What Can We Learn from Cities of the Past?

Julian Baggini, Owen Hatherley, Rachel Hewitt, Angie Hobbs and Michael Scott

Description Details

What lessons can we take from the great cities of the past that can help us today and into the future?

Architectural writer and commentator Owen Hatherley looks at three important moments in Viennese housing, all of which have quite different lessons for the current housing crisis and policy: the heroic monumental provision of the 1920s to early 1930s; the luxuriously provisioned housing of the 1970s; and the feminist planning of the 1990s.

Historian Rachel Hewitt explores the circumstances that led to Bristol becoming a centre of radical politics at the end of the eighteenth century and the utopian projects generated by some of its residents. In seeking to revolutionise every aspect of community life, people of this period were particularly preoccupied with emotional change. She asks: Which emotions are produced by certain societies and spaces? How might cities and communities be renovated in order to nurture the healthiest emotions?’

Philosopher Angie Hobbs looks at classical Athens, and in particular the complex relationship between democracy and its philosophy and art.  She considers Plato’s critique of Athenian democracy and what lessons we can learn for creating healthy democratic communities.

Broadcaster and historian Michael Scott looks at Constantinople/ Istanbul, focussing on how to create a city from scratch that people can immediately be proud of and feel at home in.


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