Renaissance Europe

Florence was an early model of the new urban planning, which took on a star-shaped layout adapted from the new star fort, designed to resist cannon fire. This model was widely imitated, reflecting the enormous cultural power of Florence in this age; "[t]he Renaissance was hypnotized by one city type which for a century and a half from Filarete to Scamozzi was impressed upon utopian schemes: this is the star-shaped city".[8] 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 (Illustration) of 1504. As built, the unique example of a rationally planned quattrocento new city center, that of Vigevano (149395), resembles a closed space instead, surrounded by arcading. Filarete's ideal city, building on Leone Battista Alberti's De re aedificatoria, was named "Sforzinda" in compliment to his patron; its twelve-pointed shape, circumscribable by a "perfect" Pythagorean figure, the circle, took no heed of its undulating terrain in Filarete's manuscript.[9] This process occurred in cities, but ordinarily not in the industrial suburbs characteristic of this era (see Braudel, The Structures of Everyday Life), which remained disorderly and characterized by crowding and organic growth. Following the 1695 bombardment of Brussels by the French troops of King ouis XIV, in which a large part of the city center was destroyed, Governor Max Emanuel proposed using the reconstruction to completely change the layout and architectural style of the city. His plan was to transform the medieval city into a city of the new baroque style, modeled on Turin, with a logical street layout, with straight avenues offering long, uninterrupted views flanked by buildings of a uniform size. This plan was opposed by residents and municipal authorities, who wanted a rapid reconstruction, did not have the resources for grandiose proposals, and resented what they considered the imposition of a new, foreign, architectural style. In the actual reconstruction, the general layout of the city was conserved, but it was not identical to that before the cataclysm. Despite the necessity of rapid reconstruction and the lack of financial means, authorities did take several measures to improve traffic flow, sanitation, and the aesthetics of the city. Many streets were made as wide as possible to improve traffic flow. Americas Many Central American civilizations also planned their cities, including sewage systems and running water. In Mexico, Tenochtitlan was the capital of the Aztec empire, built on an island in Lake Texcoco in what is now the Federal District in central Mexico. At its height, Tenochtitlan was one of the largest cities in the world, with over 200,000 inhabitants.