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Historical Research into Urban Transformation Processes

Writing urban history in the heart of Europe

Established in 2005, the HOST research group conducts innovative research in the field of urban history, contributing to insights into contemporary societal challenges. Essential to our research is the historical role of cities as catalysts for processes of economic innovation, social exclusion and integration, and political-institutional change. Our work focuses predominantly on the cities of Brabant and Flanders, two core regions of the Southern Low Countries characterized by high levels of urbanization, commercialization and early industrialization, and by a marked variation in urban structures and profound upswings and downswings in economic development. We study these regions from an international, comparative perspective. Our research covers the period from the later Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. HOST has over twenty-five permanent members, including professors, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students. Many of our staff are internationally acknowledged researchers with extensive publication records and involvements in both international and nationally-funded research projects.