The Codes

Titlesort icon Author Date Place Description
An Act for Rebuilding the City of London John Raithby (editor) 1667 England The Rebuilding of London Act 1667 is an Act of the Parliament of England passed in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London. This Act regulated the rebuilding as well as authorising the City of London Corporation to reopen and widen roads.
An Essay on Bylaws, with an Appendix Containing Model Bylaws Issued by the Board of Trade, The Education Department, and the Local Government Board William Golden Lumley 1877 England This is a book of model by laws, including regulations pertaining to new streets and buildings.
Building Act of London William Meymott 1774 England - London A comprehensive set of building regulations covering the whole built-up area that forced conformity on artisan builders.
Charte Architecturale de Rochefort 1981 France This manual seeks to guide the character of new development in Rochefort through an analysis of its historical patterns of building.
Code of Hammurabi Hammurabi, King of Babylon 3rd Millenium, B.C. Babylon This is the best-preserved ancient law code, enacted by the sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi. It includes laws about the liabilities of builders.
Commentaries on the Laws of England William Blackstone 1768 England An influential 18th century treatise on the common law of England.
Commons Act 1879 Parliament 1879 England - London Surplus rents (profits) from recreation grounds can only be applied to improvements of recreation grounds in that neighborhood, maintaining that commons, or purchasing additional land for recreation grounds in that neighborhood.
Congested Districts Act 1897 Parliament 1897 Scotland Created the Congested Districts Board to administer funds to develop agriculture and industry as well as improve infrastructure such as streets and bridges to facilitate migration out of cities.
Constitutional Amendment to the Dominican Rules on Architecture Dominican Order 1228-1300 Europe (Based off of General Chapter Meeting in Paris, but edited and approved in many places over several years) “Let our brothers have moderate and humble houses in such a manner that the walls of houses without a loft should not exceed 12 pedes in height and with a loft 20, the church 30. Neither should it be vaulted in stone, except perhaps over the choir and sacristy. If anyone contravenes in anyway, he will be subject to punishment corresponding to the more grievous fault.”
Constitutional Deletion to the Dominican Rules on Architecture 1300 Europe Removed restrictions on vaulting height and materials because of an (1) inability to enforce them, and (2) wood vaulting was more expensive to maintain because of fire hazards. Maintained the restrictions on decoration.
Dominican Rules on Architecture Preachers at Bologna 1220 Italy - Bologna “Let our brothers have moderate and humble houses so that they should neither burden themselves with expenses, not that others—secular or religious—should be scandalized by our sumptuous buildings.”
Elizabethan Proclamations Elizabeth I 16th century England - London Some proclamations of Queen Elizabeth I legislated building in London. They addressed issues such as building new structures and subdividing exiting ones, building materials, etc.
General Building Law of Saxony Building Police, Saxony 1900 Saxony, Germany General Building Law of Saxony, Quoted in The Improvement of the Dwellings and Surroundings of the People: The Example of Germany, by T.C. Horsfall, 1904.
Hampstead Garden Suburb Act The Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust 1906 England - London The act was passed to overcome the restrictions imposed by the bye-laws regulated the neighborhood character by defining widths of roads and drives, relationships of houses with each other, and their distance to roads, etc.
Hexa-biblos (“six books”) Harmenopoulos, Constantine 14th century Greece - Thessaloniki The last code of the old Roman Empire.
Housing and Town Planning in Great Britain, including the Housing, Town Planning Act W. Addington Willis 1910 England This treatise by Willis explains the (British) Housing and Town Planning Act of 1909, along with the Housing of the Working Classes act of 1890 and amendments provided in the Housing of the Working Classes Act of 1903. The text of each of these laws is provided as appendices.
Housing Construction Act of 1950 1950-1960 West Germany Government loans and grants were directed to non-profit housing developers for the purpose of building affordable housing. Rents were set by the state and subsidies were given to developers to make rents economically feasible. Between 1950-1960, about two thirds of all construction was social and low to moderate income housing.
Housing of the Working Classes Act Parliament 1890 England - London This act consolidated a series of housing acts during a period of social reform in the late 1800s that aimed to decrease density in overcrowded areas. Overcrowding was officially defined as having more than two persons per room and city records of percent overcrowded were kept. The act contained three sections: (1) neighborhood clearance and redevelopment, (1) individual housing inspection and demolition, and (3) new social housing development.
Jacobean Proclamations James I 17th century England - London A proclamation concerning buildings in, and about London.
Metropolitan Commons Act 1878 Parliament 1878 England - London Extends the Commons act to Metropolitan (the London boroughs) Commons.
New Town James Craig 1765-1850 Scotland - Edinburgh A city extension, designed on a basic grid pattern with numerous squares, crescents, and terminal vistas, built on high ground on the opposite side of a polluted loch, which was drained and developed as a large public garden. Specifies building materials and building heights and roof pitches.
Plan for Laying Out Towns and Townships Granville Sharp 1794 England - London From John Reps: “Sharp (1735-1813) was a native of Durham, England, the grandson of the archbishop of York…In 1783 he broached the idea of founding a colony for freed slaves in Africa, and with his associates launched such a project in 1787. This venture proved more difficult than anticipated, and in 1808 the crown took over its affairs. Doubtless Sharp drew on this experience in working out the details of the proposed community that he described and illustrated in the tract from which this reading comes. In preparing his town plan Sharp may have relied also on information about the town of Savannah, Georgia, for by the time he wrote Sharp had corresponded with Savannah's founder, James Oglethorpe, who may have passed on to Sharp his own ideas about town planning.” From
Plato's Laws Plato 360 BC Greece - Athens Laws governing the construction of new cities
Public Health Acts 1875 William Cunningham Glen and Alexander Glen 1875 England - London This act consolidated all acts related to public health in England including regulations for water infrastucture, streets and buildings, public space, and street lighting.
Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1907 Governmental documents 1907 Ireland Numerous acts dealing with public health were passed from 1849 to 1874; This one includes regulations on streets and buildings.
Reggimento of the Commune 1206, 1287 Italy - Bologna Ring of trenches ordered to protect homes and churches in the suburbs in 1206. Walls ordered to protect the suburbs in 1287.
Report from the Poor Law Commissioners on an Inquiry into the Sanitary Conditions of the
Labouring Population of Great Britain Edwin Chadwick 1842 England This famous report of health conditions of the poor in London helped the passage of the Public Health Act of 1848.
Responsive Environments Ian Bentley, Alan Alcock, Sue McGlynn, Paul Murrain, Graham Smith 1985 England This is a manual for professional planners and designers. Its chapters offer principles concerning permeability, variety, robustness, visual appropriateness, richness, and personalization.
Settled Land Act 1882 Parliament 1882 Ireland The purpose of this act was to promote development and maintenance of privately owned land (much of which was neglected). The act enumerated several improvements that could be financed with Capital Trust Money including transportation, infrastructure, residential, commons, and waterways.
Statutes of 1249, 1250 Bologna 1249, 1250 Italy - Bologna Property owners must maintain porticos at a height of 7ft. from the ground so that a man may ride a horse underneath it. Prohibits excavation, or digging in order to achieve this height and imposes a fine for violations. The latter law was enacted to free streets of encumbrances and sever later ordinances further regulate height and material.
The Connected City Robert Cowan 1997 England This is a pamphlet directed at citizens. It expresses the familiar intent of reforming conventional suburban development practices to make urbanism more livable.
The Laws of the Indies King Phillip II of Spain (and others) 1573 Spanish colonies in America (Indies) These are the codes that concern founding of new towns throughout the Spanish colonies.
The London Building Acts Fletcher, Banister 1894-1914 England - London The London building acts, including the London building act, 1894; the amendment acts of 1898 and 1905; L.C.C. general power acts, 1908 and 1909; the Cinematograph act, 1909; Town planning act, etc.; a tect-book on the law relating to building in the metropolis, for the use of acrchitects, surveyors, builders, etc. together with the current by-laws, standing orders, and regulations of the London County council, the corporation of the city of London.
The Ten Books on Architecture Vitruvius 1st Century BC Various This chapter describes Vitruvius’ ideas on the siting of new towns.
The Zahringer Foundations The Zahringer Family 1122 Germany 1. market thoroughfare must be 75-100 ft. wide and run the length of town gates 2. absence of other interior open spaces 3. the homestead was the planning module 4. creation of property taxation units 5. grid iron development with harmonic proportions (2:3 and 3:5) 6. public buildings kept separate from the main street 7. fortresses at corners and side walls 8. introduction of a sewage system
Towers of Bologna Laws 1256, 1265 Italy - Bologna Regulates against the demolition of towers in order to preserve the character of the city. Also limits the height of towers to 15 ponti (or, 21 m.).
Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847 Parliament 1847 England & Ireland Regulations for: Sewers, House Drains, Paving, New Streets, Naming Streets, Ruinous or Dangerous Buildings, Cleansing Streets, Fire, Ventilation, Lodging Houses, Lighting, Water, Slaughter-houses.
Vienna Building Code - Bauordnung für die k.k. Reichsstadt und Residenzstadt Wien Austro-Hungary Goverment 1859 Austria - Vienna Building code for the city of Vienna, the first in the nineteenth century. Includes codes related to street widths, heights of buildings, size of courts, etc.