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History of Urbanization

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History of Urbanization

 The history of urbanization focuses on the processes

of by which existing populations concentrate
themselves in urban localities over time, and on the
social and cultural contexts of cities and towns.
 This includes examinations of demographics
concentration, urban structures or systems approach,
and behavioral aspects of urbanization.
As an organized profession, urban
planning has only existed for the last
60 years. However, most settlements
and cities show forethought and
conscious design in their layout and
 Agriculture and other techniques facilitated larger
populations than the very small communities of the
Paleolithic. It may have caused stronger, more
coercive governments at the same time. The pre-
Classical and Classical ages saw a number of cities
laid out according to fixed plans, though many tended
to develop organically.
 Designed cities were characteristic of the totalitarian
Mesopotamian, Harrapan, and Egyptian civilizations
of the third millennium BCE (see
Urban planning in ancient Egypt).
Indus Valley Civilization
 Distinct characteristics of urban planning from remains of the
cities of Harappa, Lothal and Mohenjo-daro in the
Indus Valley Civilization (in modern-day northwestern India
and Pakistan) lead archeologists to conclude that they are the
earliest examples of deliberately planned and managed cities.
The streets of these early cities were often paved and laid out
at right angles in a grid pattern, with a hierarchy of streets
from major boulevards to residential alleys. Archaeological
evidence suggests that many Harrapan houses were laid out to
protect from noise and enhance residential privacy; also, they
often had their own water wells for probably both sanitary and
ritual purposes. These ancient cities were unique in that they
often had drainage systems, seemingly tied to a well-
developed ideal of urban sanitation.
 Cities
 So-called "Priest King" statue, Mohenjo-daro, late Mature Harappan
period, National Museum, Karachi, Pakistan
 A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in
the Indus Valley Civilization making them the first urban centers in the
region. The quality of municipal town planning suggests the knowledge of
urban planning and efficient municipal governments which placed a high
priority on hygiene, or, alternately, accessibility to the means of religious
 As seen in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and the recently partially excavated
Rakhigacrhi, this urban plan included the world's first known urban
sanitation systems. Within the city, individual homes or groups of homes
obtained water from wells. From a room that appears to have been set aside
for bathing, waste water was directed to covered drains, which lined the
major streets. Houses opened only to inner courtyards and smaller lanes.
The house-building in some villages in the region still resembles in some
respects the house-building of the Harappans.[35]
 The ancient Indus systems of sewerage and drainage that were developed
and used in cities throughout the Indus region were far more advanced than
any found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle East and even more
efficient than those in many areas of Pakistan and India today. The
advanced architecture of the Harappans is shown by their impressive
dockyards, granaries, warehouses, brick platforms and protective walls.
The massive walls of Indus cities most likely protected the Harappans from
floods and may have dissuaded military conflicts.[citation needed]
Greek Civilization
 Ur, located near the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in
modern day Iraq also had urban planning in later
periods. The Greek Hippodamus (c. 407 BC) is
widely considered the father of city planning in the
West, for his design of Miletus; Alexander
commissioned him to lay out his new city of
Alexandria, the grandest example of idealized urban
planning of the Mediterranean world, where
regularity was aided in large part by its level site near
a mouth of the Nile.
Roman Civilization
 The ancient Romans used a consolidated scheme for city planning,
developed for military defense and civil convenience. The basic plan is a
central forum with city services, surrounded by a compact rectilinear grid
of streets and wrapped in a wall for defense. To reduce travel times, two
diagonal streets cross the square grid corner-to-corner, passing through the
central square. A river usually flowed through the city, to provide water,
transport, and sewage disposal.[5] Many European towns, such as Turin,
still preserve the remains of these schemes. The Romans had a very logical
way of designing their cities. They laid out the streets at right angles, in the
form of a square grid. All the roads were equal in width and length, except
for two. These two roads formed the center of the grid and intersected in
the middle. One went East/West, the other North/South. They were slightly
wider than the others. All roads were made of carefully fitted stones and
smaller hard packed stones. Bridges were also constructed where needed.
Each square marked by four roads was called an insula, the Roman
equivalent of modern city blocks.
 Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew out of a small agricultural
community founded on the Italian Peninsula as early as the
10th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea, it became one of
the largest empires in the ancient world.[1]
 In its centuries of existence, Roman civilization shifted from a monarchy to
an oligarchic republic to an increasingly autocratic empire. It came to
dominate South-Western Europe, South-Eastern Europe/Balkans and the
Mediterranean region through conquest and assimilation.
 Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples,
the western part of the empire, including Italy, Hispania, Gaul, Britannia
and Africa broke up into independent kingdoms in the 5th century AD.
 The Eastern Roman Empire, which was governed from Constantinople,
comprising Greece, the Balkans, Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt, survived
this crisis. Despite the later loss of Syria and Egypt to the
Arab-Islamic Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire continued for another
millennium, until its remains were finally annexed by the emerging
Turkish Ottoman Empire. This eastern, Christian, medieval stage of the
Empire is usually called the Byzantine Empire by historians.
 Roman civilization is often grouped into "classical antiquity" with
ancient Greece, a civilization that inspired much of the
culture of ancient Rome. Ancient Rome contributed greatly to the
development of law, war, art, literature, architecture, technology, religion,
and language in the Western world, and its history continues to have a
major influence on the world today.
 Each insula was 80 yards (73 m) square, with the land within each insula
divided. As the city developed, each insula would eventually be filled with
buildings of various shapes and sizes and would be crisscrossed with back
roads and alleys. Most insulae were given to the first settlers of a budding
new Roman city, but each person had to pay to construct their own house.
 The city was surrounded by a wall to protect the city from invaders and
other enemies, and to mark the city limits. Areas outside of the city limits
were left open as farmland. At the end of each main road, there would be a
large gateway with watchtowers. A portcullis covered the opening when
the city was under siege, and additional watchtowers were constructed
around the rest of the city’s wall. A water aqueduct was built outside of the
city's walls.
 The collapse of Roman civilization saw the end of
their urban planning, among many other arts. Urban
development in the Middle Ages, characteristically
focused on a fortress, a fortified abbey, or a
(sometimes abandoned) Roman nucleus, occurred
"like the annular rings of a tree"[6] whether in an
extended village or the center of a larger city. Since
the new center was often on high, defensible ground,
the city plan took on an organic character, following
the irregularities of elevation contours like the shapes
that result from agricultural terracing.
Medieval Civilization
 The ideal of wide streets and orderly cities was not
lost, however. A few medieval cities were admired
for their wide thoroughfares and other orderly
arrangements, but the juridical chaos of medieval
cities (where the administration of streets was
sometimes hereditary with various noble families),
and the characteristic tenacity of medieval Europeans
in legal matters, prevented frequent or large-scale
urban planning until the Renaissance and the
enormous strengthening of all central governments,
from city-states to the kings of France, characteristic
of that epoch.
Renaissance Civilization
 Florence was an early model of the new urban planning,
which rearranged itself into a star-shaped layout adapted
from the new star fort, designed to resist cannon fire.
This model was widely imitated, reflecting the enormous
cultural power of Florence in this age; "[t]he Renaissance
was hypnotized by one city type which for a century and
a half— from Filarete to Scamozzi— was impressed
upon utopian schemes: this is the star-shaped city".[7]
Radial streets extend outward from a defined center of
military, communal or spiritual power.
 Only in ideal cities did a centrally-planned structure stand at
the heart, as in Raphael's Sposalizio of 1504 (illustration); as
built, the unique example of a rationally-planned quattrocento
new city center, that of Vigevano, 1493–95, resembles a
closed space instead, surrounded by arcading.
 Filarete's ideal city, building on hints in Leone Battista Alberti
's De re aedificatoria, was named "Sforzinda" in compliment
to his patron; its twelve-pointed shape, circumscribable by a
"perfect" Pythagorean figure, the circle, takes no heed of its
undulating terrain in Filarete's manuscript.[8] And, all this
occurred in the cities, but ordinarily not in the industrial
suburbs characteristic of this era (see Braudel, The Structures
of Everyday Life), which remained disorderly and
characterized by crowded conditions and organic growth.
 Following the 1695 bombardment of Brussels by French troops of King
Louis XIV, in which a large part of the city center was destroyed,
Governor Max Emanuel proposed using the reconstruction to completely
change the layout and architectural style of the city. His plan was to
transform the medieval city into a city of the new baroque style, especially
modeled on Turin, with a logical street layout, with straight avenues
offering long, uninterrupted views flanked by buildings of a uniform size.
This plan was opposed by the residents and municipal authorities, who
wanted a rapid reconstruction, had no resources for grandiose proposals,
and resented what they considered the imposition of a new, foreign,
architectural style. In the actual reconstruction, the general layout of the
city was conserved, but it was not completely identical to that before the
cataclysm. Despite the necessity of rapid reconstruction and the lack of
financial means, authorities did take several measures to improve traffic
flow, sanitation and the general aesthetics of the city. Many streets were
made as wide as possible to improve traffic flow.
 In the 1990s, the University of Kentucky voted the Italian town of Todi as
ideal city and "most livable town in the wo
 In the 1990s, the University of Kentucky voted
the Italian town of Todi as ideal city and "most
livable town in the world", the place where
man and nature, history and tradition come
together to create a site of excellence. In Italy,
other examples of ideal cities planned
according to scientific methods, are: Urbino,
Pienza, Ferrara, San Giovanni Valdarno,
San Lorenzo Nuovo.
 Many cities in Central American civilizations
also planned their cities, including sewage
systems and running water. In Mexico,
Tenochtitlan, was the capital of the Aztec
empire, built on an island in Lake Texcoco in
what is now the Federal District in central
Mexico. At its height, Tenochtitlan was one of
the largest cities in the world, with close to
250,000 inhabitants.[citation needed]
 Shibam in Yemen features over 500
tower houses,[9] each one rising 5 to 11 storeys
 Shibam in Yemen features over 500 tower houses,[9] each one rising 5 to
11 storeys high,[10] with each floor being an apartment occupied by a
single family The city has some of the tallest mudbrick houses in the
world, with some of them being over 100 feet high[11] (over 30 meters).
 In developed countries (Western Europe, North America, Japan and
Australasia), planning and architecture can be said to have gone through
various stages of general consensus in the last 200 years. Firstly, there was
the industrialised city of the 19th century, where control of building was
largely held by businesses and the wealthy elite. Around 1900, there began
to be a movement for providing citizens, especially factory workers, with
healthier environments. The concept of garden cities arose and several
model towns were built, such as Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City, the
world's first garden cities, in Hertfordshire, UK. However, these were
principally small scale in size, typically dealing with only a few thousand
 It wasn't until the 1920s that modernism began to surface. Based on the
ideas of Le Corbusier and utilising new skyscraper building techniques, the
 It wasn't until the 1920s that modernism began to surface.
Based on the ideas of Le Corbusier and utilising new
skyscraper building techniques, the modernist city stood for
the elimination of disorder, congestion and the small scale,
replacing them instead with preplanned and widely spaced
freeways and tower blocks set within gardens. There were
plans for large scale rebuilding of cities, such as the Plan
Voisin (based on Le Corbusier's Ville Contemporaine), which
proposed clearing and rebuilding most of central Paris. No
large-scale plans were implemented until after World War II
however. Throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, housing
shortages caused by wartime destruction led many cities to
subsidize housing blocks. Planners used the opportunity to
implement the modernist ideal of towers surrounded by
gardens. The most prominent example of an entire modernist
city is Brasilia, constructed between 1956 and 1960 in Brazil.
River Valley Civilization
 Mesopotamia (from Greek Μεσοποταμία "[land] between the rivers", rendered in
Arabic as ‫ بلد الرافدين‬bilād al-rāfidayn)[1] is a toponym for the area of the
Tigris-Euphrates river system, along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, largely
corresponding to modern Iraq,[2] as well as some parts of northeastern Syria,[2]
some parts of southeastern Turkey,[2] and some parts of the Khūzestān Province of
southwestern Iran.[3][4]
 Widely considered as the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included
Sumer and the Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires. In the Iron Age, it was
ruled by the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires. The indigenous Sumerians
and Akkadians (including Assyrians & Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from
the dawn of written history circa 3100 BC to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC. It was
then conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC
and after his death it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire, by around 150 BC
Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthians. Mesopotamia became a battle
ground between the Romans and Parthians, with parts of Mesopotamia (particularly
Assyria) coming under periodic Roman control. In 226 AD it fell to the Sassanid
Persians, and remained under Persian rule until the 7th century AD Arab
Islamic conquest of the Sassanid Empire. A number of primarily Christian native
Mesopotamian states existed beween the 1st Century BC and 3rd Century AD;
Adiabene, Oshroene and Hatra.
 Mesopotamia housed some of the world's most
ancient states with highly developed social
complexity. The region was famous as one of
the four riverine civilizations where writing
was first invented, along with the Nile valley
in Egypt, the Indus Valley in the
Indian subcontinent and Yellow River valley
in China (Although writing is also known to
have arisen independently in Mesoamerica
 The study of ancient Mesopotamian architecture is based on available
archaeological evidence, pictorial representation of buildings and texts on building
practices. Scholarly literature usually concentrates on temples, palaces, city walls
and gates and other monumental buildings, but occasionally one finds works on
residential architecture as well.[30] Archaeological surface surveys also allowed
for the study of urban form in early Mesopotamian cities. Most notably known
architectural remains from early Mesopotamia are the temple complexes at Uruk
from the 4th millennium BC, temples and palaces from the Early Dynastic period
sites in the Diyala River valley such as Khafajah and Tell Asmar, the
Third Dynasty of Ur remains at Nippur (Sanctuary of Enlil) and Ur (Sanctuary of
Nanna), Middle Bronze Age remains at Syrian-Turkish sites of Ebla, Mari, Alalakh
, Aleppo and Kultepe, Late Bronze Age palaces at Bogazkoy (Hattusha), Ugarit,
Ashur and Nuzi, Iron Age palaces and temples at Assyrian (Kalhu/Nimrud,
Khorsabad, Nineveh), Babylonian (Babylon), Urartian (Tushpa/Van Kalesi,
Cavustepe, Ayanis, Armavir, Erebuni, Bastam) and Neo-Hittite sites (Karkamis,
Tell Halaf, Karatepe). Houses are mostly known from Old Babylonian remains at
Nippur and Ur. Among the textual sources on building construction and associated
rituals, Gudea's cylinders from the late 3rd millennium are notable, as well as the
Assyrian and Babylonian royal inscriptions from the Iron Age
 Houses
 The materials used to build a Mesopotamian house were the
same as those used today: mud brick, mud plaster and wooden
doors, which were all naturally available around the city,[31]
although wood could not be naturally made very well during
the particular time period described. Most houses had a square
center room with other rooms attached to it, but a great
variation in the size and materials used to build the houses
suggest they were built by the inhabitants themselves.[32] The
smallest rooms may not have coincided with the poorest
people; in fact it could be that the poorest people built houses
out of perishable materials such as reeds on the outside of the
city, but there is very little direct evidence for this.[33]
 The purpose of the citadel remains debated. In sharp contrast to this civilization's contemporaries,
Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, no large monumental structures were built. There is no conclusive
evidence of palaces or temples—or of kings, armies, or priests. Some structures are thought to have
been granaries. Found at one city is an enormous well-built bath, which may have been a public bath.
Although the citadels were walled, it is far from clear that these structures were defensive
 Most city dwellers appear to have been traders or artisans, who lived with others pursuing the same
occupation in well-defined neighborhoods. Materials from distant regions were used in the cities for
constructing seals, beads and other objects. Among the artifacts discovered were beautiful glazed
faïence beads. Steatite seals have images of animals, people and other types of inscriptions, including
the yet un-deciphered writing system of the Indus Valley Civilization. Some of the seals were used to
stamp clay on trade goods and most probably had other uses as well.
 Although some houses were larger than others, Indus Civilization cities were remarkable for their
apparent, if relative, egalitarianism. All the houses had access to water and drainage facilities. This
gives the impression of a society with relatively low wealth concentration, though clear social
leveling is seen in personal adornments.
Egyptian Civilization
 Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of eastern North Africa,
concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now
the modern country of Egypt. The civilization coalesced around
3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt
under the first pharaoh, and it developed over the next three millennia.
Its history occurred in a series of stable Kingdoms, separated by
periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods. Ancient
Egypt reached its pinnacle during the New Kingdom, after which it
entered a period of slow decline. Egypt was conquered by a
succession of foreign powers in this late period, and the rule of the
pharaohs officially ended in 31 BC when the early Roman Empire
conquered Egypt and made it a province.
 The success of ancient Egyptian civilization stemmed partly from its
ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River Valley. The
predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley
produced surplus crops, which fueled social development and culture.
With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral
exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early
development of an independent writing system, the organization of
collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with
surrounding regions, and a military intended to defeat foreign enemies
and assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these
activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and
administrators under the control of a pharaoh who ensured the
cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an
elaborate system of religious beliefs.
 By the late 1960s and early 1970s, many planners realized that
modernism's clean lines and lack of human scale also sapped
vitality from the community. The symptoms were high crime
rates and social problems.
 Modernism ended in the 1970s when the construction of the
cheap, uniform tower blocks ended in most countries, such as
Britain and France. Since then many have been demolished
and replaced by more conventional housing. Rather than
attempting to eliminate all disorder, planning now
concentrates on individualism and diversity in society and the
economy. This is the post-modernist era.
 Minimally-planned cities still exist. Houston is a large city
(with a metropolitan population of 5.5 million) in a developed
country, without a comprehensive zoning ordinance. Houston
does, however, restrict development densities and mandate
parking, even though specific land uses are not regulated.
Also, private-sector developers in Houston use subdivision
covenants and deed restrictions to effect land use restrictions
resembling zoning laws. Houston voters have rejected
comprehensive zoning ordinances three times since 1948.
Even without traditional zoning, metropolitan Houston
displays large-scale land use patterns resembling zoned
regions comparable in age and population, such as Dallas.
This suggests that nonregulatory factors such as urban
infrastructure and financing, may be at least as important as
zoning laws.