Cities in History

  • Vítor OliveiraEmail author
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


This chapter analyses the evolution of cities over almost 5500 years. The structure of the chapter draws on seven historical periods that are relatively consensual for different researchers: (i) early cities, with a particular focus on the Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia and on the Chinese civilization in the Yellow River; (ii) the Greek cities, (iii) the Roman cities, (iv) the Islamic cities, (v) the Medieval cities, (vi) the Renaissance cities, and finally, (vii) the nineteenth century cities. The main goal of the chapter is to understand, in each of these seven periods, what the main characteristics of the fundamental elements of urban form—streets, plots and buildings—were, and how these elements were combined forming different urban landscapes.


Early cities Greek cities Islamic cities Medieval cities Nineteenth century cities Renaissance cities Roman cities 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de EngenhariaUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de ArquitecturaUniversidade Lusófona do PortoPortoPortugal

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