General Theory of Urbanization 1867
Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) & Actar, March 2018
Hardcover | 7-3/4 x 10-1/2 inches | 720 pages | English | ISBN: 978-1945150906 | $49.95
First translation into English on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the publication of the General Theory of Urbanization by Ildefons Cerdà, an essential work on urban development.
In 1867 Ildefons Cerdà published his “Teoria general de la urbanització.” In this text, the “science of building cities”, understood as a phenomenon, became a new discipline with a broad economic, social and cultural impact on the life of the people of the city. Coinciding with 150 years since its publication, its first translation into English is being presented along with the publishing online urbanization.org with the statistics transformed into interactive graphics and open data, with the aim of expanding the knowledge of Cerdà’s work and encouraging debate on the process of “urbanization” in the future.
Don’t let the spreads below fool you. This book has very few illustrations (less than 10), and they are ancillary to the main 700-page text, the first English translation of Ildefons Cerdà’s General Theory of Urbanization, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. This isn’t to say the project of translating and celebrating Cerdà’s influential publication on the “science of making cities” did not yield visual materials: these are collected at urbanization.org, which is “publishing [the Theory‘s] statistical and analyses in graphs and interactive maps as an open data platform.” Produced by IAAC, the online platform also includes the translation of the second volume of Cerdà’s Theory, with the first volume printed and bound in book form by Actar and IAAC. Yet without illustrations, and being full of anachronistic writing*, this book by the planner of Barcelona’s Eixample is a historical artifact for planning scholars and others strongly interested in 19th century urbanism, not for the general reader.
*One example, from §-VII The Laws of Urban Function / 2A On urban function, from the standpoint of roads / B On urban functions and roads in the longitudinal sense / C On the function in the longitudinal sense of the road on the part of pedestrians: “The extraordinary volume of petticoats that fashion has imposed on ladies in our times greatly increases the difficulties of walking on our sidewalks – all the more so because certain considerations involving the weaker sex impose certain sacrifices on the stronger that not everyone performs with spontaneous generosity.”
Ildefons Cerdà was the progressive Catalan Spanish urban planner who designed the 19th-century “extension” of Barcelona called the Eixample.