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Urban Planning (*)
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*Courses Taught by George K. Chou at Northrop University
American Planning Association Southern California Planning Congress
Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Urban Institute
National Association of Regional Councils Resources on Urban Planning
UCLA School of Public Affairs (Urban Planning Top in Nation) Urban Planning
San Francisco Redevelopment Agency World Bank Urban Development Web site

San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association

Term Papers on Urban Planning

Association of Bay Area Governements

Norton Professional Books

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall

Resource for Urban Design Information

Planner's Network

The PLanning & Development Network

Urban Land Institute Case Studie

Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)

Urban planning
Urban planning is the integration of the disciplines of land-use planning and transport planning, to explore a wide range of aspects of the built and social environments of urbanized municipalities and communities. The focus is the design and regulation of the uses of space within the urban environment. This involves their physical structure, economic functions, and social impacts. In addition to the design of new cities or the expansion of existing ones, a key role of urban planning is urban renewal, and re-generation of inner cities by adapting urban-planning methods to existing cities suffering from long-term infrastructural decay.
Urban planning involves not just the science of designing efficient structures that support the lives of their inhabitants, but also involves the aesthetics of those structures. The environment deeply affects its inhabitants, and for human beings the impact is not simply physical and social, but also involves the emotional response to beauty or lack thereof. Thus, while ancient cities may have been built primarily for defense, the glorification of the ruler soon became a prominent feature through the construction of impressive buildings and monuments. Today, urban planners are aware of the needs of all citizens to have a pleasant environment, which supports their physical and mental health, in order for the city to be prosperous.
History

Urban planning as an organized profession has existed for less than a century. However, most settlements and cities reflect various degrees of forethought and conscious design in their layout and functioning.

The development of technology, particularly the discovery of agriculture, before the beginning of recorded history facilitated larger populations than the very small communities of the Paleolithic, and may have compelled the development of stronger 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 Mesopotamian, Harrapan, and Egyptian civilizations of the third millennium B.C.E..
Mesopotamia
Babylon was a city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which can be found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 55 miles south of Baghdad. All that remains today of the ancient famed city of Babylon is a mound, or tell, of broken mud-brick buildings and debris in the fertile Mesopotamian plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq. It began as a small town that had sprung up by the beginning of the third millennium B.C.E.. The town flourished and attained prominence and political repute with the rise of the first Babylonian dynasty.
The city itself was built upon the Euphrates and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods. Babylon grew in extent and grandeur over time, but gradually became subject to the rule of Assyria. It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world from c. 1770 to 1670 B.C.E., and again between c. 612 and 320 B.C.E. It was the "holy city" of Babylonia by approximately 2300 B.C.E., and the seat of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 612 B.C.E. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Middle Ages
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" 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.
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. Todi in Italy has been called "the world's most livable city."[4] It is a place where man and nature, history and tradition come together to create a site of excellence. Todi had ancient Italic origins, but after the twelfth century C.E. the city expanded: The government was held first by consuls, and then by podestà and a people's captain, some of whom achieved wide fame. In 1244, the new quarters, housing mainly the new artisan classes, were enclosed in a new circle of walls. In 1290, the city had 40,000 inhabitants.
Other Italian examples of ideal cities planned according to scientific methods include Urbino(origins, fifteenth century), Pienza (1462), Ferrara (early twelfth century), San Giovanni Valdarno (early twelfth century), and San Lorenzo Nuovo (early twelfth century).
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, generally prevented frequent or large-scale urban planning. It was not until the Renaissance and the enormous strengthening of all central governments, from city-states to the kings of France, characteristic of that epoch could urban planning advance.
The Renaissance
The star-shaped fortification had a formative influence on the patterning of the Renaissance ideal city. This was employed by Michelangelo in the defensive earthworks of Florence. This model was widely imitated, reflecting the enormous cultural power of Florence in this age: "The Renaissance was hypnotized by one city type which for a century and a half—from Filarete to Scamozzi—was impressed upon all utopian schemes: this is the star-shaped city."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.
The unique example of a rationally-planned quattrocento new city center, that of Vigevano, 1493-1495, 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 12-pointed shape, circumscribable by a "perfect" Pythagorean figure, the circle, takes no heed of its undulating terrain. The design of cities following the Renaissance was generally more to glorify the city or its ruler than to improve the lifestyle of its citizens.
 
Such ideas were taken up to some extent in North America. For example, Pierre L'Enfant's 1790 plan for Washington, D.C. incorporated broad avenues and major streets that radiated out from traffic circles, providing vistas toward important landmarks and monuments. All the original colonies had avenues named for them, with the most prominent states receiving more prestigious locations. In New England, cities such as Boston developed around a centrally located public space.
 
The grid plan also revived in popularity with the start of the Renaissance in Northern Europe. The baroque capital city of Malta, Valletta, dating back to the sixteenth century, was built following a rigid grid plan of uniformly designed houses, dotted with palaces, churches, and squares. In 1606, the newly founded city of Mannheim in Germany was laid out on the grid plan. Later came the New Town in Edinburgh and almost the entire city center of Glasgow, and many new towns and cities in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Arguably the most famous grid plan in history is the plan for New York City formulated in the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, a visionary proposal by the state legislature of New York for the development of most of upper Manhattan. William Penn's plan for Philadelphia was based on a grid plan, with the idea that houses and businesses would be spread out and surrounded by gardens and orchards, with the result more like an English rural town than a city. Penn advertised this orderly design as a safeguard against overcrowding, fire, and disease, which plagued European cities. Instead, the inhabitants crowded by the Delaware River and subdivided and resold their lots. The grid plan however, was taken by the pioneers as they established new towns on their travels westward. Although it did not take into account the topography of each new location, it facilitated the selling of parcels of land divided into standard-sized lots.
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PROSPERITY CONSULTING GROUP

Architect – Engineer - Planner

18501 Vidora Dr. #A Rowland Hts, Ca 91748

www.e-Architect.us

www.e-Engineer.us

www.e-Planner.us

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