Greek town planning began in 5th century B.C. Towns were crude and simple at first.

In the middle of that century, first highways were built in Greece. Towards the end of the century, real town planning began, with streets crossing at right angles.

In the early 4th century, the need for laws to govern life in these towns, introduced a need for magistrates, or mayors, to govern them. Police was also introduced around this time. Laws to control order in the market and on the streets were written.

Athenian constition around the middle of the 4th century, had provisions to persecute people who tried building something on the public roads. It was prohibited to build balconies overhanging the streets, or verandas that ran into streets. Officers were assigned to check that private houses were built according to the building codes, and to monitor the cleanliness of roads and waterways.

Two main cities of Greece, Athens and Sparta, remained untouched by the movement, however. Streets of Athens were described as narrow, unpaved, unlighted, and more like a chaos of mud and sewage. Sparta was even worse.

Nevertheless, the art of Greek town planning probably began in Athens. Aristotle mentions an architect by the name Hippodamus of Miletus, as the first person to begin the idea of town-planning in Greece. This architect introduced the principle of straight, wide streets. He also introduced the idea of grouped houses and paid special attention to combination of different parts of the town into one harmonious whole. The entire town was built around a marketplace in the center.


Haverfield, F. Ancient Town-planning,. Oxford: Clarendon, 1913. Print.

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