Besides serving as a practical guide to find one’s destination, street names and place names in general, create symbolic connections with the past, or recent past by commemorating and honoring the contributions of historical figures, military heroes, political leaders, inventors, industrialists, and athletes.
“Commemorative landscape” is a term referring to a wide range of material sites devoted to remembering the past. One of the most common of commemorative landscape types is the street name. In most cases, reasons to rename a street, monument or building are primarily politically motivated, reflecting the mood and sentiments of a new regime and its antipathy or respect for the past.
Tomorrow I will elaborate on the concept of “sequential occupancy” and reflect on the field of historical geography and it will all begin with a discussion about toponyms.