Edinburgh’s First New Town from a Transnational Perspective
Continental Sources for Eighteenth-Century Town Planning in Britain
The consistently geometric layout of the plan for the extension of Edinburgh, result of one of the first major competitions in urban planning, staged by the Town Council in 1766, was the starting point for the most ambitious project for the expansion of a city in Great Britain during the eighteenth century. Despite the intensive and prolonged efforts of local research in the subject, until now the origins of this plan have not been established convincingly. With Turin and Berlin two continental sources of inspiration for the designers
in the former Scottish capital are here being proposed for the first time. Not only are they explicitly mentioned in contemporary sources and were available knowledge for the educated elite of Edinburgh. In their different layout, they could in fact account for some of the structurally most important features of the design for what was to become the First New Town there.