Research on slum clearance policy and urban renewal policy

In the beginning of 2011, the Faculty of Humanities at Aarhus University provided Kristian Buhl Thomsen and the centre with the funding for a three year PhD scholarship. The purpose is to analyse “The strategies and ideologies of the Danish slum clearance policy and urban renewal policy 1939-1990”. In the PhD project, Kristian Buhl Thomsen will analyse the ideological and political struggles, which formed the policy in a number of Danish towns from the adoption of the first Danish slum clearance law in 1939 to the new urban renewal strategy in 1990. The thesis is that two main groups marked the development: 1) The modernists, who focused on economic and functional considerations and saw total slum clearance of town quarters as a way to get rid of the poor social- and housing conditions of the time. 2) On the other side, the romanticists who focussed on the architectural and aesthetical potentials of town quarters and preferred housing improvements and preservation. The romanticists slowly gained ground with their gentler paradigm and were triumphant as a new law introduced the term “urban renewal” in 1983. The scholarship will last until January 2014. See more information in Danish here.