Shock cities. Food prices and access to food in Flemish cities during the Age of Shocks (1280-1370)
28 November 2016
New PhD-project of Centre for Urban History-member Stef Espeel.
Focussing on the economic history of late medieval Flanders, this project studies the evolution of food prices and food access within the Flemish county in times of crisis. Did the inhabitants of the major Flemish cities escape the "food shocks" of the period 1280-1370 and the Malthusian assumptions on the link between population densities and resources, by their advanced degree of market integration, or because of protection against the violent behavior of the markets?
Or did Flemish urban food markets just disintegrate as violently as the English ones during the heaviest shocks? At a time when resilience to exogenous shocks is at the heart of scientific and social debate this research projects uses the unique test-case of the 14th century crisis in the most urbanized region north of the Alps to analyze the differential resilience of urban populations to food shortages.