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The City of York: A vivid city in a historic environment
Eliza Papadopoulou, MSc structural engineer

York is a historic city sited in north-east of England. It was originally founded around 71 A.D. and developed significantly during the 8th century and then during medieval years. York has many historic buildings, first of all its famous Minster and then other historic houses, parish churches, industrial buildings and many other monuments, such as ruins from the Roman period, bridges, and of course the walls that surround the historic town.

The programme aiming at the protection of the city began with the study of 1968 (V. Esher, York, a study in conservation, London 1968). The main goals were to maintain the trade centre of the city, to improve the city’s environment, to enhance the historic character and to allow new buildings that would be of higher architectural quality (ibid, p. 41). Areas like Aldwark and Micklegate Bishophill were proposed to be improved in order to be attractive for living. One of the main problems was the traffic congestion and the parking. This was improved by introducing a system of pedestrian streets, limited circulation in the city and limited parking. Financial help to buildings’ owners was also proposed. One of the most interesting cases is Aldwark, where many new buildings were built similar in style to the existing ones, and the character of the area dramatically changed. Also, throughout the city many new buildings were built, mostly in accordance with the existing ones.

Today York is a very attractive and almost traffic free city for tourists and maintains its historic character as well. It also maintains a human and friendly environment for tourists and for inhabitants alike.

eliza_papadopoulou@yahoo.com

This article could not have been written without the help of Professor Peter Gouldsborough, University of York.

23/02/2007
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The city, with its walls, the two rivers and the Minster, which is a point of reference for York.
One of the several medieval buildings that are preserved in York and form a unique atmosphere.
Parking space for bicycles within the city.
Stonegate Street, with a row of small shops; one of the most picturesque streets.
Aldwark, where most of the buildings are new, has become a popular residential area.
At Swinegate Street the new buildings can be distinguished from the historic one in the corner only through careful observation.