Planning Europe's Capital Cities: Aspects of Nineteenth-Century Urban Development, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Planning Europe's Capital Cities

Aspects of Nineteenth-Century Urban Development, 1st Edition

By Thomas Hall


408 pages

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During the nineteenth century many of Europe's capital cities were subject to major expansion and improvement schemes - from Vienna's Ringstrasse to the boulevards of Paris.

Thomas Hall examines the planning process in fifteen of those cities and addresses the following questions: when and why did planning begin, and what problems was it meant to solve? Who developed the projects, and how, and who made the decisions? What urban ideas are expressed in the projects? What were the legal consequences of the plans, and how did they actually affect subsequent urban development in the individual cities? What similarities or differences can be identified between the various schemes? How have such schemes affected the development of urban planning in general?


'…a labour of love and a major contribution to the burgeoning international literature…it will fill an evident gap in the available scholarship.' - Peter Hall, University College, London

" …a work of comparative history at its best. There are no false comparisons or wide-ranging generalisations. Instead there is a meticulous review… magnificiently produced, the quality of illustrations is outstandingly good and the author has been given space for text and notes which makes it extremely easy to use. Nothing but praise and thanks to the author for a work which will give so much pleasure and instruction."

'Planning Europe's Capital Cities will also, as mentioned by Peter Hall in the foreword, 'throw light on great planners whose reputations have too long laid in their own lands and languages'. It will also inform visitors as to how many features, which now seem quintessential characteristics of the cultural heritage of many European cities, were created at the time.' - Claude Chaline, Town Planning Review

Hall's book is a useful resource for understanding the challenges faced by urban planners of large cities in the nineteenth century, and it is valuable as a starting point for scholars wishing to pursue further study of urban planning in nineteenth century Europe. - Erik C. Maiershofer, H-Urban

Table of Contents

Preface 1. Introduction 2. From Hippodamus to Haussmann: Town Planning in a Historical Perspective Part 1: The Cities 3. Paris 4. London 5. Helsinki 6. Athens 7. Christiania 8. Barcelona 9. Madrid 10. Copenhagen 11. Vienna 12. Berlin 13. Stockholm 14. Brussels 15. Amsterdam 16. Budapest 17. Rome Part 2: Capital City Planning 18. The Background and Motivation for the Plans 19. The Authors of the Plans 20. The Decision Process 21. Content and Purpose of the Plans 22. Elements of the Plans 23. Attitudes to Cityscape 24. Implementation and Results 25. The Role of the Capital City Projects in Planning History

About the Author

Thomas Hall is Professor of Art History at Stockholm University. His teaching and research focus on the history of architecture and urban design, especially that of Stockholm.

About the Series

Planning, History and Environment Series

This series offers a unique window on the creation of the modern environment. Designed for an international readership, the emphasis is on:

  • urban and regional planning
  • recent as well as longer-term history
  • what the past can tell us about the present
  • local as well as global and comparative topics

Within this framework the books address three themes:

  • regional, continental and comparative studies
  • planning histories of key cities
  • changing planning ideologies and policies


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning