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GGRA03 Ch-2.docx

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Andre Sorensen

Geog. Ch-2 The First cities • Earliest cities were found in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Indus Valley; Mayan cities of Tikal and Uaxactun are oldest in New World - 200ACE • World’s first cities appear to have arisen in regions where climate and soil allowed the land to provide abundance of plant and animal life • Agriculture surplus, implementation of social power that directed labor and production of surplus allowed development of cities • Agriculture surplus did not create cities, cities created agriculture surplus • Water was one of most critical elements - all cities were located near major rivers and based on their power and major ruler upon the control of irrigation systems that served surrounding How are cities and environment interacting? - Cities are transformation of physical environment to a built environment. - Impact of cities is multidirectional - Cities transform surrounding area affecting natural environment In turn, nature provides critical natural resources and also impact city Give examples of such city nature transformation. 1. Very first transformation - in middle America 2500yrs ago - Zapotec Indians built greatest city in New World 2. Early cities had nature within the city walls - had green belts of market gardens within inside the walls that made the city ex. Hanging Gardens in Babylon in Persia 3. Early cities also had large populations - Paris, Milan and Venice had highly dense population by 16th century - posing urban environmental issues such as food & water supply, disease and poverty, traffic congestion, limited/shortage of housing and energy supplies Urban Design- - Layout and design spaces convey messages about how people view the natural world - wider social issues of power - Patterns uses and defines their relationship to physical environment - Many cities uses common land use differentiations that include pre-eminence of central areas, marginality of periphery and location of particular crafts and merchant activities - Two patterns: walls and grids: - Fortifications in most cities - wooden palisades and stonewalls, ditches and moats Walls: • Served as military device - way to protect city’s market privileges, control urban population • A line between urban and wilderness, between civilized and savage, insider and outsider, people and wild animals - access point to come and go out only through main gate • Show an exercise of control over physical environment • Also served as status markers, display of power by politicians, religious
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