Urban Anti-Urbanism in the 20th Century

Course Leader

David Mountain

Anti-urbanism is an urban phenomenon, expressing key contradictions within urbanisation. In the 20th Century, anti-urbanism expressed profound crises affecting categories of 19th Century modernity (industrialisation, enlightenment, liberalism, urbanisation) and gave form to new initiatives to reshape society. Over time, different conceptions of urbanisation and anti-urbanism have located ‘problems’ and ‘solutions’ in different places. On occasion, ideas which to some remained solutions, became, to others, problems. This course offered a new, historically-grounded and interdisciplinary account of anti-urbanism and its relationship to urbanisation, modernity and political change. It contextualised contemporary urbanisation challenges facing society, and offered to develop critical and historical apparatuses for understanding urbanisation and related issues in the present.

The course introduced students to various intellectual and methodological approaches for conducting research, intersecting historical and contemporary disciplines. Through group and individual research projects investigating and analysing anti-urbanism past and/or present, students gained experience of applying architectural and urban conceptual apparatuses to original, self-directed areas of study. The course content was structured around three moments in 20th Century Britain when new, influential ideas about architecture and urbanism were motivated by discontents with urbanisation: The origins of the modern suburb; Mid-century reassessments of community; and Concentrated urbanisation.


Kester Miller

Mohsin Ali

Muhammad Amir Safwan Bin Mahayudin

Rhian Marged Jones

Sadiyah Tijani-Stapleton

Shadi Mohammed H Albaity

Shiwen Ng

Thady Smyth

Weng Lam

Xie Zhiyuan

Zhou Jingyi