DEMOCRACY OF ARCHITECTURE An Exploration of the Lack of Democratic Responsiveness in Contemporary Urban Architectural Styles

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: A key feature of democracy is responsiveness: that the political decisions respond to the will of the electorate. Previous studies show that most people tend to prefer Classical and classical inspired architecture in urban environments. Despite this, contemporary buildings in Swedish cities are generally characterized by a Neomodern architectural style. Therefore, there seems to exist a lack of democratic responsiveness in contemporary urban architectural style. The overall aim of this thesis is to explore why this lack of responsiveness exists. The Swedish city of Lund is chosen as a case study. Interviews have formed the main method of data collection. 16 politicians, officials, architects and representatives of building developers have been interviewed. Three theoretical explanations are developed and used to explore why this lack of responsiveness exists. They suggest it is due to some form of elitism, that the architects possess a kind of artistic freedom, and that architectural style is of low political priority. Additionally, based on the data, three alternative explanations are identified and discussed. The results show that the presented explanations are relevant for the lack responsiveness in urban architectural style. The data also indicate that there are, in practice, only minor political interference when it comes to architectural style in Lund. Moreover, the results suggest that this matter is perceived and treated as a, to a large extent, unpolitical issue.

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