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Dutch Wednesday, 02.12.2015: Urban revolutions

Prof. Jan Nijman, University of Amsterdam


The global history of cities revolves around key moments of innovation in technology, science, philosophy, and economic and social organisation. This lecture singles out five such moments, or revolutions: the first cities of the neolithic age, the ancient republican city, the early modern bourgeois city, the industrial city, and the information city. It is argued that the main achievement and challenge of cities lies in the management of ever-growing social complexity.

 Jan Nijman is Professor of Urban Studies and he was the founding Director of the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam. His expertise is in comparative urbanism and urban/regional development. He is the author of more than a hundred scholarly articles and five books including the award winning Miami, Mistress of the Americas (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) and Regions, a widely used introductory Geography text in North America. Nijman lived and worked in the United States for two decades and he has more than 15 years of fieldwork experience in urban India. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow.