The modern city and the making of sport
DOI link for The modern city and the making of sport
The modern city and the making of sport book
The focus of this essay is on the 'modern' city, the origins of which are usually attributed to the urban expansion that followed the growth of industrialization in the eighteenth century. This is not to propose a complete rupture between the ancient city and the modern city. For example, the Athenian city-state has remained influential to those who have looked to antiquity as an ageless guide to urban planning. As such, Athens has served as an ideal referent of lived humanism. According to Blackham, 'Never before nor since has there been such an integration and florescence of human activities and genius carried to the pitch of perfection'. The city of Renaissance Italy is widely regarded as having been invested with the artistic dimension of this spirit. Florence, Turin and, for that matter, Rome are seen as works of art in themselves as much as places of artistic nurture and excellence.2 The essay proceeds in a way sympathetic to the notion of the city as a work of art. The city understood as a work of art at once suggests the idea of a 'city of culture', an idea which runs counter to the anti-humanistic understanding of the city as a place of utilitarian outcomes. The essay is largely concerned with how sport might be placed historically within modern cities thus considered as cities of culture. It proceeds with a discussion of the writing on cities by the architectural and urban historian Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) and goes on to discuss the cultural significance of sport within cities via historical reflection on baseball in the United States and association football in Britain.