My book project is about the global histories of the “quantitative revolution” in geography. The quantitative revolution has been an epochal textbook chapter in geography’s canonical history, when the discipline transformed into a rigorous social science backed by predictive mathematical methods in the early Cold War. An iconic scientific concept of this quantitative movement, most notably related to Walter Christaller (1933) and August Lösch (1939), was central place theory (CPT). With the globalization of the quantitative revolution after its emergence from the Second World War in the United States, location theories such as CPT became widespread in urban and regional planning across the world. How did quantitative spatial analysis and planning develop in different parts of the world? In what different geographical contexts were location theories like CPT read, reinterpreted, applied, and mobilized? How were these often very different contexts connected? This book offers to fill this significant gap in geography’s twentieth century global history by deconstructing the mainstream Anglo-American narrative and tracing the quantitative revolution through the circulation and local applications of CPT in the “Second” and “Third” worlds and into the pre-Cold War era.
I have sent two abstracts to the 17th International Conference of Historical Geographers in Warsaw, July 15–20 and one – the latter abstract here provided – to the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in New Orleans, April 10–14 in 2018.
Historical geographies of the “quantitative revolution”: Towards a transnational history of central place theory
“The Ghana job”: Opening Hungary to the developing world
The great Ron J. Johnston wrote an article in 1969 on the development of urban geography in New Zealand after 1945. He writes about a “nomothetic movement” emerging from the 1950s, which drew its sources from the geography of the UK and the US. One of the main figures in New Zealand was L. L. Pownall, who argued already in 1952 for an urban geography building on inductive generalizations.
Peculiar or not so peculiar stories Previously I wrote about the stories of Károly Perczel and László Huszár. Both were Hungarian architects, urbanists and regional planners, but the latter was also involved in planning projects in the Third […]
This is so beautiful. On the front cover, the schematic graph-like depiction of Walter Christaller’s central places appear. This book is from 1966. The same year Christaller’s dissertation and book from 1933 was published in […]
I’ve found a very revealing paragraph from a 1969 article in an old journal, Ekistics (it was published until 2006). It’s in a special issue dedicated to “rational” urban planning in Africa. The paragraph indirectly […]