|Cambridge 2010 |
Cambridge in 1880
The capital of the county of Cambridgeshire is situated 80 kilometres north-east of London on the banks of the River Cam. The first traces of settlement date from the late Bronze Age (1000 B.C.). After the Roman invasion (43 A.D. under Claudius) the existing settlement of "Duroliponte" served the function of defending the Cam, which was crossed here by the Via Devana, a roman road running from Colchester in the south-east to Chester in the north-west. The Romans were followed by the Saxons, who gave the settlement the name of "Grantabrycge". Under the Vikings (from 875) the former centre of the settlement was moved from Castle Hill on the left bank of the river to the right bank. After the Norman Conquest (1066) the Normans built a castle on Castle Hill and the Round Church in the middle of the settlement. The present name of "Cambridge" only emerged in later times.
A decisive factor influencing the town's development was the University of Cambridge, which dominates the urban landscape even today. The university was founded in 1209 by a group of lecturers and students from Oxford. The University of Cambridge consists of a large number of independent institutions, which take their own decisions on the admission of students and are responsible for their accommodation and welfare. Teaching and research, on the other hand, are organized centrally by the university's faculties and institutes.
The first college was Peterhouse, founded by Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely, in 1284. The second-oldest college is King's Hall, founded in 1317. In 1546 Henry VIII combined it with Michaelshouse to create Trinity College, which even today is the largest and wealthiest college in Cambridge. Among the most striking buildings in the town is King's College, founded in 1441 by Henry VI. In its chapel the Gothic building houses the largest fan vault in the world. A further architectural curiosity in Cambridge is the Mathematical Bridge, made up of triangles and tangents, which has spanned the Cam from Queen's College since the 18th century.
The Townscape in 1880
In 1880 Cambridge had some 35,000 inhabitants. The townscape was dominated by the historical buildings of the university colleges. 20 of today's 31 colleges already existed at this time. Many of the buildings dated from the 15th century, when large parts of the existing town were demolished to make way for the university's construction. Most of the college buildings were grouped around the town centre on Hills Road. On the Cam, north of the town centre as today were the college boathouses. The importance of rowing for Britain's traditional universities is shown by the "Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race", a regatta that has been held on the Thames since 1829.
In 1880 Cambridge was connected to the national road network and had rail connections to London as well as other lines to the north, east and west. The first signs of the start of industrialization were to be seen in an industrial area at Chesterton in the north of the city.
The map shows the distribution of high-tech companies in the English university city of Cambridge. The city, situated to the north-east of London, forms the heart of the "Cambridge Cluster", an accumulation of over 800 high-tech and high-tech-oriented companies in the region.
From University to High-tech City
In comparison to other regions of England, until the 1970s the Cambridge region had no significant number of industrial or technological companies. The economic development of the city and its environs was of little importance.
The development of the cluster was only made possible by the provision of commercial sites and capital for high-tech companies. The first commercial estate, the Cambridge Science Park, was established in 1970 by Trinity College in the north of the city. The St. John's Innovations Centre was completed in 1987, offering a flexible space for smaller companies.
These were followed by the establishment of numerous further technology centres and parks. Most of these were located on sites that had belonged to the university since the 15th century, but which could only be used for commercial purposes after a relaxation in the planning regulations in the 1970s.
The unusually high levels of both research and company formations attracted investors to jointly fund the often capital-intensive business models. The availability of capital developed into a second decisive growth factor. In 2004, nearly ten percent of the venture capital invested in Europe flowed into the companies in the "Cambridge Cluster".
The Structure of Cambridge Today
Some 91,000 people live in Cambridge today, 20,000 of whom are registered as students at the university. A further 10,000 people are employed directly by the university or in one of its various facilities. In the meantime, due to the high-tech boom in the last few years, more than 500 companies have settled in Cambridge. The majority of these are located to the north of the city in the Cambridge Science Park and the technology centres and smaller technology parks adjoining it, such as the St. John's Innovations Centre or the Cambridge Business Park.
In the framework of smaller, local development measures, large building complexes have been erected to accommodate companies, such as St. Andrew's House in Chesterton to the south. Further complexes are located in East Road and in the area around the main railway station. The region now contains the largest number of technology parks and centres in Great Britain.
More than 90 companies are based in the Cambridge Science Park alone, with more than 5,000 employees. As well as numerous smaller companies, departments of large international companies have also become established there, for example Amgen, Bayer, Kodak and Qualcomm.
Some of the Cambridge-based firms such as ARM and Cambridge Silicon Radio have already developed into international businesses, while others such as XAAR and Plastic Logic are moving in the same direction; in 2007 Plastic Logic invested 75 million euros in a production facility in Dresden on account of its simplified planning conditions.
M. Holi, H. Kiegel; Ü: J. Attfield
Keywords: city city city city history education education employment Great Britain high-tech location information technology (IT) main business centre main economic centre railway technology United Kingdom university urban development
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