Cities in Modernity

Representations and Productions of Metropolitan Space, 1840–1930


  • Title: Cities in Modernity: Representations and Productions of Metropolitan Space, 1840–1930
  • Author: Richard Dennis
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication Year: 2008
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9780521468411

About the Book

What made cities ‘modern’ in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? Cities in Modernity explores connections between culture, economy and built environment in cities of this period, drawing its evidence principally from London, New York and Toronto. The book discusses both the cultural experience of modernity and the material modernization of cities, placing special emphasis on their historical geographies, on the production, representation and use of urban space. The opening chapters present new ways of seeing cities in political and religious discourse, social survey, mapping, art and literature. The book then concentrates on new kinds of public and private spaces, such as apartment buildings, office blocks and department stores, and the networks of communication between them. An important theme throughout is the gendered experience of the new types of environment. The book will appeal to scholars and students of historical geography, urban history and cultural studies.

The book is

  • The first comparative, interdisciplinary study of the emergence of the modern city in Britain and North America
  • Heavily illustrated with contemporary paintings, maps, plans and drawings
  • Will appeal to students of urban history, historical and cultural geography, cultural studies, art history and architectural history


  1.  Building bridges
  2. The idea of progress
  3. Surveying the city
  4. Writing and picturing the city
  5. Improving streets
  6. Public spaces – practised places
  7. Building suburbia
  8. Consuming suburbia
  9. Mansion flats and model dwellings
  10. Geographies of downtown: office spaces
  11. Geographies of downtown: the place of shopping
  12. Networked cities.

About the Author

RICHARD DENNIS is Reader in the Department of Geography, University College London (UCL). He was Associate Editor of the Journal of Urban History from 1998 to 2007 and is the author of English Industrial Cities of the Nineteenth Century: A Social Geography (1984).

Leave a Reply