects of Nineteenth-Century Urban Development Google Scholar

Hamraie, Aimi. “Universal Design Research as a New Materialist Practice.” Disability Studies Quarterly 32.4 (2012). Web. 18 Nov. 2014. Universal Design Research as a New Materialist Practice Disability Studies Quarterly 32.4 Google Scholar

Harvey, David. “The New Urbanism and the Communitarian Trap: On the Social Problems and the False Hope of Design.” Sprawl and Suburbia. Ed. William S. Saunders. London and Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2005. 21–26. Print. The New Urbanism and the Communitarian Trap: On the Social Problems and the False Hope of Design Sprawl and Suburbia 21 26 Google Scholar

—. Paris, Capital of Modernity. London and New York: Routledge, 2006. Print. Paris, Capital of Modernity Google Scholar

Imrie, Rob. “Architects’ Conceptions of the Human Body.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 21 (2003): 47–65. Print. Architects’ Conceptions of the Human Body Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 21 47 65 Google Scholar

—. Disability and the City: International Perspectives. London: Paul Chapman, 1996. Print. Disability and the City: International Perspectives Google Scholar

—. “Disability and Discourses of Mobility and Movement.” Environment and Planning A 32 (2000): 1641–56. Print. Disability and Discourses of Mobility and Movement Environment and Planning A 32 1641 56 Google Scholar

—. “Disabling Environments and the Geography of Access Policies and Practices.” Disability & Society 15.1 (2000): 5–24. Web. 23 Oct. 2017. Disabling Environments and the Geography of Access Policies and Practices Disability & Society 15.1 5 24 Google Scholar

—. “The Interrelationships between Building Regulations and Architects’ Practices.” Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 34 (2007): 925–43. Print. The Interrelationships between Building Regulations and Architects’ Practices Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 34 925 43 Google Scholar

Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Vintage, 1992. Print. The Death and Life of Great American Cities Google Scholar

Kafer, Alison. Feminist Queer Crip. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 2013. Print. Feminist Queer Crip Google Scholar

Larson, Susan. Constructing and Resisting Modernity: Madrid 1900–1936. Madrid: Vervuert/Iberoamericana, 2011. Print. Constructing and Resisting Modernity: Madrid 1900–1936 Google Scholar

Lefebvre, Henri. Introduction to Modernity. Trans. John Moore. London and New York: Verso, 1995. Print. Introduction to Modernity Google Scholar

—. The Production of Space. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991. Print. The Production of Space Google Scholar

—. “Right to the City.” Writings on Cities. Ed. and trans. E. Kofman and E. Lebas. Oxford: Blackwell, 1996. 63–181. Print. Right to the City Writings on Cities 63 181 Google Scholar

—. The Sociology of Marx. Trans. N. Guterman. New York: Columbia UP, 1982. Print. The Sociology of Marx Google Scholar

—. The Survival of Capitalism: Reproduction of the Relations of Production. Trans. Frank Bryant. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1976. Print. The Survival of Capitalism: Reproduction of the Relations of Production Google Scholar

—. The Urban Revolution. Trans. Robert Bononno. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2003. Print. The Urban Revolution Google Scholar

LeGates, Richard T. and Frederic Stout, eds. The City Reader. 3rd ed. New York; London: Routledge, 2005. Print. The City Reader Google Scholar

McRuer, Robert. Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability. New York: New York UP, 2006. Print. Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability Google Scholar

—. “Disability Nationalism in Crip Times.” Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 4.2 (2010): 163–78. Print. Disability Nationalism in Crip Times Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 4.2 163 78 Google Scholar

— and Anna Mollow, eds. Sex and Disability. London and Durham: Duke UP, 2012. Print. Sex and Disability Google Scholar

Mercer, Leigh. Urbanism and Urbanity: The Spanish Bourgeois Novel and Contemporary Customs (1845–1925). Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell UP, 2013. Print. Urbanism and Urbanity: The Spanish Bourgeois Novel and Contemporary Customs (1845–1925) Google Scholar

Merrifield, Andy. Henri Lefebvre: A Critical Introduction. New York and London: Routledge, 2006. Print. Henri Lefebvre: A Critical Introduction Google Scholar

Miles, Steven and Malcolm Miles. Consuming Cities. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004. Print. Consuming Cities Google Scholar

Mitchell, David T. and Sharon L. Snyder, eds. “The Geo-Politics of Ablenationalism.” Special issue of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 4.2 (2010). Web. 23 May 2016. The Geo-Politics of Ablenationalism Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 4.2 Google Scholar

Mumford, Lewis. The Culture of Cities. New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1970. Print. The Culture of Cities Google Scholar

Murray, Stuart and Clare Barker, eds. “Disability Postcolonialism.” Special issue of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 4.3 (2010). Web. 23 May 2016. Disability Postcolonialism Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 4.3 Google Scholar

Navascués Palacios, Pedro. “La Ciudad Lineal de Arturo Soria.” Villa de Madrid 28 (1969): 49–58. Print. La Ciudad Lineal de Arturo Soria Villa de Madrid 28 49 58 Google Scholar

Observatorio Metropolitano, ed. Madrid: ¿La suma de todos? globalización, territorio, desigualdad. Madrid: Traficantes de Sueños, 2007. Print. Madrid: ¿La suma de todos? globalización, territorio, desigualdad Google Scholar

Olsen, Donald J. The City as a Work of Art: London, Paris, Vienna. New Haven: Yale UP, 1986. Print. The City as a Work of Art: London, Paris, Vienna Google Scholar

Puar, Jasbir. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham: Duke UP, 2007. Print. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times Google Scholar

Ramos, Carlos. Construyendo la modernidad: Escritura y arquitectura en el Madrid moderno (1919–1937). Leida: Edicions de la Universitat de Leida, 2010. Print. Construyendo la modernidad: Escritura y arquitectura en el Madrid moderno (1919–1937) Google Scholar

Resina, Joan Ramon. Barcelona’s Vocation of Modernity. Rise and Decline of an Urban Image. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2008. Print. Barcelona’s Vocation of Modernity. Rise and Decline of an Urban Image. Google Scholar

Sambricio, Carlos. Madrid, Vivienda y Urbanismo: 1900–1960. Madrid: Akal, 2004. Print. Madrid, Vivienda y Urbanismo: 1900–1960 Google Scholar

Sennett, Richard. The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 1992. Print. The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities Google Scholar

Serlin, David. “Disabling the Flâneur.” Journal of Visual Culture 5.2 (2006): 193–208. Print. Disabling the Flâneur Journal of Visual Culture 5.2 193 208 Google Scholar

—. “On Walkers and Wheelchairs: Disabling the Narratives of Urban Modernity.” Radical History Review 114 (2012): 19–28. Print. On Walkers and Wheelchairs: Disabling the Narratives of Urban Modernity Radical History Review 114 19 28 Google Scholar

Soria y Mata, Arturo. Ferrocarril-tranvía de circunvalación de Madrid á Canillas, Hortaleza, Funcarral, Vicálvaro, Vallecas, Villaverde, Carabanchel y Pozuelo. Datos y noticias referentes á su construcción y explotación. Madrid: Sucesores de Rivadeneyra, 1892. Print. Ferrocarril-tranvía de circunvalación de Madrid á Canillas, Hortaleza, Funcarral, Vicálvaro, Vallecas, Villaverde, Carabanchel y Pozuelo. Datos y noticias referentes á su construcción y explotación Google Scholar

—. El origen poliédrico de las especies. Madrid: Sucesores de Rivadeneyra, 1894. Print. El origen poliédrico de las especies Google Scholar

Soria y Puig, Arturo. Cerdá: Las cinco bases de la teoría general de la urbanización. Ed. Arturo Soria y Puig. Barcelona–Madrid: Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca-Sociedad Editorial Electa España, 1996. Print. Cerdá: Las cinco bases de la teoría general de la urbanización Google Scholar

Titchkosky, Tanya. The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2011. Print. The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning Google Scholar

Velez, Diana. “Late Nineteenth-Century Spanish Progressivism: Arturo Soria’s Linear City.” Journal of Urban History 9.2 (1983): 131–64. Print. Late Nineteenth-Century Spanish Progressivism: Arturo Soria’s Linear City Journal of Urban History 9.2 131 64 Google Scholar

Young, Iris Marion. Justice and the Politics of Difference. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1990. Print. Justice and the Politics of Difference Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Fraser, Benjamin