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The gridiron city : sixteenth-century urban development in the Spanish new world

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The gridiron city : sixteenth-century urban development in the Spanish new world

White, Jason (2004) The gridiron city : sixteenth-century urban development in the Spanish new world. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

During the sixteenth-century when the Spaniards were colonizing the New World, they built a network of urban centres that followed a specific template in their layout and organization. Known as gridiron, or ordered cities, these urban centres had a checkerboard design with streets that intersected at ninety degrees. Built to express Spanish rationality and superiority over the natives and hinterlands of the New World, the gridiron city was an imported urban plan that did not exist in Europe at the time. Sixteenth-century European capitals were chaotic, organic and, medieval. Although the plans for the gridiron city originated in Europe, the space and economic conditions did not exist to remodel the cities on that continent. The New World however, offered the space, wealth and, slave labour needed for the gridiron concept to be realized. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this thesis examines the conditions and communication systems that interwove and allowed for the implementation of the gridiron city in the New World. In part, this includes: a vast exploitable work force, the practice of the encomienda (a grant of land and slaves given to favoured conquistadors), Spanish bureaucracy, and the beginnings of a new era of thought in Europe.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:White, Jason
Pagination:iv, 114 leaves : plan ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Communication Studies
Date:2004
Thesis Supervisor(s):Buxton, B
ID Code:8331
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:22
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:22
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