Summer School of Post-Nuclear Urbanism in Visaginas 2019
FA BUT co-organised the Summer School of Post-Nuclear
Urbanism in Visaginas, Lithuania in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
The town of Visaginas was built from scratch in Soviet Lithuania in the 1970s and 1980s as one of the locations in a technological and professional network created by the USSR "nuclear" ministry, euphemistically termed the Ministry of Medium Machine Building. As a satellite town of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, it was, together with Leningrad, Chernobyl and Smolensk, one of the four nodes of the USSR’s North-West United Power System. This USSR-wide ministry network implied an exceptional mode of urbanization.
It was characterized by a constant, centrally planned technology, research and workforce exchange between its different locations; by technocratically governed and disciplined settlements (the towns and power plants were governed as a unit, with the governing bodies composed mainly of nuclear scientists and engineers); as well as by a high quality of housing, public buildings, welfare provision, commodity availability, and a high level of integration with nature. In Visaginas, the INPP was the sole source of the production and control of meanings of what the town is for in the USSR, in the Cold War context of international politics determined by nuclear technology.