Modernity in Edinburgh: Changing the experience of the city for women (Shauna O Brien-113545727)

In the early 18th century, Edinburgh had a population of over 50,000 people and was one of the most over populated towns in Europe at this time, leading to Daniel Defoe making the comment “though many cities have more people in them, yet, I believe, this may be said with truth, that in no city in the world do so many people live in so little room as at Edinburgh” (Defoe 1978).    The city was essentially made up of one street known as “The Royal Mile” leading from the Castle down south to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and leading from east and west off this street are tiny streets called closes. The conditions of Edinburgh at this time were cramped and filthy as chamber pots were emptied on to the streets from the tall buildings above. These unfavorable conditions led to the construction of New Town in the late 1760s .

Map 1: Edinburgh in 1765

edinburgh 1765     Map of Edinburgh 1765. Source: [accessed 5/10/15]

The construction of New Town brought wealth and capital to Edinburgh. The upper and middle class  moved into the new area of Edinburgh and with this came the emergence of modernity in the city. Demands for leisure and entertainment brought new public spaces such as Public Parks, Theaters and Department Stores. Jenner’s on Princes Street played a huge part in how women in Edinburgh would experience public space just as men had the privilege of doing all along .  Women were the driving force behind the success of department stores as Charles Jenner once stated that “It is women who decide how most of the family income is to be spent,” (McClean 2013). This acknowledgment meant that women would eventually be fully accepted in the public sphere where they could go out alone or with a female friend “without compromising their respectability”(Wolff, 2006).

Map 2: Edinburgh showing New Town and Old Town after Edinburghs expansion in the late 1760s

Source: Map of New Town (red) and Old Town (blue) showing the expansion of Edinburgh. The Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse are circled in green. accessed 05/10/2015

Map of New Town (red) and Old Town (blue) showing the expansion of Edinburgh. The Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse are circled in green.
accessed 05/10/2015


  • Daniel Defoe, 1978.  A Tour Through The Whole Island Of Britain. Penguin 1978, p.577
  • David McClean, 2013. accessed at: on 05/10/2015.
  •  Wolff, Janet. “Gender and the Haunting of Cities (or, the Retirement of the flâneur)”. The invisible flâneuse? : gender, public space, and visual culture in nineteenth century Paris. Eds. Aruna D’Souza and Tom McDonough. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006. Print.

Blog 1 – The parks of Munich (Peter Bowen, 113302456)

Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and boasts considerable green spaces, which were created over the past 400 years, beginning with the Hofgarten created in the early years of the 17th Century, which sits within walking distance of the relatively new Olympic Park, constructed in 1972. It boasts a variety of public spaces today, but that was not always the case. The purpose of this blog will be to report on the emergence of these public parks in Munich as the city underwent modernisation. I’ll be focusing on three of Munich’s many parks in particular: The Hofgarten (Court Garden), The Englischer Garten (English Garden) and The Olympic Park.

Hofgarten aerial

The Hofgarten from above, Image taken from (


Munich 1650

Image taken from Moll’s Map Collection (, a depiction the city of Munich as it was in the mid-17th Century

The Hofgarten is pictured at the top-left of the image. At this time the park was only thirty or so years old, and is clearly the only green space of any considerable size within the city proper. Built to mimic the gardens of Renaissance Italy, it shows the adoption of foreign style into the heart of a growing city, important enough to be placed inside the fortifications. Apart from the gardens themselves and a small square in the centre of the town, the city seems devoid of public space.


Munich 1800

Image taken from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( depicts Munich in 1800

As can be seen on the map, the Hofgarten has received a reworking, and ‘The Place’ remains the only other public space inside the city, but this is in fact a period of great development in Munich, as the Englischer Garten would have been constructed a decade prior, to the north of the walled city itself. This garden, considered Munich’s ‘Green lung’, trumps even New York’s Central Park in scale. Originally intended as a military garden, it would become Munich’s second public park, providing the citizenry with an extensive alternative to the Hofgarten, which pales in comparison. So great in both scale and variety, the park remains a huge tourist attraction to this day.


English Garden

Image taken from Google Maps, providing locational context for the two aforementioned parks.


The Olympic Park, constructed for the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics is one of the comparatively newer public spaces in the city, and though it was built for a single event the park still sees use as a public attraction. Truly modern in design, offering an alternative to the older styles of both other parks, a newer variation to the use of green space in the modern city, it stands as a continuation of Munich’s ever-increasing viridity to the present day.


-Moll’s Map Collection, Untitled map of Munich, Merian, Matthaeus. 1593-1650

-Historic CitiesA Plan of the City of Munich, Stockdale, J. 1800

-Wikipedia, Hofgarten (Munich) & Englischer Garten

-Google Maps




Blog #1, Digital Urban Maps (Conor Hornibrook, 113454658)

Fact and Fiction: Public Space in Fictional Cities

               Why do people create worlds other than this one? In religion, science fiction and philosophy there are a plethora of fictional worlds, Utopias, that inspire and intend to capture the essence of true perfection. What form this “perfection” takes on is dependent on the cultural background of the architects themselves. In the example I have chosen, Andreae’s Christianopolis (Figure 1), his motive was the construction of “an ideal city on a pietistic socialistic basis” (Abercrombie, 1920, pg. 99).

Figure 1. Christianopolis and ground plan. (Source:, accessed 5th October 2015)

Figure 1. Map of Christianopolis and ground plan. (Source: (pg 221-222), accessed 5th October 2015).

Johannes Valentines Andreae was a German priest who designed a Utopian city, dubbed Christianopolis, in 1619 (For technical details of the city’s architecture and design see Abercrombie, 1920). The city is a mythical paradise, of concentric walls set in a square frame with interior apartment blocks, aligned at right angles in rows orbiting the core structure within the city, the College. As an urban design and public space, it radiates order and structure which were desirable traits to the logical mind of a Renaissance theologian, equally intrigued by science and piety. Yet this ornate and intricate city exists only on paper and in the mind of the creator.

Figure 2. Map of Calw, Reichsamt fur Landesaufnahme, 1893)

Figure 2. Map of Calw (Source: Reichsamt fur Landesaufnahme, 1893, via–604–Calw-, accessed 5th October 2015).

For the sake of comparison let us view the city of Calw. Andreae was part of the committee that rebuilt the city of Calw, following the city’s destruction during the Battle of Nordlingen (1634). The city, visible above, is a rigmarole of corners and looping paths with its shape dictated entirely by the flow of the river Nagold. This hardly reflects the carefully constructed rows and symmetrical design of Christianopolis. The Utopian city in its grand design is meticulously regulated, even down to the level of the individual citizen as “visitors to Christianopolis are tested as to their moral suitability, backgrounds, and character, and are subjected to an intellectual cross examination” (Davis, 2008, pg. 14)

By creating a fictional world, one can create beauty via public space, untainted by the real world with its perceived mortal filth, needs and degeneracy. In this context, the public space is not a street or a park but a whole city, an idea that is superimposed on an already existing and understood institution, the urban environment, but re-imagined in a way that reflects the power, values and in many ways the lamentations of a powerful few, who view their world and city as a failed attempt at what could have been.



  • Abercrombie, P., (1920) Ideal Cities: No. 1 Christianopolis, The Town Planning Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, Liverpool University Press, pp. 99-104
  • Davis, J.C, (2008) Going Nowhere: Travelling to, through, and from Utopia, Utopian Studies, Vol. 19, No. 1, Penn State University Press , pp. 1-23
  • Morrison, T. (2013) The Architecture of Andreae’s Christianopolis and Campanella’s City of the Sun, Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand: 30, Open, vol. 1, p 259-271.











Blog #1 Emergence of Modernity in Vienna in the 18th and 19th centuries- (Stephanie Coles 113352066)

New and accurate main plan of the Key. Main and residential city Wienn (Vienna). Publishing Details: Wien : I. W. Heckenaer, [between 1739 and 1750]

Map 1: New and accurate main plan of the Key. Main and residential city Wienn (Vienna).
Publishing Details: Wien : I. W. Heckenaer, [between 1739 and 1750] (accessed 4/10/15)

Map 1. depicts an 18th century historical map of Vienna when the medieval wall still surrounded the city. Most of Vienna was reconstructed during the 18th century after the Turkish Sieges of 1529 and 1683, and at this time ideas of modernity- ideas of beauty, control and order- began to take root in all parts of Europe. A good example of the emergence of modernity in Vienna at this time can be seen from the appearance of Palais, which were garden palaces that the nobility began to cover the surrounding landscape with, and created a new kind of public space, much like the public gardens of London.

Wien (Vienna) Published by: Bibliographischen Instituts, Hildburghausen, (1844);sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=71&trs=818

Map 2: Wien (Vienna)
Published by: Bibliographischen Instituts, Hildburghausen, (1844) (accessed 4/10/15)

Map 2. shows a 19th century historical map of Vienna. By 1827, utopian notions became the normal way of building cities in Vienna. At this point in time, Vienna was turned into a Baroque city. Baroque began in Rome and spread to most of Europe. Baroque art style is another example of the emergence of modernity in Vienna, as this architecture expressed grandeur, exuberance, drama and tension, and the aristocracy saw this architecture as a way of impressing visitors of Vienna and expressing power, order and control.

Map 3. depicts Vienna after the city destroyed and expanded beyond its medieval wall in the 1850s. At this point in time, Vienna would have had the first orderly and beautiful boulevards in Europe, which can be clearly seen from the map, and were a new kind of public space in Vienna. The existing Public Parks at this time are highlighted on this map in red. The first ring-road- the Ringstrasse- was constructed in 1827, and along this boulevard the aristocracy built beautiful palaces. In Schottering, an area where the wall once stood, more new public spaces were created in the form of galleries, boutiques, shops, and apartments for the wealthy. The new town hall and parliament building were built at the heart of the city in classical Palladion design. Vienna became a global influence.

The city of Vienna. Published by: Letts's popular atlas. Letts, Son & Co. Limited, London. (1883).;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=75&trs=818

Map 3: The city of Vienna.
Published by: Letts’s popular atlas. Letts, Son & Co. Limited, London. (1883). (accessed 4/10/15)

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The public park hits The Pale, Dublin’s emergence into modernity.

(Rory O’Donnell 113516707)

Dublin, the primate city of Ireland, the raiding vikings settled here in 831 AD and fought off the local Irish until 1014 AD. Then the English began to make their influences felt upon the city from 1170 and thus the city became part of the British empire right up until 1922, but empires come and go the city still remains. Due to the Liffey Dublin has a rich history as a settlement site spanning further beyond that even of the vikings. Maps of the cityscape from this period of its history is based predominantly on speculation and interpenetration of the old viking section on the south banks of the Liffey One of the earliest thought map is John Speeds titled “Dubline” dated 1610 (Fig.i).

Dublin, 1610

Here we can see the Anglo- Norman influences upon the city, defensive city walls enclosing the city creating the barrier between outside the city and that which is the city core. Although one can see vast expanses of open green areas, one shouldn’t mistake them for public spaces, on the contrary. These were regions under control from local ruling aristocrats, only available to the wealthy of society.


Dublin, 1764

In (Fig.ii) a map by Jacques Nicolas titled “Plan De LaVille De Dublin” (1764) one can see the influence of mainland Europe creep in upon Dublin right into the cityscape with the emergence of St. Stephans Green, one of the oldest urban parks in the world (the large square to the bottom right of the map).

Dublin, 1836


Dublin, 1883
The influence of modernity slowly moves into the Dublin sphere. This emergence is seen through the development of public space within the urban city and increases in tandem with the vast urban expansion. This increase is seen in the arrival of both Merrion Square and the significantly smaller Fitzwilliam Park. Their arrival is seen in (Fig.iii) in the map created by Chapman and Hall in 1836. Note again further urban expansion in (Fig.iiii) a map produced in 1883 by Letts, Son & Co. These mark Dublin’s entrance into the teeming metropolis which it is seen as today and its ties to modernity traced through the transformation of these public spaces.


David Rumsey Historical map collection (