The Capital of Europe: Architecture and Urban Planning for the European Union

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Overview

What makes up a capital city? In this first comprehensive look at the architectural and urban visions for a European capital, Hein examines how these visions compare to the reality of the three headquarter cities for the European Union: Strasbourg, Luxembourg, and Brussels. Tracing the history of the EU and its creation of the new political entity of the polycentric capital, Hein explores the impact that European unification has on visionary projects and the transformation of EU member cities. Widely researched, the book also brings in architectural projects that have remained largely unknown until now.

Using architectural and urban history as a lens, Hein examines the past five decades of European unification. Also analyzed for the first time are the debates, plans, projects, and constructions—both realized and failed—that accompanied this process. Looking to the future, Hein asserts that the task of these three capital cities is to balance the needs of a collective Europe with national, local, and—increasingly—regional demands.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

CAROLA HEIN is Assistant Professor at Bryn Mawr College in the Growth and Structure of Cities Program. She was trained in Hamburg (Diplom-Ingenieurin) and Brussels (Architecte) and obtained her doctorate at the Hochschule fur bildende Kunste in Hamburg in 1995 on the topic of "Hauptstadt Europa." From 1995 to 1999 she was a Visiting Researcher at Tokyo Metropolitan University and Kogakuin University, researching the reconstruction of Japanese cities after World War II and the Western influence on Japanese urban planning. She has published and lectured widely on topics of contemporary and historical architectural and urban planning in Europe and Japan, and co-authored the volume Hauptstadt Berlin and co-edited Rebuilding Urban Japan after 1945 (2003).

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction : European identities and the capital city question 1
Ch. 2 Envisioning the center : world cities and international buildings as precursors to the European capital debate 17
Ch. 3 Urban visions and architectural symbols for a united Europe : 1945-1968 39
Ch. 4 Building the European communities from within : competitions for a capital in 1952 and 1958 67
Ch. 5 Strasbourg : parliamentary capital of Europe 95
Ch. 6 Luxembourg : judicial capital of Europe 113
Ch. 7 Brussels : executive capital of Europe 135
Ch. 8 Conclusion : rethinking capitals and Europe 161
App. I Glossary of European organizations and institutions 173
App. II Selected biographical notes 181
App. III Time line : building for Europe since the later nineteenth century 193
App. IV Abbreviations of major public archival references 215
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