Urbanology: Towards a Revivalof the Traditional European Town
“Urbanology” — the term used in the title of the book Towards urbanology by the architect Stanisław Lose from Wrocław — refers to his idea of “afield of knowledge whose main subject is aman in an urbanised world”. Therefore urbanology is opposed to urbanistics, which — according to Lose — is more interested in economy, transportation or spatial planning than in people. The author of Towards urbanology strongly appreciates the medieval model of town — and its more freedom-oriented, and creativity-oriented, continuation in later ages. The author is also very impressed by the historical role of christianity as the cultural integrator of urban societies. But Lose’s book is only apretext for briefly describing the contemporary history of the traditionalist current in urbanism and enthusiastic opinions about the Middle Ages expressed by such different authors as René Guénon, Peter Kropotkin or G.K. Chesterton. Nowadays the so-called neomedivalism tries to interpret the current cultural, political and administrative diversity of Europe as anew version of the multi-level and polycentric order associated with the Middle Ages. But neomedievalism and urbanistic traditionalism raise some questions — for example those about the limits of being inspired by the Middle Ages, about the economy of the neomedieval model of town or about the relationship between the notion of the so-called living tradition in urbanism and architecture on the one hand — and historical styles on the other.