First published in 1999, this volume explores how the cities of central Europe, among them Berlin, Budapest, Hamburg, Vienna and Prague, went through a period of phenomenal growth during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their rapid expansion and growing economic importance made citizens aware of the need to manage the fabric and culture of the urban environment, while burgeoning nationalism and the development of local and international tourism constructed cities as showcases for national and regional identity. Competing visions of how city and nation should represent themselves were advanced by different social groups, by commercial interests and by local and national political authorities. Among the developments examined in this collection of essays are the campaign for the architectural development of Hamburg; international modernism and notions of the garden city in Czechoslovakia; competition among German cities as art centres; the role of Wawel Hill in Kraków as a vehicle for Polish nationalism; tourism in Austria-Hungary; Jewish assimilation in Vienna; social control and cultural policy in Vienna; and the representation of Berlin on film.
The volume is introduced by Malcolm Gee, Tim Kirk and Jill Steward who provide an historical overview which establishes a context for the exchange of ideas and competition between the cities of central Europe during this period.