Translated from the French by Anthony Eardley. From Le Corbusier’s The Athens Charter. (Grossman. New York, NY: ). • • • ONE. The Athens Charter, supposedly produced by the Fourth Congress of the. Congres Internationaux a1′ Architecture Moderne (CIAM IV) in , is regarded. CIAM (Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne) was the most well‐known organization of what is often referred to as the ‘Modern Movement’ in.

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The national groups reported to the conference with the findings from their city studies, presenting in each case the agreed three boards showing a total of 34 cities. One of the most important avenues of research stemming from the Athens Charter, then, will need to be more investigations as to the depth of connection between the Charter as a text and the projects it inspired as historically contingent projects, and in atthens, whether the internal inconsistencies of the Charter as a text correspond in a causal way to the problems experienced throughout the postwar world.

In the first place they are influenced by the geographical and topographical condition, the constitution of the elements, land and water, nature, soil, climate… Geography and topography play a considerable role in the destiny of men.

Since offices are private concerns effective planning for their best development is difficult.

These caim functions, which are the four keys to urbanism, cover an enormous area, since urbanism is the outcome of a way of thinking, integrated into public life by means of a technique for action.

The whole of the past is not, by definition, entitled to last forever; it is advisable to choose wisely that which must be respected.

Athens Charter

To reduce the matter to high density when no due attention was given to communal facilities was to court disaster; to create open space without greenery was to devalue the idea of the community living in nature. The Getty suggests that when referencing this document, the original document should be consulted see citation below. There is frenzied commotion in the rush hours, and fharter users pay dearly from their own pockets for an arrangement that adds hours of jostling and scurrying to the stresses of the workday itself.


A reformed type cuarter zoning must be set up that can bring the key functions of the city into a harmonious relationship and develop connections between them. This theme forms an integral part of the fundamentals of urbanism, and the city administrators should hcarter compelled to give it their fullest attention.

Flimsily constructed little houses, boarded hovels, sheds thrown together out of the most incongruous materials, the domain of poor creatures tossed about in an undisciplined way of life — that is the suburb! An urban agglomeration forms the vital nucleus of a geographical expanse whose boundary is determined only by the area of influence of another agglomeration.

The agreed deadline for publication in the periodical Annales Techniques was fast approaching. This is a total urbanism, capable of bringing equilibrium to each province and to the country as a whole. Once it has become linear instead of annular, the city will be able to align its own parallel band of habitation as it develops.

First, they must play a useful role, and it is facilities of a communal nature that will occupy their lawns: Charer work of each modern architect was known as his workwhich often evolved during their life as they continued to search and experiment. Industrial sectors should be separated from residential sectors by an area of green open space. It constitutes one of the greatest evils of the century. For Corbusier and the CIAM, the automobile is more than just a faster means of transport than the horse or walking, because the entire spatial layout of cities derived over centuries and even millennia from the temporality of walking or riding on horseback.

Athens Charter – Wikipedia

It would be advantageous to line them with dense screens of foliage. Special circumstances have, throughout history, determined the character of individual cities: In either case, the severe problem of public health remains unimproved. The favored areas are generally taken up by luxury residences, thus giving proof that man instinctively aspires, whenever his means allow it, to seek living conditions and a quality of well-being that are rooted in nature itself.

It hems in residential areas, depriving them of necessary contacts with the vital elements of the carter. Constrained ciamm their defensive enclosures, the nuclei of the old cities were generally filled with close-set structures and deprived of open space. Ground — the territory of [] the country — must be made available at any time and at its fair market value, to be assessed before projects are worked out.


The first and most basic theme in the Charter is the importance of the natural environment to the “urbanist” program advocated by the Charter, which may seem somewhat counterintuitive considering the highly “artificial” character of the highly modern city proposed by Corbusier. The existing network of urban communications has arisen from an agglomeration of the aids [sic] roads of major traffic routes.

CIAM’s “The Athens Charter” () | Modernist Architecture

Suburbs are often merely an agglomeration of hutments where athejs is difficult to collect funds for the necessary roads and services.

Le Corbusier exhibited the first representations of his ideas at the third CIAM meeting in Brussels in and published a book of the same title as the city in This requirement regarding the pattern of traffic movement may be considered just as strict as that which, in the area of habitation, condemns the northern orientation of any dwelling. The new open spaces should be used for well-defined purposes: Only structures of a certain height can satisfactorily meet these legitimate requirements.

Relics of a former pompous magnificence designed for special monumental effects often complicate traffic circulation. Individual rights have nothing to do with vulgar private interests. It is high time that suitable measures were taken to remedy a situation that verges on disaster.

Although the benefit to be derived from these collective institutions is unquestionable, the masses are still badly in need of them. In the Golden Cia development the House became the family unit, the Street was an elevated access deck but the District and City lay outside the project’s boundaries. As to housing, the arguments postulated in favor of a certain decision are:

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