Urban geography is a branch of economic geography, engaging in a complex analysis and study of the problems related to functioning and development of municipal centers. Almost for a hundred years of its isolated development, urban geography, as an area of the applied knowledge, had a few changes of its set of paradigms.
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The first paradigm is a consideration, resulting actually in the origin of urban geography, occurring from the tradition to look at the city as a “large plant” where it is possible to count up the basic parameters of vital functions, and as a result to predict the development and anticipatory reaction on the systematic problems.
However, the practice of application of such paradigm in western metropolises resulted in that urban geography faced two waves of criticism in 1960-1970 and change of the methodological bases related to introduction of the anti-positivism principle of object inconceivability and the principle of transition a part of elements of a complex object into the rank of autonomous subjects.
The first texts that can be attributed to the discipline belong to the Greek philosophers. So, Plato described the perfect city model, based on the philosophical reasoning upon the interaction between people. Aristotle investigated organization of a few ten of policies and brought calculations over on the optimal quantity of population of cities.
Antonio di Pietro Averlino, living in Renaissance age, described in his works the system of streets and channels, norms of dwellings apartments, rules of trade.
In later time, urban geography can be accounted for the creation of such cities, as Saint Petersburg and Washington, from the beginning built according to the worked out plan. The plan of Washington was worked out by the French architect Pierre Lanfan under the guidance of the U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. A city was projected in baroque style, and included wide avenues, crossing the rectangular net of streets bias. Such planning reserves available open-space for walking and greenery.
From the beginning of the XX century development of urban geography was divided into three branches. One branch, following Zitte, focuses the attention on the exterior and variants of the structure composition. Other branch focuses the attention on the problems of municipal infrastructure, including flow networks, city economy, real estate development. The third one – on the problems of social life of a city, in particular that, as far as townspeople are engaged in the process of the municipal planning.
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