Town Planning Review

Centenary Paper: Plan and constitution – Aristotle's Hippodamus: towards an 'ostensive' definition of spatial planning

Town Planning Review (2009), 80, (2), 113–141.

Abstract

This paper is part of ongoing research into the relationship between planning and citizenship. It focuses on two passages from Aristotle's Politics. The first indicates that Hippodamus was a political philosopher and a planner and suggests that he cannot be considered the 'inventor' of the orthogonal grid, but rather may be regarded as the first to theorise about the division of population and land within the city and to establish the connection between plan and constitution, that is, between the plan and various forms of citizenship. In the second passage two models of spatial plan are set against each other as expressions of innovation and tradition and Aristotle discusses the difference between functional and aesthetic aims and prudence, i.e. technical rationality and political reason. On this basis the paper introduces the spatial inclusion/exclusion pairing as 'a concept of planning' and discusses some notes on rules, customs and tastes which may be helpful in designing a theory of a spatial plan.

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Mazza, Luigi