Avital Lahav

Roots of modern city planning in the royal courts of 17th century English monarchs, especially that of London…

Born in kibbutz Merhavia in 1979 and currently living in Kibbutz Regavim, I received my BA in General and Jewish History and my MA in general History, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I am writing a Phd Thesis under the guidance of Prof. Dror Wahrman. I also work as a Journalist, covering Israeli government economic policy for the news site YNET.

My Phd Thesis deals with the roots of modern city planning, which I locate in the royal courts of 17th century English monarchs. I analyze the ways in which city planning, especially that of London, served as a means of centralizing authority within the court mechanism. City planning helped royalists to deal with the claims for autonomy raised by other pressure groups in the kingdom, namely the citizens of the free city of London. Through such analysis I am aiming at a better clarification of the relations between the rise of the absolutist monarchy and the modern city.

My MA Thesis dealt with the plans for rebuilding London after the great fire of 1666. In this work I attempted to establish a direct connection between architectural tendencies and the struggle for re-assertion of monarchic authority during the restoration.