The Rise of Urban Planning in the Ancient World

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In the Bronze Age Mycenaean civilization, cities sprang up organically around the king’s palace. The only “city planning” that occurred related to defense, usually a city wall following the boundary. Unplanned dirt streets were narrow and winding.

In the Greek poleis (city-states) of the 7th century BC, markets and public buildings replaced the king’s palace on the acropolis (hilltop). Residences sprang up haphazardly around the acropolis, and narrow, winding streets connected them. Here the only planning related to the distinctive architectural style reserved for public buildings.

In the golden age of Athens, following their victory over Persia (490 BC), city planning took a monumental leap forward. Considered the father of city planning, utopia philosopher Hippodamus…

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