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Multiple City – URBAN CONCEPTS 1908 | 2008

November 30, 2009

Megacities and shrinking cities, “highspeed urbanism” and “slow cities” – the cities of this world are changing. The difference between town and country vanishes, everything becomes town, only varying its spatial and structural character. New forms of cities, new urban landscapes, new global and local networks are emerging.

These were the topics presented at the past exhibition Multiple City, that was about current urban developments worldwide as mirrored in central urban concepts of the past 100 years. We’re showing here some of the research done for the exhibition to think about big urban changes in the current times.

Cities juxtaposition and interrelationship with leading historical and contemporary ideas illustrate and explain the complex and multi-layered developments of urban planning. The exhibition as well as its accompanying book were done to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Department for Urban and Regional Planning at the TU München. The first head of department was Theodor Fischer, the great architect and urban planner, who planned and designed Munich’s expansion at the end of the 19th century, which still characterizes the city today. The correlation between typical contemporary positions, long-term influence of urban regulations and urban phenomena of the present is clearly visible in his works.

The variety of city concepts is documented by means of original plans, models and photographs. Among the international examples are “La città analoga“, Archigram’s “Instant City”, a project by Rem Koolhaas for the international construction trade fair in Berlin 1980, original collages by Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown as well as sketches by Lucio Costa for the Brasilia masterplan, to be shown in Europe for the first time. Historical town concepts are compared with current changes of urban spaces in a photo documentation, showing pictures of Dubai, Shanghai and Istanbul among others.

From the garden city at the beginning of the 20th century via the city landscape concepts of the early post-war period to today’s “Urban Landscapes” and from the “New Towns” of the 1960s to the current establishments of cities in China and the United Arab Emirates; from the leading ideas of a “mobile city” to the “Telepolis” of a digital era and from the “Pleasure City” of a global consumer landscape to the strategy of branding, the city as a trademark. New phenomena appear which, at the same time, can be a product of traditional strategies. These phenomena are heterogeneous, there is neither one manifestation nor one strategy in dealing with the city of today: MULTIPLE CITY.


In the book city planners, architects and sociologists are dealing with today’s city and its multiple manifestations. A sample PDF can be downloaded here.

Multiple City
Urban Concepts 1908 I 2008

Editor: Sophie Wolfrum/Winfried Nerdinger
English/German
344 Pages
with approx. 130 col. and 50 b/w Images
Hardcover
Dimensions: 17 x 24 cm

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