Urban History and Water Infrastructures in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union Cover Image

История городов и водные инфраструктуры в Российской империи и СССР
Urban History and Water Infrastructures in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union

Author(s): J. Obertreis, O. Malinova-Tziafeta
Subject(s): Social history, Recent History (1900 till today), Policy, planning, forecast and speculation, Rural and urban sociology, Political Ecology, Socio-Economic Research
Published by: Издательство Исторического факультета СПбГУ
Keywords: water infrastructures; Russian Empire; USS; infrastructural history; ecological history; urban history; urban society; capitalist; socialist urbanization; production of space;

Summary/Abstract: This article investigates urban water infrastructures in the Russian Empire and USSR during the “Long 20th Century” and focuses on prospects for further development in infrastructural and environmental history within the framework of this subject. Infrastructural history has been particularly notable in German historiography of Western and Central Europe, and its theoretical solutions appear useful for research into Russian/Soviet city infrastructure. First, we suggest a shift in perspective from technological history to those aspects of environmental and urban history most closely concerned with politics and civil society—especially urban society, with its collaborations and collisions between various social groups, such as city and state officials, activists, and specialists in different areas. Differences between capitalist and socialist urbanization are also worthy of more study. Finally, we discuss the importance of modernism and modernization discourses, as well as issues related to the production of space. The combination of various research perspectives of urban history, the history of the environment, and infrastructure of the past makes it possible to productively explore city water infrastructure. At the same time, the analysis should pay attention not only to correlation with political history, periodization, and which points of view to challenge via new approaches, but also incorporating a new social history, the history of society.

  • Issue Year: 9/2019
  • Issue No: 26
  • Page Range: 173-201
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Russian