City Trees: A Historical Geography from the Renaissance Through the Nineteenth Century

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University of Virginia Press, 2006 - Architecture - 336 pages

For those who have ever wondered why we have trees in cities or what makes the layout of cities like Paris and Amsterdam seem so memorable, City Trees: A Historical Geography from the Renaissance through the Nineteenth Century by Henry W. Lawrence provides a comprehensive and handsome guide to the history of trees in urban landscapes. Covering four centuries of development in the cities of Europe and America, this book shows how trees became integral to urban landscapes by looking at the historical evolution of the spaces in which they were planted and how these spaces were used.

Reflecting on the impact trees have had on what many consider to be the fundamental aspects of city life--people, buildings, social and economic activity--Lawrence draws on graphic materials, written descriptions, local histories, and archival research to provide a unique look at the tree's role in urban landscape history. Primarily concerned with aesthetics, power, and national traditions, Lawrence reflects on the differing impacts city trees have had on multiple aspects of culture, from their roles as symbols and their representation of economic prosperity to the differing ways nations planted their trees, which gradually blended into an international style of urban planting.

Complete with fascinating illustrations, City Trees will appeal to those interested in urban history and geography as well as the general public interested in cities, cultural history, and landscape design.

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The Sixteenth Century
The Seventeenth Century
1700 to the 1980s

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About the author (2006)

Henry W. Lawrence is Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

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