Housing in Premodern Cities: Patterns of Social and Spatial Variation

Michael E. Smith

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v8i3.448


This paper describes a broad comparative perspective on urban housing in cities before the modern era, including the newly-defined category of low-density city. My objective is to promote comparative analysis of premodern urban housing forms. I present a typology of house types that is based on the concepts of dwelling and household. The types are: individual house; house group; contiguous houses; walled compound; and apartment building. Among the many factors that influenced the forms and nature of premodern urban housing, I single out three causal forces: cultural tradition, density, and political dynamics. 


Housing; Premodern cities; comparative analysis; typology

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