Metropolitan Economies in Historical Context – Three Cases

Prof. Walter Greason

ABSTRACT: Between 1750 and 1950, the template for commercial and industrial development emerged in Europe and the Americas in ways that exemplified patterns of segregation and imperialism. Using resources provided by the social histories of capitalism over the last two decades, this paper will closely examine the ways that urban planning changed in Liverpool, Montreal, Havana, and Philadelphia. Specific attention to the changing roles of churches, banks, courts, and town halls will inform the analysis. Within this larger framework, the traditions of spatial resistance among communities of the African diaspora in these locations will become apparent. Ultimately, the economic analysis of these metropolitan markets will demonstrate the ways that segregation limited the commercial growth of each city. Based on previous research findings about urban decay, suburbanization, and regional planning since 2015, this paper argues the importance of historical research in grounding economic theories within material conditions in order to suggest better public policy in the twenty-first century.

Speaker Biography:

Prof. Walter Greason

Walter Greason is a Professor at Monmouth University, New Jersey.


Date: Thursday, 23 September
Seminar time: 08:30 - 11:00 AEST