Cities in Eastern & Western Europe

Published in Book Reviews, Issue 4 (Winter 1996), News, News, Volume 4

The third conference of the European Association of Urban Historians was held at the Central European University, Budapest, on 29-31 August 1996 where papers dealt with a variety of aspects of the European city from  early modern times to the twentieth century.
The key-note speech by Professor Heinz Schilling (Humboldt University, Berlin), delivered in Budapest Town Hall, dealt with Church and State in the European town in the early modern period. A session on The topography of medieval towns was chaired by Terry Slater (University of Birmingham). Tony Scrase (UWE, Birmingham) discussed processes and triggers of change in medieval towns. While ‘organic towns’ may not be regular and grid-iron in structure, planning goes beyond layout. There are often four or five phases of development in towns, and each place different emphasis on planning. Pat Dargan (Dublin Institute of Technology)  examined the influence of Celtic plan-forms on town planning in the British Isles and Europe. Making extensive use of examples from Ireland, England, Wales and France this paper highlighted the influence which this distinctly Irish town form has had on the development of urban morphology throughout the Western extremities of Europe. Neven Budak (University of Zagreb) presented an interesting paper on the concept of public and private spaces in Dalmatian towns.
In the session on European Small Towns Brian Graham (University of Ulster) delivered a paper on ‘Town tenant protest in north-east Ireland, 1880-1914’. The main process highlighted in Graham’s paper was the way in which the all-Ireland campaign for tenurial reform was subsumed by political/sectarian struggle between nationalists and unionists, particularly in the north east of Ireland.
Helen Meller (Nottingham University) chaired the session which focused on Leisure and Recreation in the European city. Among the papers presented were: the tourism industry in late imperial Vienna by Jill Steward (University of Northumbria), leisure and identity in Cape Town c.1838-1910 by Vivien Bickford-Smith (University of Cape Town), public parks in Glasgow 1850-1914 by Irene Maver (University of Glasgow), the commercialisation of leisure in the 1800s in British towns by Bob Morris (University of Edinburgh), the fashion of people-watching in post-revolutionary Parisian tourism by Denise Z. Davidson (University of Pennsylvania) and leisure in Hanover during the 1920s by Adelheid von Saldern (University of Hanover).

Kevin A. Griffin

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