Globale Geschichte des Städtebaus I

Vorlesung A Global History of Urban Design I (052-0801)
Veranstalter: Professur Avermaete
Dozierende: Prof. Dr. Tom Avermaete
Zeit: Donnerstags, 13:45-15:30
Ort: HIL E3

Opening ceremony at the Place Royale in Paris in April 1612. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Course description
This course, together with Geschichte des Städtebaus II / A Global History of Urban Design II that will be offered in FS 2024, provides an overview of the development of cities and urban design from the earliest known settlements until today. It specifically challenges students to value this history on a broader, global scale, highlighting cross-cultural developments. The course aims to extend this field of knowledge beyond the focus on urban developments in Europe and North America, taking into account the various instances of cultural cross-fertilization that build up a global history of cities and urban design. From the earliest human settlements in India, Turkey and the Near East, the survey examines the traditional, pre-modern and modern concepts that have historically had a bearing on urban development, up to and including the dynamic growth of contemporary cities in Asia and Africa.

Time and Location
The lecture will take place on Thursday afternoons, from 13:45 to 15:30 in HIL E3.
The lecture will also be recorded through the ETH video platform.

Course overview
  • 21.09.2023 Lecture 1.01: The History and Theory of the City as Project - SCRIPT 1.01 
  • 28.09.2023 Lecture 1.02: Of Rituals, Water and Mud: The Urban Revolution in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley - SCRIPT 1.02 
  • 05.10.2023 Lecture 1.03: The Idea of the Polis: Rome, Greece and Beyond - SCRIPT 1.03 
  • 12.10.2023 Lecture 1.04: The Long Middle Ages and their Counterparts: From the Towns of Tuscany to Delhi - SCRIPT 1.04 
  • 19.10.2023 Lecture 1.05: Between Ideal and Laboratory: Of European Renaissance Principles and Laws of the Indies - SCRIPT 1.05 
  • 26.10.2023 No lecture (Seminar week)
  • 02.11.2023 No lecture
  • 09.11.2023 Lecture 1.06: Of Absolutism and Enlightenment: The Norms and Forms of the Baroque City - SCRIPT 1.06 
  • 16.11.2023 Lecture 1.07: The City of Labour: Company Towns as Cross-Cultural Phenomenon - SCRIPT 1.07 
  • 23.11.2023 Lecture 1.08: Garden Cities of Tomorrow: From the Global North to the Global South and Back Again - SCRIPT 1.08 
  • 30.11.2023 Lecture 1.09: Civilized Wilderness and City Beautiful: The Park Movement of Olmsted and The Urban Plans of Burnham - SCRIPT 1.09 
  • 07.12.2023 Lecture 1.10: The Extension of the European City: From the Viennese Ringstrasse to Amsterdam Zuid and New Delhi - SCRIPT 1.10 
  • 18.01.2024 Colloquium Exam - SLIDES 

  • Attendance to all lectures is expected and strongly recommended.
  • Lectures will be recorded and provided online through the ETH video platform.
  • For each lecture, a script can be downloaded from this page two days before the lecture.
  • This script is conceived as a working tool and we recommend that you bring a print-out to the lecture to use in your note-taking.

Further readings
  • At the end of each lecture-script you will find a list of further readings in relation to that specific lecture for those that would like to know more about a given subject.

  • Assessment by written examination.
  • Questions will cover the compulsory scripts and lectures.

  • The lectures are held in English.
  • The scripts supporting the lectures are offered in English.
  • The exam questions will be bilingual (English/German). Students are free to write the exam in English, German or French.

General Literature
We recommend the readings below as general reference for the course. These may be found in the library, where they have been reserved.
  • Ching, Francis D. K, Mark Jarzombek, and Vikramditya Prakash. A Global History of Architecture. Hoboken: Wiley, 2017.
  • Ingersoll, Richard. World Architecture: A Cross-Cultural History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • James-Chakraborty, Kathleen. Architecture Since 1400. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014.


Pierre Eichmeyer