Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Geometric and poliorcetic inertia in the fortified system vs urban morphological inflections in 18th-Century Barcelona.
Juan Miguel Muñoz Corbalán

Last modified: 14-05-2018


Keywords: military engineering, fortification, urban bastioned system, poliorcetics, city and territory

Conference topics and scale: City transformations


Abstract and references

Between the War of Nine Years and the Napoleonic invasion of 1808 Barcelona underwent a morphological transformation according to a progressive evolution that came along from a typical wall-constrained stronghold towards an urban structure where the primacy of the internal and external strategic control gave way to the socioeconomic, industrial and commercial detachment of the city. The warlike needs of the first quarter of the 18th century involved a series of explicit poliorcetic interventions that gradually made available other criteria related to the development of several infrastructures for peacetime and certain urban licenses. These improving processes that let transform the urban features later changed the sense of the vectors which settled the nexus between the intramural space and the territory beyond the bastioned perimeter. Starting from a predominantly centripetal structure where the city walls played a segregating role, they afterward tended to reinforce the creation of newborn civic spaces that appreciably reduced the strength of the suffocating perimeter and also established alternative centers of power. These procedures foreshadowed a further decline of the traditional values about the former city walls and allowed the take-off of the territory outside them as an expansion of the orthodox urban system essences and its outward projection. The confluence of both municipal government purposes and the Crown’s impositions eased the work of the military engineers who undertook the interventions directly dependent on their sphere of responsibility.



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