Modernity in London and Paris.
Synergies, 2, (1)
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I want to argue that the juncture between urban and rural is the
basis of modernity in the metropolis. The complex dynamic between landscape
and nature associated with pre-industrial societies, and rational planning as
an indicator of capitalistic urban environments, comes to the fore in London
during the opening decades of the nineteenth century. This is evident in the
mixture of public and private enterprise and metropolis at this time. My focus
here is on the confluence and antipathy between architecture and landscape;
tradition and modernity in London. I am particularly interested in how the nuts
and bolts issues of estate development were in fact a blue print for the modern
city in the latter’s concern with issues such as hygiene, public open spaces
and rational plans. My intention is to show that the beginnings of modernity
so readily attributed to cities such as Paris and Berlin and theorised in the
texts of thinkers such as Ebenezer Howard and Camillo Sitte, can in fact also
be found in London in the early nineteenth century. Moreover, London was an
important example for the rest of Europe – not least Paris.
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