Were medieval cities planned?

It seems unreasonable to think that the streets in medieval cities were somehow planned. But when I travel through medieval cities, I can’t help but notice the large number of small streets that are optimally laid out to frame a view of the large, central cathedral.

This one is Santiago de Compostella, in Spain (from which you can see the Cathedral of St. XXX):

This one is Mulhouse, in Alsace, France (from which you can see the Cathedral of St. Etienne):


And this one is Paradeplatz, in Zurich, Switzerland (from which you can see both the Grossm├╝nster and Frauenm├╝nster cathedrals):

Is this just coincidence – or are these cathedrals and towers visible because they were designed to be visible?