• Lilian Hansar




Keywords: utopia, ideal city, planning, absolutism, totalitarianism.
An ideal world has been dreamed about throughout human history. Utopian ideas about ideal societies, countries, or cities have been presented primarily as philosophies and theories, as artistic or literary fantasies, but attempts have also been made to actually implement them. Thus social, political and humanist utopias have influenced the planning and building of cities. Especially radical changes have been planned at the beginning of new political formations and urban planning periods. Therefore, utopian urban planning ideas are always connected to the ruling power – absolutism and totalitarianism. Being in the service of new ideologies, the utopian building plans for ideal cities can be viewed as the visual and aesthetic forms of social and political ideas. The article provides a survey of renaissance-era ideal cities, the cities from the Enlightenment that reflected ideal order, and the total modernisation of cities in the 20th century. Attention is directed at utopias with nostalgia
for the past and ones that plan for the future. Similarly to Europe, a survey of the various construction periods of Estonian cities provides a basis to state that the changes and planning that have occurred during their development is connected to phenomena characteristic of utopias.

Lilian Hansar has graduated Estonian Academy of Art as an architect (1975), she has obtained masters degree on protection and restoration of heritage (2002) and her PhD thesis (2010) treated the transformation of town structures in Estonian small towns from the 13th to 20th century. Hansar is since 2007 professor and Head of the Department of Protection and Restoration of Heritage at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
Her publications mainly concentrate on the history and protection of city building as well as its meaning as a milieu.


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