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A Lineal City in the Pampas: Politics, Materialization and Revolution in Wladimiro Acosta's Vision for Buenos Aires



Abstract:  Critics of modern architectural utopias have referred to the notions of construction and politics as irreconcilable elements of an unsurpassable antinomy. By studying Wladimiro Acosta's attempt to interrupt the unfolding of the capitalist urban process in Buenos Aires through an integral revision of the Spanish block, I explore the political potential embedded in the instance of materialization and highlight construction's involvement in the transformation of the prevailing forms of urban appearance. I argue that Acosta's proposal for a lineal city contains important theoretical and architectural reflections on how to conceive construction as a constitutive element of urban politics. In a contemporary urban scenario, where the production of the city's material and infrastructural landscape seems increasingly detached from democratic control, revisiting historical examples that position the notions of construction and emancipation as part of a single political prism may prove to be indispensable.