'Les Hommes de la Route'. Engineering the Urban Society of the Modern Road in Belgium, 1889-1962

Doctoral dissertation David Peleman

This dissertation aims to shed a new light on the project for the modernisation of the roads that was realized in Belgium between 1889 and 1962.

The research starts from the premise that a broad group of actors contributed to a repositioning of the modern road in society – a process that went hand in hand with the modernisation of the roads. A wide range of associations – of drivers, tourists, engineers, industrials, building contractors, academics – that occasionally described themselves as Les Hommes de la Route appealed to a number of commonplaces to make their project comprehensible and to communicate their project to the public. By way of six of those places or topoi – the city, the landscape, the laboratory, the conference, the street and the museum – this dissertation outlines how the project of the modern road was inscribed in the public sphere and how it contributed – in a diversified way – to the urbanisation of the Belgian territory and society.


Doctoral student: David Peleman
Public defense: 2013-11-22
Supervisor: prof. Pieter Uyttenhove

Examination Board:
em. prof. Luc Taerwe, voorzitter
prof. Pieter Uyttenhove, promotor, UGent - vakgroep Architectuur en Stedenbouw (EA01)
prof. Michiel Dehaene, secretaris, UGent - vakgroep Architectuur en Stedenbouw (EA01)
dr. ir.-arch. Bruno Notteboom, UGent - ()
prof. Johan Lagae, UGent - vakgroep Architectuur en Stedenbouw (EA01)
dr. ir.-arch. Bénédicte Grosjean, École nationale supérieure d'architecture et de paysage (ENSAP), Lille, Frankrijk & Université catholique de Louvain, Doornik
prof. Patrick De Baets, UGent - Ingenieurswetenschappen en Architectuur (EA08)
dr. Carlos Galvis, University of London, School of Advanced Study, London, Groot-Brittannië

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