What, in your view, are the important differences between the time of Vitruvius and the present day when to comes to laying out a new town.
Laying out a town nowadays is quite easy as we use technology to understand and evaluate the most convenient position and site; however, it was not the same concept during the Vitruvian times.
First and foremost, the Romans during those times believed in many different types of gods, paranoid and superstitious, which played a major role when it came to laying out a town; although some of their theories, in my opinion, are currently used when laying out a town.
Vitruvius in The Ten books of Architecture, Book I, Chapter IV, suggests that a town should consider its surroundings and the climate in which it’s situated in and if it’s not suitable for the wellbeing of human life, then the idea of laying out a town in that location should be discarded. For example, if your desired location has a swamp nearby, which is the perfect environment for insects with diseases to thrive, then that location should be reconsidered for a town. Keeping in mind this idea, a present-day layout would not follow this type of concept, because nowadays swamps can be drained of their water, we have a wider understanding and knowledge when it comes to diseases and illnesses where they can be cured in hospitals.
He also states that his ancestors would sacrifice their cattle to examine their liver before building a town. They did this to check if the food and the water they were eating/drinking were healthy enough for human beings to live and cultivate in that land. These days we don’t carry out this type of act, because most foods are grown in the co...
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...ed in my previous paragraph, we do not rely on the direction in which the winds when it comes to human health; because we have a wide and broad knowledge in health and cures.
In my view, these are the main differenced to laying out a town during Vitruvius’ time and the present time. The main central concept is to build structures around human beings, the fact that human beings are actually structures and we need to build sturdy, functional and pleasant structures around us, Kruft H.W. (1994) A History of Architectural Theory from Vitruvius to the Present. London: Zwemmer. pp 24 to 27; just as much as everything rotates around human beings from the position of the city to the structures inside of it. If the locations and surroundings do not adapt to our needs and necessities, mainly around our nutrition and health, then the idea of building a town is not adequate.
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