Lecture 4 – Modernity and Utopias
Important aspect to understand what happened to cities during the 19 century.
Modernity is the belief of continuous progress for improvements and technical solutions to
Product of the enlightenment and scientific revolution.
Influenced by the rapid economic growth and new technologies.
Social problems could be fixed with technology.
Getting rid of backward ways of rural areas and replacing poverty (poorness) of agriculture.
Idea that contrasts “tradition” and “modernity”
▯ Modernity and Europe
Ideas of modernity were highly Eurocentric
Orientalism is the Eurocentric idea that MiddleEast societies were underdeveloped while Europe
was developing and superior.
Modernity overcome tradition, which is less advanced and unchanging.
Change represented progress and the future.
European colonization was justified as a project to civilize that rest of the world, which was seen
to them as “traditional “and backward (not modern).
▯ Modernity and the City
Modernity influential for urban thinking.
Problems of the city could be solved with technology, investment, and new policies.
“ The ideal city” seems achievable and would change society.
Urban reform would bring better living conditions, but also transform into a more equal society.
Could be achieved quickly and easily.
Modernity – Refers to the period starting with the Enlightenment (16501750), which is
characterized by the rejection of tradition and religious rule in Europe.
Modernism – A movement in art, literature and architecture beginning in the early 20 century
that celebrated technology and progression.
The modern movement was the most important 20 century movement in architecture.
▯ Utopia Describes the ideas of an ideal or “perfect” community or society: usually with abundant food,
good housing, beautiful, and with no poverty.