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Urbanism? What’s that?

Besides words like “the”, “is”, and the like, urbanism is probably going to be one of the most used word on BYU. Considering that some spell-checkers still identify the word as an error, it only makes sense to define it,

Most people know urbanisation – the process of transformation from rural to urban centre. It’s pretty much the metamorphosis from village/town into melting-pot city. It’s usually motivated and/or accompanied by some form of industrialisation or economic expansion. Urbanism is quite different.

Global urbanization map showing the percentage of urbanization per country in 2012. image by Jamie Tubers (CC 3.0)

Global urbanization map showing the percentage of urbanization per country in 2012. image by Jamie Tubers (CC 3.0)

Urbanism is the way of life in urban dwellings. Urbanisms are the spatial, cultural, social contexts and conditions of urban settlements, and as such will invariably vary from city to city, country to country, continent to continent. For there to be an urbanism, there has to be an urban area. I’d say that urbanism is the culture of cities.

One thing to note here is how important the human factor is in the formation and evolution of urbanism. As much as there is no urbanism without an urban area, there is also no urbanism without people. Sadly, people are sometimes disenfranchised from their cities – one of the things BYU is committed to fighting (topic for another day really).

People produce the spaces, but spaces influence people. It’s a sort of chicken-egg cyclic experience.

urbanism definition

I hope this makes things clearer moving forward, and helps you understand the BYU vision better. Have any questions? Please leave a comment on this post, or tweet at us, or write on our Facebook Page.

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