By: David Macaulay
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Company
Publication Date: 1974
Series: Buildings Built to Last by David Macaulay

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The Romans were masters of the art of city planning.  In City David Macaulay creates the imaginary Roman city of Verbonia; through his impressively detailed drawings and clear descriptive text he shows just how superbly the Romans built new and exciting cities which functioned for the people who were to inhabit them.  The book pictures and describes how the city's population and size were determined before construction began, how ample space was allowed for houses, shops, public squares, and temples; how streets, sidewalks, and sewer systems were designed to serve best those who lived and worked within the city walls.  The step by step process of constructing such aspects as roads and bridges, the city wall, water and drainage systems, public areas such as the forum and market place, shops and private homes, and public baths and entertainment centers is graphically explained.

In his creation of Verbonia, the author displays the kind of city planning that is the basis of any truly successful city.  It is impossible to read this book without drawing parallels to contemporary cities and their existing problems.  The need for adequate city planning is greater than ever.  A look back in history at the skills used in the building of Roman cities can give another perspective on the city of today.

From the dust jacket

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