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The Transition to Industrial Urbanism - 2nd millennium CE

Lecture 3 in a lecture series by Visiting Professor Roland Fletcher (University of Sydney), followed by the third workshop in the series.

Info about event


Tuesday 25 June 2019,  at 13:00 - 15:00


Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) Aarhus University, Moesgård Allé 20, 8270 Højbjerg, Denmark (Building 4230-232).

Roland Fletcher will give a lecture series, containing three lectures and three discussion-seminars during his stay at UrbNet.

Title of lecture series: Material Behaviour and the Dynamics of Settlement Trajectories from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Present.

- Lecture 1 (11 June 2019): Mobile Communities and the Transition to Sedentism - 15th to 3rd millennium BCE.

- Lecture 2 (18 June 2019): The Transition to Agrarian Urbanism - 4th millennium BCE to 1st millennium CE.

- Lecture 3 (25 June 2019): The Transition to Industrial Urbanism - 2nd millennium CE. 



The Transition to Industrial Urbanism - 2nd millennium CE

The transition to industrial-based urbanism has seemed self-evident and has been predominantly understood in terms of processes of socio-economic change. Concurrently, the conventional opinion is that industrial urbanism is characterised by a unique trend towards low-density, dispersed settlement patterns. What is readily apparent, however is that the transition to industrial-based urbanism is an intensely material phenomenon and that a trajectory to low-density, dispersed urbanism is not unique to industrialised societies. The transformations within the Interaction-Communication matrix which were required for the transition to industrial-based urbanism to occur embed the process within the specific material formation of European societies over the millennium preceding industrialisation. Instead of a determinate relationship between changes in sociality and the transition to industrial urbanism the process is rewritten as a collision of difference between social traditions and the unexpected consequences of new forms of materiality created for other purposes than their eventual role. The trend toward extended, dispersed, urban mega-complexes containing multiple denser nodes also becomes part of a general trajectory towards overall, lower-density settlement patterns at all scales of spatial organization, rather than a unique industrialising condition. This has implications for the future of industrial urbanism.