City in Modern Cultural Criticism: Lewis Mumford and István Hajnal

Abstract

The critique of the city is an almost obligatory cliché of the 20thcentury cultural criticism. This paper offers a parallel critical analysis of the conceptions of American ecologist Lewis Mumford and Hungarian historian István Hajnal. They were contemporaries, and their approaches had been inspired by interwar cultural criticism. Mumford did not hate the city: it was, for him, the engine of history, a reservoir of cultural creativeness. The theory of Hajnal, from many aspects, runs parallel with Mumford’s – moreover, the Hungarian historian gives a detailed theory on the types of European city. What connects them is an ecological approach.

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