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Urban Order and Street Regulation in Seventeenth-Century Sweden

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image of Journal of Early Modern History

This article examines how, in the early modern towns of Stockholm and Åbo, royal interests, town planning, street building and maintenance, and street behavior related to ideas and ideals of urban order. Town laws and ordinances, royal letters and some town court records are employed to tell a story of royal interest in well-ordered, impressive, successful towns; various street plans for the capital and the smaller provincial towns; and the varying execution of renewal plans. It is evident that the capital was to reflect the royal person and the state and that streets and street behaviour were important in this regard. But in towns outside the capital, especially in concrete street maintenance, the centrality of streets does not clearly emerge. The burghers in towns operated as individuals—there was no bottom-up or top-down plan or supervision.

Affiliations: 1: University of Turku; 2: Linköping University


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