Vienna, Rotenturmstrasse

This must be in the downtown of Vienna - some of the buildings are as much as seven stories tall, which was quite unusual for the period. The streets are comparatively wide.

The smooth bitumen pavement in the foreground has obviously just been washed. It is worth recalling that in the days of horse-drawn vehicles, street cleaning was not only a matter of aesthetics but also of public health. The problem of manure in the streets was one of the reasons that people were finally willing to accept automobiles, in the late 19th Century, after decades of resistance to any form of motorized vehicles. (The early steam cars were too noisy and dangerous, and were effectively banned almost everywhere.) People never reckoned that air pollution from motor vehicles would become a health hazard comparable to that posed by decaying manure.

The spire in the background doubtless serves as a landmark and aid to navigation for a large area of the city. Notice also that the stone work is of a very high (and expensive) order. Vienna must have been a rich city indeed when this area was built.

Notice the lamp post in the middle of the street. Vehicles traveling at slow speeds can be expected to see and avoid such obstacles; speeding cars cannot. We can no longer place small lamps just where they are needed - we have been forced to use powerful lamps higher up so that the area can be illuminated without intervening lamp posts.

Please Wait
City Design Home

Text ©2001-2002 J.Crawford