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Natural Environment How Human History has been impacted by the environment, science, nature, geography, weather, and natural phenomena


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Old November 1st, 2012, 08:24 PM   #1

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Question Narrow streets


in the old parts of the -well- old cities (rome, istanbul, prague, tokyo etc.) the streets are always narrow. i can understand that they did not have motor vehicles back in the day but most streets would only allow the passage of one horse-cart at a time. was bidirectional traffic frowned upon or smth back in the old days?
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Old November 1st, 2012, 09:08 PM   #2

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I imagine that the main streets used for transporting things, which saw lots of traffic were wide and have remained main streets, so they were upgraded with the times, whereas the streets just used by pedestrians remained in their more original states.
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Old November 1st, 2012, 10:29 PM   #3

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I noticed the same thing on vacation in Spain. It's a huge contrast especially when coming from the States.
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Old November 1st, 2012, 10:56 PM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuor View Post
I imagine that the main streets used for transporting things, which saw lots of traffic were wide and have remained main streets, so they were upgraded with the times, whereas the streets just used by pedestrians remained in their more original states.
i imagine those not-so-main streets were indeed wide enough for a passage of a horsecart (almost as wide as a modern car) but there weren't too many of them so only one way traffic was sufficient. i also think that people back then didn't really have urban planning. cities just expanded without much planning.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 02:10 AM   #5

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European cities of medieval origin usually had city walls which limited the geographical area that you could build on, hence the narrow streets.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 02:50 AM   #6

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Originally Posted by Gudenrath View Post
European cities of medieval origin usually had city walls which limited the geographical area that you could build on, hence the narrow streets.
Yes, and to own a horse was not that common [horse had a huge cost and they needed room], less common was to own a good chariot.

Who owned them [the wealthy citizens] lived along the main streets and usually one of these ones was also the street of the market, of the shops ... so that the chariots stopped there.

So: where in an ancient European city you see wide streets you can be sure that ...

- or it's a recent quarter
- or it had build to host wealthy people
- there were institutional places: let's think to the esplanade des invalides at Paris.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 03:16 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gudenrath View Post
European cities of medieval origin usually had city walls which limited the geographical area that you could build on, hence the narrow streets.
i guess the same goes for japanese cities. there are many streets today in japan that only a k-car can go through let alone a normal car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
Yes, and to own a horse was not that common [horse had a huge cost and they needed room], less common was to own a good chariot.

Who owned them [the wealthy citizens] lived along the main streets and usually one of these ones was also the street of the market, of the shops ... so that the chariots stopped there.

So: where in an ancient European city you see wide streets you can be sure that ...

- or it's a recent quarter
- or it had build to host wealthy people
- there were institutional places: let's think to the esplanade des invalides at Paris.
ok, a horse might be very expensive but not even donkeys?
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 04:48 AM   #8

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Here is Baščaršija, Sarajevo in Bosnia. It's been built in XVI century. Pretty wide, you'll agree:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 05:11 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucius Vorenus View Post
Here is Baščaršija, Sarajevo in Bosnia. It's been built in XVI century. Pretty wide, you'll agree:

Click the image to open in full size.
Wow, that is so cool!
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 10:25 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by infestør View Post
ok, a horse might be very expensive but not even donkeys?
Donkeys still had to be fed and stabled.
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