Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Marion W. Gray

Second Advisor

Dr. Eli Rubin

Third Advisor

Dr. Lynne Heasley


Urban history, environmental history, Vienna, nineteenth century, Austria

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, a distinct trend toward urbanization has continually reshaped history and society, yet the development and evolution of urban spaces has been largely overlooked by scholars until recent decades. This is especially true for the cities of the Habsburg Empire, although Vienna provides a good case study of industrialization’s impact on the urban landscape due to its history of rapid population growth, extensive environmental change, and established administrative structures. Although the logistical challenges associated with urban administration, such as importing adequate food, accessing clean water, and disposing of waste in a prompt manner were all present in Vienna long before industrialization began, the rapid growth of industry and population elevated these problems to new heights. This forced city officials to assume greater responsibility for the lives and well-being of their residents. Regardless of whether these initiatives succeeded in their goal, the increased level of government involvement and interest in what was previously considered private spheres of activity was a profound shift in how the government viewed its relationship to its inhabitants and helped create a city in which the municipality was responsible for basic needs like water, waste disposal, sanitation, and health.