Translated from the French by Anthony Eardley. From Le Corbusier’s The Athens Charter. (Grossman. New York, NY: ). • • • ONE. The Athens Charter, supposedly produced by the Fourth Congress of the. Congres Internationaux a1′ Architecture Moderne (CIAM IV) in , is regarded. CIAM (Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne) was the most well‐known organization of what is often referred to as the ‘Modern Movement’ in.

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The great principal thoroughfares, which are linked to the whole of the region, will naturally assert their predominance in the network. In the past, the dwelling and the workshop, being linked together by close and permanent ties, were situated near one another. Views Read Edit View history. There are ways of saving whatever deserves to be saved while relentlessly destroying whatever constitutes a hazard.

This decision will have no effect unless it is supported by a genuine act of legislation: With the advent of the machine age, the cities expanded without control and without constraint.

The Athens Charter (CIAM ) | John R. Gold –

Zoning is an operation carried out on the city map with the object of assigning every function and every individual to its rightful place. The railroads were built before the prodigious industrial expansion that they themselves caused.

A distinction must be made between sedentary functions, which develop inside volumes where the third dimension plays the most important role, and functions of traffic circulation, which, using only two dimensions, are tied to the ground; height plays a role only rarely and on a small scale — as, for instance, when changes of level are intended to regularize certain heavy flows of vehicular traffic.

Sert, for example, made extensive use of available visual materials, gathered from round the world, which seemed broadly sy pathetic to the idea of the Fu ctio al City. Transportation routes should be classified according to their nature, and be designed to meet the rrquirements [sic] and speeds of specific types of vehicles. Skip to main content. The text of the Athens Charter as published became an extension of the content of The Radiant City [12] and Le Corbusier significantly re-worded the original observations.

This essay seeks to provide context for the Athens Charter, as well as identify eight main themes that emerge from the Charter, and that reveal the most important ways in which the Charter reflected the historical context from which it emerged, as well as impacted the history of the postwar world. Not only would such a change make traffic flow more efficiently, argues the Charter, but it would allow people to live in verdant areas without necessarily having to leave the city, it would remove a source of pollution, or, “bad air” from the dwelling, and it would make city life much safer.


Van Eesteren’s original Amsterdam plan had, with greater resources, a basis formed by scientific data. The determining causes and the effects of its different intensities will then become clearly apparent, and it will be easier to detect its critical points. Unlike the radial design of the Ville Contemporaine, the Ville Radieuse was a linear city based upon the abstract shape of the human body with head, spine, arms and legs.

Van Eesteren employed the city planner Theodor Karel van Lohuizen to use methods developed for the Amsterdam Expansion Plan, to prepare zoning plans that would predict overall future development in the city. But, until now, construction techniques have limited the height of buildings to about six stories. Incorporated in a group, he feels the weight of the constraints imposed by inevitable social disciplines, but in return he is to some extent ensured against violence, illness, and hunger.

Outlying open spaces cannot ameliorate areas of downtown congestion. When this density increases, as it does in many districts, to, or even inhabitants, it then becomes a slum, which is characterized by the following symptoms: Attempts to widen them are often very costly and ineffectual operations.

Traffic will be separated by means of a network of footpaths for the slow-moving pedestrian and a network of fast roads for automobiles. It is not surprising then that this program was only ever realized on the scale it was intended under communist dictatorships, which had no problem with outright expropriation of property, and had near complete control over the finances and economy of the country, and thus were in a position to devote the enormous sums of money necessary to carry out projects such as Berlin-Marzahn.

Owing to the improvements in mechanized means of transportation, the question of distance is no longer a determining factor in this context. The handicrafts differ from industry by their very nature and call for appropriate dispositions.

The first obligation of urbanism is to come into accord with the fundamental needs of men. Apart from any judgment as to their curricula and their architectural disposition, schools, as a general rule, are badly situated within the urban complex.

The results of the Congress were initially published in the official proceedings of the Greek Chamber of Technology inbut revised and annotated by Corbusier in as the “Athens Charter” and published in Paris in The motivations that gave birth to the cities were varied in nature.

The Athens Charter | Themenportal Europäische Geschichte

This segregation of dwellings is sanctioned by atens, and by a system of local authority regulations considered quite justifiable: Patris, an ocean-going liner journeying from Marseilles to Athens in July First, they must play a useful role, and it is facilities of a communal nature that will occupy their lawns: No provision has been made for safeguarding man.

Under these conditions, high population densities indicate a permanent state of disease and discomfort. Distances between work places and dwelling places should be reduced to a minimum.


The city that has a precious substratum at its disposal becomes rich in substances that will serve it as exchange currency, especially if it is equipped with a traffic network ample enough to permit convenient contact with its near and distant neighbors.

The cities, as they exist today, are built under conditions injurious to the public and private good.

M, this entry examines the history of documents that stemmed from C. Chrater importance of urbanism, and by extension the CIAM, the La Sarraz Declaration and ultimately the Athens Charter, lay in the fact that it transformed the architect into a city planner first and foremost.

However, beyond the functional utility of using the sun and the landscape as the ur-basis for designing new cities, the Charter reflects a deeper belief in the mystical power of the natural world as the rightful—not merely the convenient—basis of all human building.

It is urgently necessary for every city to prepare atgens planning program indicating what laws will be needed to bring the plan to realization. Running these transportation systems is a painstaking and costly business; the amount that the passengers pay charterr not enough to cover their operating expenses, so they have become a heavy public burden. The Charter saw these problems as stemming from a lack of planning accompanying the rise of industrialization athwns the growth of urban populations first and foremost, locating the source of the problem in the structure of urban space itself, and clearly believed that they way to prevent the masses from becoming radicalized further was to change the physical environment in which they lived.

Athens Charter

The Charter claims that rather than simply “nationalizing” or “socializing” property at gunpoint, government ought to remunerate all property owners for their loss at “fair market value. Fiam to himself, a man is soon crushed by difficulties of every kind which he must overcome.

A good example of this is the assumption that the cramped quarters and labyrinthine courtyards and alleys of the old slums fostered “promiscuity” and criminality, a common focus of social reformers since the Victorian age. Although the benefit to be derived from these collective institutions is unquestionable, the masses are still badly in need of them. A standard set of notation was agreed. Once the sites close to the city that would make suitable centers for weekly leisure activities have been selected, the problem of mass transportation must be faced.

It is based on necessary differentiations between the various human activities, each of which requires its own specific space:

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