The elusive polemics of theory and practice: Giovanni Astengo, Giorgio Rigotti and the post-war debate over the plan for Turin
In 1944 Turin's city officials announced a competition for a new General Plan that began a long debate between architects and planners. Prior to and following the competition, intense political and professional polemics emerged: among others, it involved Giorgio Rigotti, a locally renowned planner, and Giovanni Astengo, a key protagonist in Italian post-war town planning. Sharing a common cultural and professional background, Astengo and Rigotti (the author of the plan subsequently adopted by the city) seemed only to differ in their political affiliations and ideological beliefs. Specifically, the difference between the two positions was the degree to which each emphasized the question of implementation. In fact, the polemics that preceded the adoption of the plan (1956-59) may be considered emblematic of one of the most contentious issues in planning: the problematic relationship between theory and practice.
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