IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1018: Analysing City Forms, III: Planning and Topography

Wednesday 11 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Terry Slater, Urban Morphology Research Group, University of Birmingham
Paper 1018-aUrban Topography: Where Next?
(Language: English)
Julian T. Munby, Oxford Archaeology
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Economics - Urban, Historiography - Modern Scholarship
Paper 1018-bPlanning in a Medieval City: The Park Street Area of Coventry
(Language: English)
Nat Alcock, Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Archives and Sources, Economics - Urban, Social History
Paper 1018-cUrban Planning in Major Wallachian and Moldavian Towns between 1300 and 1600
(Language: English)
Laurenţiu Rădvan, Facultatea de Istorie, Universitatea Alexandru I Cuza, Iasi
Index terms: Administration, Economics - Urban, Geography and Settlement Studies

Paper a: The detailed reconstruction of urban topography in the form of tenement surveys, pioneered in Oxford and Winchester is clearly of great value but has had an uneven following in England. This paper looks at the origins and use of the Oxford material, published work in other towns, and considers the potential for further studies. Attention is also drawn to the possibility of reconstructing surveys of urban fields, based on evidence for Oxford, Cambridge, and Portchester, and the need for investigation of the topography of suburbs and boundaries.
Paper b: The medieval topography of Coventry is complex, with a recent study identifying some twenty-one plan units. One of these, comprising the southern parts of Much and Little Park Street is notable for its extraordinary regularity, comprising at least seventy-five precisely rectangular burgage plots. However, no consensus has been reached on its date, with suggestions ranging from the 12th to the mid-14th centuries, while it has been attributed to (among others) Coventry Priory, the Earls of Chester, and Queen Isabella. In the present analysis, for the first time, the mass of individual medieval and post-medieval deeds relating to the area have been linked into tenement sequences. This, combined with map regression, allows the topographical development of the area and its social and economic context to be documented in detail, and throws a new light on this example of medieval town planning.
Paper c: Ever since the initial stages of their development, in the 14th century, the medieval towns of Wallachia and Moldova displayed a seemingly random internal structure. This may be explained by the way they developed, since they were not the product of carefully thought-out design; spontaneous development and gradual expansion left their mark on the interior of the urban landscape. Urban planning in most towns relied on a political and administrative nucleus (curtea, the court of the prince), complemented by a commercial nucleus, the marketplace (targ). Places of worship, such as churches and monasteries, would emerge along these in a short time. This study undertakes to detail the way these structures have dictated urban design in major towns, the way in which Central-European influences were acquired, but also the role of the central authority (the prince) in the development of urban settlements in this area (until the end of the 16th century). The study will be accompanied by relevant images and plans and it will be fit for a session entitled Urban Planning in a Cross-European Perspective.