Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies
This course explores the expansion of European cities from their modest beginnings around 1000 until they became major centers of government, commerce, and culture on the eve of the industrial period. Such urban expansion has raised many issues of controversy. Some believe Western cities were unique in promoting the rise of democratic governments, merchant capitalism, and a new consumer culture. Others emphasize such universal urban ills as poverty, overcrowding, environmental destruction, the spread of disease and social marginalization. These issues are explored using examples from Northern Europe and the Mediterranean world, including Islamic cities for cross-cultural comparisons.