Cover image for The Conservation of European cities
The Conservation of European cities
Appleyard, Donald.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, [1979]

Physical Description:
ix, 308 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Based on a conference held at the American Academy in Rome, June 1975.

Enl. version of the conference proceedings published in 1977 under title: Urban conservation in Europe and America.
Added Author:
Added Uniform Title:
Urban conservation in Europe and America.
Format :

On Order



In recent years, the conservation of neighborhoods in American cities has risen to a high priority on the national agenda. The policy of demolishing whole neighborhoods in the inner city, whether to replace them with luxury apartments or massive public housing projects, has been largely abandoned, and the return of the middle class, seeking housing bargains in the neighborhoods they fled years ago, has hastened the process.Europe has much to teach the United States about urban conservation: it was a pressing public concern there when in this country conservation was mainly a matter of protecting wildlife and wilderness areas. The twenty-two essays in this volume--while discussing the conservation experiences of major European cities that are of considerable interest in their own right--present a preview of some of the struggles and solutions that are emerging on this side of the Atlantic as the conservation movement grows and extends into more and more urban districts. Urban pioneering and gentrification are becoming increasingly common in this country as the middle class seeks--in the face of energy shortages and slower growth, especially in housing--to reclaim the core cities that so many had once abandoned for suburbia.The first part of the book is concerned with the conflicts and struggles that have occurred over urban redevelopment in such cities as Venice, Brussels and Bath. The essays in the second part of the book describe a number of conservation efforts and strategies in cities such as Bologna, Stockholm and London which have attempted integration of social and physical conservation.The emphasis throughout is on conservation in specific neighborhoods--some historic districts, others humble working-class residential areas, a few both at once--rather than on conservation at the metropolitan scale. The separate essays range over such diverse topics as the impact of large-scale development projects on the existing city, the conservation of city centers and historic neighborhoods, the protection of monuments, the eviction of low-income migrants, examples of gentrification, amenity and conservation legislation, participatory action groups, social conservation strategies, and the education of children in urban conservation. The editor, in his extensive introduction, brings all these themes together setting them in the postwar history of European planning, and discussing issues such as the effects of tourism on old cities, the current crisis for modern architecture and planning, conflicting views and styles of conservation, the processes of pioneering and gentrification, and the relevance of this experience to the United States.The illustrated case studies center on the cities of London, Bolton, Bath, Elsinore, Stockholm, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Brussels, Grenoble, Bologna, Rome, Venice, Split, Athens, and Istanbul.