University of Chicago scholar discusses the American city

Michael P. Conzen of the University of Chicago, will examine "What can urban morphology contribute to understanding the American city?" on Friday, Feb. 25 at 12:20 p.m. in 126 Hasbrouck.

American urban geography has long been concerned with the functional structure of cities, leaving the study of urban form to historians of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and urban design. Since the ''cultural turn'' in human geography, urban form has made a come-back of sorts in geographical treatment of the city, but this has dealt largely with perception and symbology. Urban morphology approaches city form in a concrete and systematic way, exploring ways in which urban fabric interacts with social and economic change to fashion and refashion the configuration and use of urban space. This thesis will be illustrated by means of various forays into American urban morphology.

Conzen is chair of the committee on geographical studies at the University of Chicago and secretary-general of the International Seminar on Urban Form. He is the author or editor of more than 15 books, including "Boston: a Geographical Portrait," "World Patterns of Modern Urban Change," and "The Making of the American Landscape."

This presentation is supported by the Department of Geosciences, the Graduate School, the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and the American Studies Program.