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Publication Detail
Diachronic comparisons – built form change and socio-economic life in Islington, London and the West Village, Manhattan 1870-2013
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Palaiologou G, Vaughan L
  • Publication date:
  • Published proceedings:
  • Editors:
    Doyle B,Madgin R
  • Name of conference:
    Urban History Group 2016: Re-Evaluating the Place of the City in History
  • Conference place:
    Robinson College, University of Cambridge
  • Conference start date:
  • Conference finish date:
  • Addresses:
    University College London
    Space Syntax Laboratory, Bartlett School of Architecture
    United Kingdom
The paper discusses the spatial and built form histories of two case studies: Islington in London (c.1871-2013) and the West Village in Manhattan (c.1891-2011) in order to examine urban change in the historical building cultures of terraced and row houses. For London, historical and contemporary Ordnance Survey Maps were used to draw the historical street network. Information for the built form, land uses and Islington’s socio-economic past was also retrieved from the maps and notebooks of Charles Booth, as well as the London Post Office Commercial and Professional Directories. For Manhattan, the Bromley & Co. Fire Insurance Atlases were the basic source of historical data, both for the street network and the buildings. These surveys include a detailed account of building properties (size and height) and use. Quantitative data were extracted from these maps in order to record changing building uses. The study suggests that historical research into street morphology shows evidence of ‘domino effects’, developed over time, between the morphological properties of buildings and streets and the land use patterns in urban space. It is shown on the one hand how the structure of the street network impacts over time on land uses' type, density and diversity; and on the other how building morphology affects the adaptability of built form in shifting from domestic to non-domestic uses.
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