Professor Florian Urban PhD, MA Urban Planning, MFA

Job Title:

Head of History of Architecture and Urban Planning (HAUS)


Mackintosh School of Architecture



Prof Florian Urban
Tower and Slab, Global Histories of Mass Housing (Abingdon: Routledge, 2012)

Prof Florian Urban


Professor Florian Urban

Florian Urban is Professor of Architectural History, and Head of History of Architectural and Urban Studies. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Berlin, an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA and a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Architecture from MIT.

He was born and raised in Munich/Germany and spent most of his adult life in Berlin before moving to Glasgow in 2010. Before joining the Mackintosh School of Architecture he taught at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin Technical University and worked for the German Federal Institute for Research on Construction, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR). Since 2009 he has been the Book Reviews Editor-in-Chief for the journal Planning Perspectives.


Postmodern Architecture in Socialist Poland - Transformation, Symbolic Form and National Identity (Abingdon: Routledge, 2021)

The New Tenement – Residences in the Inner City since 1970 (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018)

Tower and Slab – a Global History of Mass Housing (Abingdon: Routledge, 2012) Awarded the annual prize for the “best book on planning history written in English and based on original research” by the International Planning History Society (IPHS)

Neo-historical East Berlin – Architecture and Urban Design in the German Democratic Republic 1970-1990 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009)

Berlin/DDR, neo-historisch – Geschichte aus Fertigteilen [Neo-historical East Berlin – History from Prefabricated Parts] (Berlin: Gebrüder Mann Verlag, 2007)

The Invention of the Historic City – Building the Past in East Berlin, Doctoral Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2006, also accepted at Berlin Technical University in the context of a double degree agreement, online here

Research interests:
- History of architecture in the urban context, particularly in the 20th century
- Relation between architecture and social, cultural, and political forces
- Discourses on postmodernism
- The architecture of mass housing as a global phenomenon
- New Tenements, that is, dense multi-storey urban residences since 1970
- Informal housing/self-built housing, particularly in Europe in the mid 20th century
- Discourses on historic preservation and identity