September 2, 2011

Nodal development in a walled city

Gate at Gengenbach.
Gate at Gengenbach.

It's hard to imagine a more perfect nodal development scenario than a walled city on a trade route surrounded by farms. We don't tend to do things that way any longer. Even the German village I described earlier as a nodal development paradise doesn't bother with walls, which would get in the way of its orderly expansion.

Nearby Gengenbach, however, has had stone walls for a long time. The Altstadt (old city) is still within those walls and very distinctive, despite the cars going through its gates today.

House against the gate.
House against the gate tower.

In the Altstadt, Gengenbach.
In the Altstadt, Gengenbach.

The village today is about 11,000 people, and no, they don't all fit in the old city, which is now a tourist attraction. There is a development boundary, but it is well outside the old walls, as are the railroad and factory, and isn't the neat Meissenheim circle because the terrain is more complicated.

I've posted a gallery of photos of Gengenbach's Altstadt in case you're curious what an old walled city can look like in an age of automobiles. Yes, it's a tourist attraction, so not your average town. However, I've also posted a a gallery of photos from nearby Lahr, a much more typical city of 43,000 people. They have a pedestrian mall that strikes me as a much more functional version of the Ithaca Commons.

(I know, I know. First pictures from Germany, now discussion of the Ithaca Commons, which isn't even in Dryden or similar to much in Dryden. It's Friday evening, I guess.)

Posted by simon at September 2, 2011 5:59 PM in , ,
Note on photos