This book highlights radical urban transformation in eight cities spread across continental Europe. The point of departure, and the foundation of European urbanisation, is the Roman colonial town. In every case social dynamics guided the urban transitions in a traceable way, such that it has been possible to deduce the intellectual underpinnings of the contemporary built environments, as featured in these pages. Differing contexts of time and place show the overarching march of European history and related themes at the urban level. Fundamental changes are brought to light. Each story demonstrates a separate and fundamentaltransition, ranging from earlier collective configurations to the more institutionalised structures of later periods.
Ton Hinse studied architecture and town planning at Delft University of Technology in the 1970s. His Master s thesis was awarded a prize for its integration of architecture, town planning and landscape architecture. From then on he worked as urban designer in several town planning and city departmental offices and lectured at various academies of architecture. In 2005 he opened his own office for town planning and advisory services: Ton Hinse Urban Research & Design. This office evolves strategies for a wide range of urban developments in towns and villages, from visions to detailed plans. During his apprenticeship at the University of Barcelona, a long time ago, he had started to gain knowledge and material from a wide range of European cities.