Colonial Cities

Thomas R. Metcalf

in The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199589531
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Colonial Cities


This article examines the growth and distinctive character of colonial cities as they developed over time. It begins with discussions of the early modern period and the great age of empire in the nineteenth century. It then focuses on design and planning, governance, the distinctive settler cities, and the impact of decolonization. Throughout it argues that colonial urbanism was intimately connected to — and helped sustain — the growth of the emerging capitalist world order. Yet, at the same time, the process of colonial urbanism was affected not only by the varied policies pursued by the different European powers, but, as well, by the activities of local peoples as they endeavoured to come to terms with, and helped shape, the new urban world in which they found themselves.

Keywords: early modern cities; imperial cities; decolonization; colonial urbanism

Article.  7987 words. 

Subjects: History ; World History

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