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Type: Journal article
Title: A long-term archaeological reappraisal of low-density urbanism: Implications for contemporary cities
Author: Hawken, S.
Fletcher, R.
Citation: Journal of Urban Archaeology, 2021; 3:29-50
Publisher: Brepols
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 2736-2426
Statement of
Scott Hawken and Roland Fletcher
Abstract: Dispersed, low-density urbanism has conventionally been considered as a unique consequence of industrialization and factors such as mechanized transport. Pre-industrial urbanism by contrast, has been perceived almost entirely in terms of compact densely inhabited cities with a strong differentiation between an urban and a rural populace. Evidence demonstrates, low-density settlements were a notable feature of the agrarian-urban world, especially in the tropics, and have been a characteristic of every known socio-economic system used by Homo sapiens. This paper situates past examples of large, low-density, dispersed urban settlements, with their long histories and their distinct patterns of growth and demise, in relation to contemporary low-density cities. This critical reappraisal of low-density, dispersed cities in the context of a long and culturally diverse urban past is signi­cant for addressing urban sustainability challenges.
Keywords: Low-density urbanism; comparative urbanism; cities; urban sustainability; dispersed urbanism; settlement archaeology; urban planning; urban archaeology
Rights: This is an open access article made available under a cc by-nc 4.0 International License.
DOI: 10.1484/J.JUA.5.123674
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