This article examines the Ural Plant of Chemical Engineering in Sverdlovsk as an example of unfinished industrial construction through the command economy formation, industry management structure, and city-planning activities development in the USSR during the first five-year plans. The authors refer to sources kept in the GARF, RGAE, GASO, TsDOOSO, and the Uralhimmashzavod History Museum and periodicals. They characterise the scale of unfinished industrial construction in the Urals during the first five-year plans, which predetermined the geography of the evacuation and the direction of future industrial and city-building development of the regional centres. The article describes the circumstances behind the emergence of the Ural Plant of Chemical Engineering in the first five-year plan programme and its construction process. The authors single out three periods of the plant's construction, which correspond to the waves of mobilisation of the project discourse: 1930-1933, 1934-1935, and 1938-1941. They explain the causes of failure by the late emergence of the Uralhimmashstroi project in the plan, which coincided with the economic crisis of the turn of the first five-year plans. These factors necessitated a situational prioritisation of construction projects and the concentration of resources on the most important ones to ensure the earliest possible launch. The design of the social city of the Ural Plant of Chemical Engineering is discussed in the context of the development of the master plan of Greater Sverdlovsk and the competition between the central (Leningrad branch of Standartgorproekt) and regional (Uralgiprogor Institute) design organisations. Despite the existence of preliminary designs for the social city and a general settlement scheme, the location and appearance of the residential area were determined by available financial resources and the existing transport infrastructure. Although the project was not realised, the Ural Plant of Chemical Engineering acquired a discursively real status, whose maintenance required real human, monetary, and managerial resources even when construction stopped. Noting the frequency of change of activity waves at the Ural Plant of Chemical Engineering in comparison with the unrealised infrastructure projects of the New and Modern times analysed in foreign literature, as well as public announcements of each new “revival” of construction and silence about its suspensions, the authors conclude that in the conditions of socialist industrialisation, unfinished construction had a high mobilisation value.
Translated title of the contributionAn Uncompleted Machine-Building Giant in the Urals: Mobilisation Policy and Construction Practice
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)1445 - 1463
Number of pages19
JournalQuaestio Rossica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Level of Research Output

  • VAK List
  • Russian Science Citation Index

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • History
  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

    WoS ResearchAreas Categories

  • Humanities, Multidisciplinary

ID: 51603538