Urban Machinery: Inside Modern European Cities

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City planning initiatives and redesign of urban structures often become mired in debate and delay. Despite the fact that cities are considered to be dynamic and flexible spaces, never finished but always under construction, it is very difficult to change existing urban structures; they become fixed, obdurate, securely anchored in their own histories as well as in the histories of their surroundings. In Unbuilding Cities, Anique Hommels looks at the tension between the malleability of urban space and its obduracy, focusing on sites and structures that have been subjected to "unbuilding"-redesign or reconfiguration.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"By placing technology at the center of its historical narratives, the volume provides original insights into some of the most crucial episodes of modern urban history. Its focus on the tension between circulation and appropriation also connects the work presented here with more general debates in the social sciences about the role of place in the context of modernization and globalization.

Similarly, historians of science who are interested in the circulation of scientific knowledge and objects or, more specifically, the relation between knowledge and cities will be able to draw much inspiration from Urban Machinery." Jens Lachmund ISIS

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262083690
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/29/2008
  • Series: Inside Technology
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Mikael Hård is Professor of History at Darmstadt University of Technology. His books include The Intellectual Appropriation of Technology: Discourses on Modernity, 1900-1939 (coedited with Andrew Jamison; MIT Press,1998).

Thomas J. Misa is ERA-Land Grant Professor of the History of Technology at the University of Minnesota, where he directs the Charles Babbage Institute. His books include Modernity and Technology (coedited with Philip Brey and Andrew Feenberg; MIT Press, 2003).

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Table of Contents

Preface     vii
Modernizing European Cities: Technological Uniformity and Cultural Distinction   Mikael Hard   Thomas J. Misa     1
Modernism and Mastery
Taming the Rhine: Economic Connection and Urban Competition   Cornelis Disco     23
Arenas of Experimentation: Modernizing Istanbul in the Late Ottoman Empire   Noyan Dinckal     49
Appropriating the International Style: Modernism in East and West   Thomas J. Misa     71
Representation and Reform
Spectacles of Sociability: European Cities as Sites of Consumption   Paolo Capuzzo     99
Progressive Dreams: The German City in Britain and the United States   Mikael Hard   Marcus Stippak     121
Constructing Dutch Streets: A Melting Pot of European Technologies   Hans Buiter     141
Industry and Innovation
Empowering European Cities: Gas and Electricity in the Urban Environment   Dieter Schott     165
In the Shadow of the Factory: Steel Towns in Postwar Eastern Europe   Dagmara Jajesniak-Quast     187
Science in the City: European Traditions and American Models   Martina Hessler     211
Planning and Power
Between Theory and Practice: Planning Socialist Cities in Hungary   Pal Germuska     233
Mediators of Modernity: Planning Experts and the Making of the "Car-Friendly" City in Europe   Per Lundin     257
Greening the City: Urban Environmentalism from Mumford to Malmo   Andrew Jamison     281
References     299
Contributors     337
Series List     341
Index     343
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