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Author(s): Jan Dostalík, Zbyněk Ulčák
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Historický ústav SAV, v. v. i.
Keywords: Emanuel Hruška; urban and regional planning theory; history of urbanism; nature protection; natural environment; biological universalism

Summary/Abstract: The present article describes the life, work and ideas of the architect, urban planner, university teacher and theorist of urban and regional planning, Emanuel Hruška. The first part deals briefly with his biography and work (pointing out some lesser-known and forgotten works of his), the next part is focused on environmentally friendly concepts and ideas in Czechoslovakian urban and regional planning (from the 1920s to the 1970s). The most important part is dedicated to Hruška‘s ecological approach that he in the 1940s entitled “biological universalism”. Although by the 1950s he had stopped using this term, he stayed true to the principle of “working with the landscape and with its biological mechanisms in mind” for his whole life. For Emanuel Hruška, the landscape implies a “living organism” that is very closely connected to humans, and in which people are an inseparable part. Landscape, in other words the sum of the natural environment and the built environment (all civilized man-made components), was perceived as a home that connects both historical-cultural as well as natural-cultural values. Hruška also realized that the natural environment is a source of resources, energy and a space for socio-economical development. On the other hand, he at the same time emphasized the relaxation and recreational aspects of the natural environment. And finally, from the ecosystem point of view, he perceived the landscape as a structured entity that is superior to man-made objects and mankind itself. Nature protection was not a point for discussion for him, because he knew that by protecting the natural environment people are protecting themselves. As a result, he believed in socialism and a fair communist future, in which the protection of the natural environment would be a matter of fact. Emanuel Hruška is certainly not only one of the founders of the Slovakian urban design school, but is also one of the most significant figures espousing an ecological approach in Czechoslovakian urban and regional planning. It is noteworthy that his theoretical and practical ideas are very up-to-date and inspiring even today.

  • Issue Year: 47/2013
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 52-71
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Czech