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Thread: Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP

  1. #41
      Falconius is offline
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    Scattered dwellings such as those in the New World are unlikely in any period where bands of thugs can easily wander around burning stuff down and stealing things. Oh and killing and raping too of course. It wasn't really until the invention of guns that the requirement for company eased.

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    I think these are errors you might want to fix.
    Very cool project.

    Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP-screen-shot-2014-02-07-7.28.59-am.png
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    Thanks for the comments.

    I am not completely happy with the look of the fields, but at the same time I don't want to waste too much time on them, since they will have to be drawn and redrawn at every stage as the city grows. The in-world justification, however, would be that at this point there is no private property of the land, they do things in common in these little villages. Later on, when society will become more segmented, the area around the city will be occupied by specialized farms which can profitably provide the city with fresh produce (while grains could more easily be transported from farther away). Thus in either case you won't see the typical middle-ages single-family lot. The ideal-type for this and the other cities I've done, anyway, is much closer to antiquity than to the middle ages.

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    Not scattered dwellings. Scattered *villages*.

    I will be more clear: I'm in NO way talking about the "new world".

    You would have, typically, at least a half day's walk between farming villages, usually more. Since these are obvs villages, and not yet towns or cities (and not single dwellings) No, you wouldn't *typically* expect to see 4 of them converging in one spot.

    But, as was stated, it *is* a strategic area, and vying for resources is one reason for the exception.
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  5. #45
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    Consider also that only two villages are actually connected by land. In the other cases, you just cannot walk from one to another. There is a lot of water in between. (notice that even the smaller river is ~250m wide at its narrowest).
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  6. #46
      feanaaro is offline
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    I've got the next step more or less done, I just need to finish some details and add the text description.
    As I see it, at this point it should be a town of ~5000 people. Do you think the proportions are more or less right (I know there should be more fields, I'm talking about the buildings now)?

    Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP-elinore90ec.jpg

    edit: for reference, the area enclosed by the palisade is ~0.6 Km^2

  7. #47
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    Well... it looks like you have about.. idk? I would estimate maybe 556 buildings. That's every man-made structure on the map except the wall and the docks.

    Say 1/3 of those are utility buildings - barns, meeting house, towers, granaries, etc. (A conservative estimate, of course)

    That leaves 371 *dwellings*.


    If each family is 4 people, say, a guy, his wife, 2 kids, that's a population of about 1484. If 1/3 of those families have an extra couple kids - say 2, that would give you 240 more, for a total of 1724.

    Yeah, some people might have more kids, but some will have 1 or none, so it kind of averages out. I'll give you the crazy guy that sleeps in the woods, and call it 1725..

    Now, since this is early ages of your world, a lot of families will group together... 2nd and maybe even third generations. So we'll take your 371 buildings, and say half of them (185ish) have gramma living there... so 1910. Half of the grandmas still have hubby, so we'll call it an even 2000. Let's say you have a whole 50 great grands, that's 2050

    Then you'll have orphans: Pot boys, stable boys, chambermaids, whatever, who sleep where they work... usually less than 1/4 of the population, but let's say you have a whole 500. That's 2550.

    You're just over halfway to 5000.

    Hmmm... if a few of those bigger houses are filled with higher-ranking live-in servants, or two families living in a home.. like a duplex or something... you could add another 5 people x 7-10 buildings that might be big enough to hold them, and have 2600 people.

    So... if you want to be really precise, then no, you don't have enough buildings for 5000 people.

    If you just want it to *look good*, and no one will be estimating the population, it looks busy enough, but, no it's not 5000, realistically.


    What I would suggest is that you take some of the fields out from inside the walls. What would be more realistic, is if the people in the city (as it grew) built on that land, and the farmers were kind of shifted *out*. You'd still want your granaries and such inside the walls, and there could be some farm land (but more realistically, small plots within a larger plot, since that's how it was done long long ago).

    You could then freely place more buildings within the walls.

    I'd also make sure your FURTHER farm fields all had at least one building on them (more like 3-4 or more, but oh well).

    That should give you the buildings you need (300 can be explained, 400 still a stretch, 500 good, 600 better) to reach a population of 5000.

    Then again, A) This isn't an exact science and B) I rarely see fantasy maps with enough buildings to actually justify the population, so...

    Let me give you CP. CP is a real town, population just under 1200. It's not really a town, it's a village, and exists, right now, today

    This town has all kinds of buildings your town wouldn't have... bowling alley, gas station, grocery store, but it also has no blacksmith, or market, or meeting hall.

    It does have stables, and barns, and a (lol) town hall. There's a school, which you might not have, and a few churches and a bar, which could pass for an alehouse.

    no inn, it's too small..

    As for measurements... that's on the map.


    People in CP live (I know from experience) like it was still medieval times. They have lots of babies to help with chores, and everyone knows everyone else's business.

    There's 469 *homes* with families of whatever size/however many generations (they most is 4 generations right now - 18 people in one house) living in them... some are empty. The total number of houses is 514. Then there's your businesses, and the farms on the outskirts (nearer to CP than any other village .. the next which is a couple miles away, and counted in the census, but not the village statistics. Huh.) bringing the total to around 780 buildings.


    Population 1200. Buildings 780. Granted it would be a little different in your time/world, but...


    Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP-cp.jpg
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  8. #48
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    I am too lazy to count the buildings individually, so I proceeded by calculating the total area occupied by buildings, and that was roughly 100000 m^2. Some of this will be shops, workshops, public spaces etc; but then many buildings would have two floors, and moreover in pre-modern times there was not a strong separation between living and working spaces as there is today. So, balancing out the non-living buildings with the two-floor buildings, I'll just say that the total living space is 100k mq.* I think that 20mq of living space per person seems like a reasonable average for their situation and technological level (they certainly don't live in the typical american home of 300mq; well, except New York, here many people have 20mq or less available for themselves!).

    Regarding the fields, the largest farm plot inside the palisade is ~11000 mq, meaning that it would be 100m*110m (it is not so square though), which I think is a small plot like you are asking. And that is the largest one (inside), the others are all smaller, with some at ~3000mq or less. How small should they be otherwise?

    *I was thinking of keeping the same proportion across time, since later there will be many more non-housing buildings, but the houses will also become taller and, at least for the poorer classes, even more densely inhabited.
    Last edited by feanaaro; 02-10-2014 at 10:13 AM.

  9. #49
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    Your square mileage is good, but your # of buildings simply won't hold that many people - especially if you're making them smaller homes.

    You don't have office buildings and whatnot, people's home is their work, yes. But there are still Barns, and Stables, a meeting hall, granaries, watchtowers... familes don't live in those. And even if they did, you have 556 buildings (I know I said "about", but I'm like Rainman with that sort of thing, so no one needs to count, there are 556)

    (That is, if the large groups that look like 3-4 houses/buildings touching are seperate houses/buildings - otherwise you have less)

    556 buildings, and 5000 people means 9 people per house.

    That's Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, JimBob, BillyJoe, MaryAnn, PeggySue, and little Susie Q.

    Every man is married, both his parents are alive, and he has 5 kids. Every. Single. Man.

    You can balance it out and say, well, but some houses have servants, and so on... but those servants came from one of your other houses to begin with.

    So then you get into some families having more than 5 kids, but every family has at least 5.



    You're right, people didn't have as much *area* in their houses. A lot of em might be a single room. And honestly, not everyone would be able to survive feeding 9 people in a 1 room house. So you need more 1 room houses.


    And you still don't have the buildings that you *can't* live in - like food storage (granaries) and stables. It's not about the area - it's about the actual number of structures. Even if some of your buildings are 2 or 3 stories tall, to reasonably, consistently house a population of 5000 you need at least 1000 buildings.


    Farms: First, let me say, you get tons of respect from me for your farms. They aren't all perfect squares, or laid out completely straight, or all growing the same thing... they look like farms. And the city farms are, generally, smaller than the country farms, and not all of them (in any area) are the same size.

    EXCELLENT on the farms.

    But.

    Your city farms are the same size as your smaller country farms. You can *call* the area whatever you want, but compared to the other things on the map - they are huge. Especially if your houses are tiny 1-roomers.

    Your city has enough space for farms *outside the walls* and as cities grow, farms *inside* the city limits dwindle AND shrink.

    If this was a village of 1,000 - 2,000 people, I'd say it looks perfect. EVERYTHING, perfect. But you want 5000 people. That means more buildings *inside* the walls, and that means you'd probably lose some farmland.

    The way *City* farms tend to work is it's one big community garden... (or maybe 1 per "block", depending on lots of things). Each family would have one little plot inside that community garden, which is just big enough to grow what they need for their family. The rest of the food for the city comes from *outlying* farms.

    And you're right, those farms will be a lot smaller than modern farms.

    A small farm inside my rural hometown (CP) is maybe 200m x 200 m.. about 40,000 m2 ... what's that, about 40km2?

    Even the small farms are modern farms now, so they've got big machines that can cover like 4 times the area of a farm way back when.

    What you need, for a FARMING family in a low-tech society like this, is a farm about half that size (100m * 100m) or LESS. That's your out in the country farms... which look pretty nearly that size (except for the biggest ones)

    The ones in your city should be way smaller than that... or way fewer. You want farms less than 1/4 the size of your outlying farms (think big gardens). So... either there's fewer of those inside-the-city farms, and each of them is broke up into small plots for multiple familes, or you have *much* smaller farms.

    Those city people have other jobs... blacksmith or baker or shoemaker, or whatever, and simply don't have time to farm that much land.

    You need (sorry I'm bad with metric, so not precise) just under 1 square mile (1.6 km2?) of farmland to support 180 people. so total, you need about 44 km2 farmland to support your population of 5000. If I'm doing the math right (>.<) you're saying your largest town/smallest country farm plots are 1 km2... that means you need 44 to fully support your entire population. You have 45 outside the town (46 if you count the tiny one, dead center.

    Your people simply do not need that much farmland inside the city walls, and they won't live in cramped, crowded buildings until they've used up the available space inside the walls... and that means your town farms.

    What's likely to happen, from a sociological standpoint, and depending on your hierarchy, is that the people with money will buy out, or force out (or the government will do so) the farms from the town-farmers. Then they will build housing, and necessary buildings, like granaries and stables, watchtowers and whatnot.

    Logically, while your layout works for a *VERY PROSPEROUS* village (tons of food to sell.. they have 2-4 times what they can eat!) of 1000 - 2000, it simply does not seem plausible for a town of 5000.

    That's why I suggested you move the farms out of the city, and move some buildings in.

    The other thing is those big ole farms themselves... they need more people to work the land (susie q isn't big enough to do more than feed the pigs yet) so you need more buildings NEAR the farms (cause you're right, people didn't commute to work) ... at least 1 per farm, but I'd still say 3 or 4 would be best. That's a house, a barn/stable for the animals and a silo for the grain. That's 3. That's if your farmers don't keep an icehouse/salting house, don't keep too many animals, don't have windmills or anything else. And that's not countin the structures that would be too small to show on your map like sheds and chicken coops and outhouses, if they have those yet.

    I'll try to draw a sketch of what I mean, once my pain meds kick in.


    And yes, once you have enough structures to support a *TOWN* of 5000, you can keep the general layout till it gets to be a city and all the way up to a big city. And from a big city, all you'll need to do is add some buildings starting to crowd outside the walls.

    But first you need to move away from the "village" layout, which is what you have here.



    Of course, that's just one farm girl's opinion.. and some borrowed statistics/common talk >.<
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  10. #50
      feanaaro is offline
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    I am perfectly willing to put some more buildings inside the palisade, but for the sake of the general logic of the settlement, to be valid also in further developments, I'd like to continue this discussion (I really appreciate your help by the way) a little bit first.

    • You seem to assume that every building which is a house automatically is a house for one family, and then count from that on. I don't see any reason why that should be the case, the "average" building in this town is like 8-9m wide for 16-20m long, and probably a good portion of them is two floors. So one of these average buildings would cover an area between 128 and 180 mq, and a two-story one would be between 256 and 360mq. It would be illogical for them to be single-family houses. Most likely each of them houses at least two families per floor and/or an equivalent number of un-attached individuals (this is still a place witnessing significant colonial immigration at this point). So, even without starting from the area, if an extended family averages at 6 people, then the 371 dwellings you found plausible would be sufficient to house at least 4.452 people (371*12), double that if they were all two-stories (so probably something in-between, like 6k or 7k). Of course you would not always have full occupancy, so a number around 5k would seem plausible even within your estimate.

    • I don't find the assumption that the whole principle of organization for this society would be the nuclear (or even extended) family. These people started as a closely knit colonial expedition, and even now they maintain a good part of that character, though it will of course get more and more diluted with the years). They are organized in quite a collectivist way, and this is true both for farming and housing. I can see and allow that most of the time a family would like to live by oneself, but that in a not-crazy-individualistically society would be perfectly compatible with two or four family living (in separated quarters) in the same building. For farming, you should not proceed from the assumption that each field is tilled by one single family, they are not.

    • Regarding measures, 1km^2=1 million m^2 (that is, a square with 1000m long sides, just like a square mile is a square with 1mile long sides). So 40000 m^2 is 0.04 Km^2, which is of course the same as 0.2km*0.2km. The size of the largest plot inside the palisade is 11000 m^2, which is 0.011 km^2.

    • I don't really get why you have to proceed by estimating distances; I told you that 1px = 1m (or 2m in the half-size versions that I posted for the whole area where the city will eventually grow). 11000 m^2, by the way is just ~1.5 times the area of a soccer field, and again that is the largest one inside the palisade, all the other are smaller. The plots outside the palisade are quite larger, like double the size or more for the largest ones, but as I said, they are not necessarily single-family farms.

    • About the economics of the situation, at this point land is abundant and labour is scarce. The dominant incentive is not to build more or more spacious houses (it takes a lot of work to build a house), but rather to have as much as possible of your fields as close as possible to your houses. Later on this will change, and the city will be more filled with buildings, with little or no field left. Even now you can see that some farm area has been pushed outside, though a fair chunk of it remains inside. Recall also that in the beginning they over-built their palisade as compared to the size of the village/town at the time.

    Thanks again for your very detailed and generous comments.

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