Urban planning

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Urban, city, and town planning integrates land use planning and transportation planning to improve the built, economic and social environments of communities. Regional planning deals with a still larger environment, at a less detailed level.

Urban planning can include urban renewal, by adapting urban planning methods to existing cities suffering from decay and lack of investment.[1]



In the Neolithic period, agriculture and other techniques facilitated larger populations than the very small communities of the Paleolithic, which probably led to the stronger, more coercive governments emerging at that time. The pre-Classical and Classical periods 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 BCE (see Urban planning in ancient Egypt).

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.[2][3] The streets of many of these early cities were 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; many also had their own water wells, probably for 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.[2]

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