Looking beyond motorways plans, this essay focuses on the role of the Italian "road" lobby in the 1920s in shaping the national transport policy. Contractors like Puricelli were the driving forces of surface transport modernization, with visionary plans but also facing a lack of sympathy by the automobile industry. Those programs were nevertheless carried out with the strong support of the Touring Club and provincial councils. In this context, it seems that the fascist dictatorship, with its hesitance, slowed—rather than hastened—road modernization. Only in 1928, feeding off the ideas of Puricelli and others, did the Mussolini government develop a proper road renewal program. Finally, framing the Italian experience in the European contexts, it emerges that despite the extreme success of American car culture, England is depicted as a more suitable model.
The Renewal of the Italian Road Network in the 1920s
Italian mobility history studies have seen remarkable developments since this journal published a first report on the topic in 2009.1 A review of main trends in Italian mobility studies since then reveals innovative developments opening new fields of investigation, with uneven but altogether appealing results, achieved not only by academic researchers but also by enthusiasts and journalists. Three themes are particularly discernible: mobility history and collective identity, denunciation of deficient transport system management, and a renewed attention
to business history.
Engineers as Cultural Actors—Introduction
Massimo Moraglio and Bruce Seely
We argue that road engineers—in the cases presented in the articles in this special section—were acting as cultural actors, playing a greater role than experts and especially policy makers. Even as they utilized technical information in cultural debates, road representation had huge symbolic value in driving the social and political discussions. However, once road experts used and accepted such political tools, they could not disconnect themselves from the political process, which determined success and failure in these projects.
Claudia Lieb, Donald Weber, Anita Perkins, Monika Domman, Manuel Appert, Liz Millward, Ueli Haefeli, Heloise Finch-Boyer, Natalie Roseau, Charissa Terranova, Massimo Moraglio, Christopher Neumaeier and Clay McShane
Christian Kassung, Die Unordnung der Dinge. Eine Wissens- und Mediengeschichte des Unfalls Claudia Lieb
Matthieu Flonneau and Arnaud Passalacqua, Utilités de l'utilitaire. Aperçu Réaliste des Services Automobiles Donald Weber
Fred Dervin, Analysing the Consequences of Academic Mobility and Migration Anita Perkins
Regine Buschauer, Mobile Räume. Medien- und Diskursgeschichtliche Studien zur Tele-Kommunikation Monika Domman
Sébastien Gardon, Goût de bouchons. Lyon, les villes françaises et l'équation automobile Manuel Appert
Peter Adey, Aerial Life: Spaces, Mobilities, Effects Liz Millward
Rainer Ruppmann, Schrittmacher des Autobahnzeitalters: Frankfurt und das Rhein-Main-Gebiet Ueli Haefeli
Frances Steel, Oceania under Steam: Sea Transport and the Cultures of Colonialism, c. 1870-1914, Studies in Imperialism Heloise Finch-Boyer
Kelly Shannon and Marcel Smets, The Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure Natalie Roseau
Andrew Bush, Drive Charissa Terranova
Paul M. Weyrich and William S. Lind, Moving Minds. Conservatives and Public Transportation Massimo Moraglio
Ann Johnson, Hitting the Brakes. Engineering Design and the Production of Knowledge Christopher Neumaeier
Barron H. Lerner, One for the Road: Drunk Driving Since 1900 Clay McShane