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Hibbs, Philip
11-17-1997, 06:04 PM
>The city I live in was founded almost 250 years ago, and for the
>most part you can't find a straight street in it. Wy you ask?

One thing that many Americans may not realise is that most cities will
look a complete mess from overhead. Cities tend to evolve from towns
which in turn evolve from villages, which will be strategically placed
at river crossings, river junctions, or hills. This does not make for
'nice' layouts, which can be quite annoying for the poor sap trying to
make up a realistic looking city map.


philip.hibbs@tnt.co.uk or phibbs@compuserve.com
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/phibbs

David Sean Brown
11-18-1997, 02:54 AM
> That's true, and it's not what I usually object to about the cities (in
> fact, in some ways, many TSR cities are too tidy); usually even a capital
> city will have mabie one or two straight avenues driven through the tangle
> of streets (for processions, troop movement, or whatever), but the rest of
> the city will just be a warren, with buildings ploped down wherever
> (especially midieval cities, where Roman-like zoning statutes were
> unknown). What I object to is that there usually is little thought given to
> the kind of amenities a major city would have, the actuall ocuppation rates
> (realistic) a building can have. Midieval cities were crowded (very crowded
> and yucky in the west), but even so, most TSR cities have way too few
> buildings, and all too small, for the kind of population levels that the
> city is supposed to fit (of course, they tend to have all the cities be to
> large in any case, at least outside of Cerilia. Most Cerilian cities have
> ok. pop levels, but still suffer in other respects).

This is true, but ow much of the population of a "city" actually lived in
the central core of the city itself. Many of te people were farmers,
woodsmen, and other manual labourers who lived on the outskirts of the
city, within a realtively short travel didtance so as to be able to get to
market, etc, while remaining far enough away to make their living.

James Ruhland
11-18-1997, 09:40 AM
>
> This is true, but ow much of the population of a "city" actually lived in
> the central core of the city itself. Many of te people were farmers,
> woodsmen, and other manual labourers who lived on the outskirts of the
> city, within a realtively short travel didtance so as to be able to get
to
> market, etc, while remaining far enough away to make their living.
>
Farmers and woodsmen are not part of an urban population. City pops and the
pops of the surounding countryside should be kept diferentiated.

David Sean Brown
11-18-1997, 02:19 PM
> Farmers and woodsmen are not part of an urban population. City pops and the
> pops of the surounding countryside should be kept diferentiated.

"Should" and "were" are two different things. That would mean the only
population of the city would be that behind the city walls, making the
vast majority of cities very timy indeed. Who can affors to build a wall
around a city holding 10000 people?

James Ruhland
11-18-1997, 05:49 PM
>
> "Should" and "were" are two different things. That would mean the only
> population of the city would be that behind the city walls, making the
> vast majority of cities very timy indeed. Who can affors to build a wall
> around a city holding 10000 people?
>
Who can afford to build a wall around a few hundred? Oh, wait...such
fortifications were common in the middle ages; they were called castles.
Even towns significantly smaller than you describe generally had walls.
During times of invasion, folk from the countryside might seek refuge
within them...but they do not form a part of the city population; at least
they are not included in urban pop figures that I know of. Perhaps you're
looking at another source.

Trizt
11-18-1997, 07:11 PM
On 18-Nov-97, James Ruhland (jruhlconob@sprynet.com) wrote about Re:
[BIRTHRIGHT] - City Layouts:

- ->Who can afford to build a wall around a few hundred? Oh, wait...such
- ->fortifications were common in the middle ages; they were called castles.
- ->Even towns significantly smaller than you describe generally had walls.
- ->During times of invasion, folk from the countryside might seek refuge
- ->within them...but they do not form a part of the city population; at least
- ->they are not included in urban pop figures that I know of. Perhaps you're
- ->looking at another source.

It wasn't always even a castle, sometimes it only was a high cliff/hill on
where the local population had put some defencesive "walls". When enemies
started to come to close they moved into this simple fortification from where
they could together defend them against the enemy if they took the way past
the "hill". This was quite common in Finland and it has been proven that they
where atleast as good as a real castle. Some of thise "hill" was equipted with
real defence works, the pest example is Rapolan Linna and "Devils Castle",
both where in use into late 14th century to defend Tavastland against both
swedes and Russians.

I have to say that the population of some TSR cities don't seem t fit inside
the city walls, so it feels like the urban population within the closest 10-20
miles is included. Maybe it was thought that each building has alot of floors,
but if I don't remember it wrong, high (4 or more floors) buildings (not
talking about castles) was not made between the fall of Rom and 17th - 18th
century.


//Trizt of Ward^RITE

-

David Sean Brown
11-18-1997, 11:34 PM
> ->Who can afford to build a wall around a few hundred? Oh, wait...such
> ->fortifications were common in the middle ages; they were called castles.
> ->Even towns significantly smaller than you describe generally had walls.
> ->During times of invasion, folk from the countryside might seek refuge
> ->within them...but they do not form a part of the city population; at least
> ->they are not included in urban pop figures that I know of. Perhaps you're
> ->looking at another source.

As it seems we are gonna be sarcastic about it, lets try to read the post
before we answer, shall we. I wasn't talking about small fortified towns,
but the larger cities which existed. My post was in response to oe which
stated (roughly) that the population of a city only counted the people who
lived within the walls. I wasn't talking about a castle which oversaw the
protection of thcity, and could house a few hundred. If it was such that
in order to be a part of the population of a city you had to live inside
the city walls (which is how I interpreted the original post..correct me
if I am wrong), you could never really have a large city at all, because
no ruler could afford to wall in a large population. This is why I stated
that even outlieing people were sometimes considered part of the city
itself.

James Ruhland
11-19-1997, 07:04 AM
I wasn't talking about a castle which oversaw the
> protection of thcity,
>
And I'm not nessisarily talking about only castles that oversee the
protection of a city, either.

you could never really have a large city at all, because
> no ruler could afford to wall in a large population. This is why I
stated
> that even outlieing people were sometimes considered part of the city
> itself.
1) I did read the whole post, but I was in a particullarly bad mood, which
I shouldn't have expressed in the post; I apologize for the sarcasm. 2) I'm
not nessisarily talking only of thouse who live in city walls...but I do
diferentiate urban pop (traders, craftsmen, etc.) from a rural pop
(farmers, woodsmen, etc). 3) also, it is much more cost effective to
provide walls for a larger urban pop than for a smaller one (just based on
geometry; walling a larger area requires proportinally decreasing
fortification-per-person expenses). What usually kept cities small wasn't
the cost of walling them (and not all cities need to be walled...but you
best live in a pretty secure area if they are not), but feeding all the
people, since bringing in sufficient food surpluses from the countryside is
a problem (which is one of the main reasons why the larger cities tended to
be either coastal ports, or located along or fairly near waterways, for the
ease of transport. 7-8 miles of city walls wasn't uncommon in the bigger
cities (or even more), I.E. Constantinople, Cordoba, the various Chinese
capitals, etc. Cities with such a large circut of walls were less common in
the west, till later, but that was mainly bec. city pops were so much
lower. Again, sorry for the sarcasm (side note, IMO, fortifications cost to
much in most AD&D worlds...but then such worlds are swimming in gold, too.
Why do I say that? Fortifications could easily begger a lord, but that
didn't stop hundreds of 'em from being built and maintained all over the
place.
>
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