Archive: 'The Crisis of Spanish Architecture (1939-1972)' by Antonio Fernández Alba, 1972.

Unearthed Under Franco’s Shadow: “The Crisis of Spanish Architecture” Exposes Environmental Neglect

11 April, 2023

In a discovery unearthed by MÓN, a document titled “The Crisis of Spanish Architecture,” published in the thick of Franco’s regime in 1972 by Antonio Fernández Alba, brings new light on Spain’s past environmental policies. This discovery, crucial to our ‘Eroding Franco’ project, offers a rare glimpse into the ecological thinking and criticism during a time when such discourse was often suppressed under the Francoist dictatorship.The document stands out not just for its content but for the era of its origin—a period marked by stringent censorship and state control. Its existence is a testament to intellectual and ecological resistance in an age where open criticism was perilous.

One of the document’s key insights is its critique of urban development policies under Franco, which, driven by real estate speculation and tourism, overstepped the natural boundaries of cities, encroaching upon and altering Spain’s landscapes and coastlines. This unchecked expansion, the document argues, was a pivotal factor in the ongoing ecological degradation that Spain grapples with today.

The critique extends to the era’s architectural practices, which were largely subordinated to economic interests, leading to a noticeable environmental degradation and diminished social interaction. The paper underscores how urban planning and architectural decisions of the regime contributed to a built environment that marginalized sustainability and ecological considerations.

This unearthed document is a vital piece of the puzzle for ‘Eroding Franco,’ deepening our understanding of the historical roots of Spain’s current environmental challenges. It underscores how decisions made decades ago continue to shape the desertification crisis and environmental degradation that the country faces today.

“The Crisis of Spanish Architecture” not only enriches our understanding of the past but also urges us to reflect on current and future urbanization, land use, and environmental policies. At MÓN, we believe this discovery reaffirms the importance of learning from history to forge a more sustainable and environmentally conscious life.

With this new discovery, MÓN continues its commitment to uncovering and documenting Spain’s hidden history, illuminating the connections between Franco’s past and today’s environmental challenges. We invite our community to engage with these findings and join us in dialogue and action toward a more sustainable future.

Access the full document by clicking on this link.