Baroque Town Planning

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Transcript of Baroque Town Planning

Baroque Renaissance

THE BAROQUE TOWN PLANNINGThe Baroque town planning was prevalent in the 17th century A.D. The Baroque city plan appeared simultaneously with the emergence of strong states. The strength and importance of the state dictates the need for walls or military gracis around baroque cities to protect them from other strong enemies. These cities had various spaces pre-allocated for different purposes.

This seminar would touch upon the following topics : 1. ZONING 2. PLANNING 3. STUDY OF VENICE

ZONINGStrict zoning Land use is divided into several functions. Public versus private and residential versus industrial are common trends in the spatial layout. The purpose of a baroque layout is to display the citys power and strength, resulting in the construction of monuments. It was also designed to put people in their place utilizing hierarchy of space and separation of the classes. The center, usually public and commercial, is the largest and most important section. A radial street network extends from the center and as a section of the citys distance from the focus increases, its importance decreases.

This decrease in importance is illustrated by the decreasing accessibility to the center and its important functions. The government district is usually in the center square or attached to it; elite neighborhoods spring up along the wide avenues, while the poorest residential sections are forced to the edge of the city. Green space and open space are found throughout the city and each section is built around its own square.

Squares and parks also display a hierarchy of space: as sections are pushed farther from the center, the size of the public space decreases.

The physical Urban Planning of Venice remains very similar to the layout it acquired in the Imperial Age.The city sprouted with Doge Sebastiano Ziani creating public space in the Piazza San Marco. It is from this focal point that the city began to radiate (in a winding fashion), in a Baroque city model. Venice can be compared to a Baroque city model as long as the scale is kept in perspective.

PLANNINGThe measured hierarchy of space and the impressive symbols of state power were confined to limited space.

Open space, though not abundant because of the citys small size, was set aside as the six sesteri developed around squares.Gardens are also present along the outskirts of the city. Land separation is present in the layout the Arsenale, home of the ship building that was once Venices primary industry, is located on the farthest edge of the island, away from the administrative and residential districts.

The zoning becomes fuzzy as the city converts many areas to tourist functions.The focus of the Baroque city can be found in the role of San Marco and its Piazza, which housed the administrative functions (Doges Palace) of the Baroque era and several impressive monuments and buildings. Although this focus was not in the exact center of the city, but on the southern edge, hierarchy of space still revolved around it. For example, the Ghetto was placed in Cannaregio, the northern most district of Venice, signifying the inferior status of the Jews in relation to the ruling class. If thought of as a wide avenue with direct access to the center, the Canal Grande reflects both the hierarchy of space and the separation of classes.

Lined with palazzos, the main thoroughfare was only home to the elite.

WINGED LION, Symbol of Venice


A relatively small clearing, the Piazza San Marco dominates less than 1,000 square meters of Venices surface. Still, it is the largest public open space in Venice. Laid out in Doge Sebastiano Zianis 12th century urban renewal plan, the Piazza has always been the active focus of the city. The square has bustled with merchants and natives since its creation.

Its accessible location on the Canal Grande and the waterfront made it a strategic site for administrative and trade transactions.Grandiose buildings and monuments define the boundaries of the Piazza. Destined to be the social, administrative, religious and commercial hub from the time of its construction, the square boasts the headquarters of these Venetian institutions.


THE SESTERIThe Historic Center of Venice is divided into six sesteri or districts, three on each side of the Canal Grande : Dorsoduro, Santa Croce, San Polo on the East Bank and Cannaregio, Castello, and San Marco on the West. These districts fulfill mainly residential and commercial functions. Most of the residential districts are found in the Eastern section of Venice. Wealthy and poor zones are scattered throughout these neighborhoods.

Each district has its own campi or square, which serves as the local center of each sesteri.San Marco itself is the focal point of the city and therefore the most crowded and successful.Traveling away from San Marco, the sesteri become quieter, more residential, and poorer.