Submission deadline:

November 20, 2023

4th International Conference of the Association of Architecture and Urban Planning Historians

October 24-25, 2024

The organizers are pleased to announce the Call for Papers of the 4th International Conference of the Association of Architecture and Urban Planning Historians (AhAU – Spain) with the title “City and Nature. Approaches from an environmental-history angle”, that will take place on October 24th and 25th 2024 at the Real Colegio María Cristina, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid.

Deadline for abstract submission: 20 November 2023

Please visit for the call, guidelines for authors and a brief explanation of the review and selection process for abstracts and full papers (papers are accepted in both Spanish and English).

City and Nature. Approaches from an environmental-history angle
Architecture manipulates form, matter, and energy to create environments with a certain cultural stamp, and this obvious but rarely voiced statement signals the potential of an environmental history of the discipline, the purpose of which would be to inform on the highly diverse ways by which human beings have met the challenge of making nature livable again. Since the mid-19th century, architecture has been scrutinized in terms of concepts —styles, authors, societies, cultures, production modes– mostly taken from Art History and the Human Sciences. The historiography of architecture has traditionally been constructed ‘from the top down,’ but today we can and must also try to build it ‘from the bottom up,’ through themes like the environment, comfort, energy, landscape, material culture, and experience of the human body; themes not only included among contemporary concerns, but which are fundamental to an understanding of historical facts in their particular contexts. The environmental approach encompasses everything from the smallest and most specific to the broadest and most generic, and in its ambition to embrace architecture at large, it also covers the city, which is as much a powerful economic, political, and social construct as it is a complex network of ecosystems: the quintessential environmental invention of humans. Hence the importance of making the city the theme of the first Conference of Environmental History of Architecture ever to be held in Spain and possibly in the world, the objective being less to provide answers than to raise questions that open the door to revising, refining, or updating our knowledge of the past, and also some of our historiographic presuppositions.

Proposed themes
1.Climate and city: beyond environmental determinism
2.Hygiene and city: environmental infrastructures and suprastructures
3.Territory and city: scale, production, self-sufficiency
4.Landscape and city: environmental utopias, dystopias, or heterotopias?
5.City and Nature in Ibero-America: contexts, societies, and cultures
6.City and nature beyond the West: contexts, societies, and cultures

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