Online Seminar: The Dynamics of Healthscaping

Friday, 31 July 2020, 16:00 – 17:00 (CEST)

Urban History summer seminar’s third paper in this series comes from the winners of Urban History‘s Dyos Prize for 2020, Dr. Taylor Zaneri and Professor Guy Geltner. This paper traces how urban communities operating with a humoral or Galenic medical paradigm understood and confronted the health challenges facing them, using the extraordinarily well-documented case of Bologna, Italy. Working within a GIS environment, the authors spatially analyse over 3,500 events recorded by the Ufficio del fango concerning violations of the city’s health-related ordinances, augmented by other demographic and material data. As such, the study not only adds specificity to recent attempts to enrich the field of pre-modern public health, but also demonstrates that the Bolognese administration had a sophisticated and evolving understanding of communal health risks, and exposes several discrepancies between policy and practice.

This talk will be held on Google Meet, the link to which will be made available 48 hours before the talk. This seminar will be recorded and made available online at

This seminar series is jointly organised by Urban History and the Urban History Group. We are grateful to the journal’s New Initiatives Fund for initial funding support.

You can find more information here.

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