Ildefonso Cerda. Urban planning and the Greek classical antiquity

In 1867 the government in Madrid Ildefonso Cerda publish his work “General Theory of Urbanización” justification of the principles which were based on expansion plans for the cities of Barcelona and Madrid, while an attempt to create a “science city “.   Ildefonso Cerda coined the term “urban” to name the new science that began to define. He rejected the accepted etymological interpretation of the word home urbs (city) as derived from the Latin urbum, the plow furrow of dividing the Roman ritual of the city.After Cerda, the old language precursor of modern European languages, ur mean empty or hollow, and by extension housing.Comes from ur bear, group homes, and urbum, make holes in the ground or country. After Cerda must acres to cultivate the land and to make a home, food and shelter are two basic constituents of human life. Urbs and urbanism became the foundation of his new science.   Cerda’s understanding of the concept of city not stopped the construction, but extends to the interaction of all its constituents.Ildefonso Cerda tried specifically thinking of the nineteenth century, to create a comprehensive and universal science of the city.For him, the city was “a big magnum of people, things and interests of all kinds, thousands of different items. Despite the fact that all the elements seemed to operate independently of each other, when I observed in detail and philosophical I noticed that they are in constant interaction, often exerting a direct action on each of each other, thus forming a unit. ”   Town planning   Although the term is a neologism created town almost 150 years ago, the notion that seems to be defined as old as urban civilization. In everyday language, the town understand any conscious action designed to conceive, organize, equip and transform the city and urban space. The second sense of the term, defined the late nineteenth century, a discipline that would designate a science and a theory of the city with an important and critical reflective character. By extension, the term urbanism has grown to encompass much of what relates to the city, whether public works, the city plan and urban morphology, social practices and attitudes of urban, urban legislation and law .   Ancient Greece   In ancient Greece there are rules of a real urban legislation. The expropriation is used for large public works. Thus, an inscription of the third century shows that at Tanagra, in Beoţia, expropriation decision is taken by the assembly of the people, the magistrates proposal, a committee of eleven members appointed spceial a real jury, whose purpose is to determine the amount of damages awarded to those expropriated. But methods are different depending on the city and sometimes the amount of compensation is fixed by decree voted by the people. In all cases, however, will be found not to infringe expropriated owners.   One major concern of Greek city planning is to protect public space interventions from private initiatives. Since the late sixth century, Hippias led the demolition of all architectural elements out of alignment – balconies, exterior stairs – the houses in the streets of Athens. The same concern is reflected in major urban legislation that develops mainly from the fourth century. Thus, we know from Aristotle that the Athens officials in charge of roads (astynomii) and caring supervision of the flute and singing dancers should also prevent them from the river to build at the expense of public space, prohibit the practice building gutters and street drainage directed to ensure the lifting garbage. Regulation most complete that we know is a law-century royal II, on the city Pergamum. It states that road maintenance officials having charge are put to disappear construction affecting the proper functioning of public ways, to prevent or private roads to tightened to stave pavement, to force the inhabitants to participate in street cleaning and maintain the walls of houses, in fine, they also have a duty to ensure the cleaning of wells and water pipes and the maintenance of public latrines and drains.   How about making major urban works, in classical Greek cities, it is decided by the people. But the actual implementation of a special committee is appointed and it shall provide the services of an architect. Responsible for the technical and financial decisions, the Commission is accountable to the Assembly for the administration and the financing of the work.   Expelled during the ideal of history and bygone era back to the twenty-first century where we expect the future probably Ildefonso Cerda to re-invent a term of Greek classical antiquity – democracy. Described by Pericles when Athenian system of government talks about “her administration favors the many instead of few, for this is called democracy …” See you soon!   October 11, 2009