Lecture 2.docx

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21 Mar 2012
Lecture 2
- why is history important?
- Why did cities emerge?
- What defines cityness?
- Major characteristics of urban form
- Changing relationships of city and nature
Why is history important?
- understanding long-term patterns
o urban systems are built incrementally on prior systems
- cities are code-generated
- - historical analysis of urban form growth, development and change is key to
understanding social rules
- cities are an expression of values
- - analysis of how cities change over time allows understanding of the
civilizations that give rise to them
when, where and why did cities emerge?
Which of the competing theories of urban origins is most convincing?
a. hydraulic theory
b. economic theory
c. military theory
d. religious theory
hydraulic theory
- control over water is essential
- irrigation systems require a governance system that can mobilize large
- early cities were almost always established at key locations on rivers
- rural patters of land use irrigation systems, canals, etc. then have long term
impacts on urban pattern
economic theories
- economic factors most important- ports, raw materials, rich hinterland,
energy sources
- e.g Cronon (1991) nature’s metropolis
- rapid growth of Chicago on the 19th century as a process f economic
development of a rich hinterland
military theories
- settlements established at military-strategic locations from the core of long
term settlements
- military pattern remains influential long after strategic value of settlement is
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