The Global Age of Mass Housing


Kenny Cupers
A Cultural History of the Home in the Modern Age, edited by Despina Stratigakos (London: Bloomsbury) , 2020

During the twentieth century, the world’s population increased more than in any other period in history, from about 1.6 billion in 1900 to over six billion in 2000. The number of new dwellings needed to accommodate this increase is almost impossible to fathom. The sheer variety of dwelling types and styles across the world parallels the diversity of contemporary ways of life. What history accounts for the myriad social practices and materialities of dwelling that emerged in this period? To begin answering this question, this chapter will focus on the major kinds of housing that accommodated the past century’s unprecedented population growth and that, in doing so, shaped the vast expansion of our urbanized world.