The European city in the early modern world

Lecturer: Sim Hinman WAN

6 credits

This early modern period (ca. 1450 – ca. 1700) was a great period of European urbanism. Cities developed rapidly in response to political and religious change, economic development and trade, and advances in military technology. Ruling elites invested heavily in ambitious buildings and urban spaces. Architects and planners devised new styles, building types, and urban forms. Political thinkers reconsidered and redefined the idea of the city as a human community. The expansion of Europe through exploration and colonization brought Western forms of urbanism to the Americas and Asia, and brought Europeans into contact with the urbanistic achievements of other cultures. Many of Europe’s major urban centres acquired their defining features during this period. We will look at Florence, Venice, Rome, London, Paris, Versailles and the cities of the Low Countries, as well as European exports like Mexico City and, closer to home, Macau. As well as studying a range of major metropolitan and colonial cities, we will examine the impact of broad social phenomena, such as the court society and the public sphere, and the development of building types and urban forms and of new forms of visual representation.

100% coursework