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The Genealogy of Cities

Architecture & Urban Renewal

Foreword by David Grahame Shane


A unique atlas of city plans from ancient to modern

“Graves’s illustrations will be the standard and will be used in research and design work for a long time to come.”
—David Grahame Shane, Columbia University School of Architecture

Although contemporary professional use of the term dates from the mid–twentieth century, “urban design” has been practiced throughout history. Examples of carefully planned ancient cities exist in Asia, India, Africa, Europe, and the Americas and are hallmarks of classical Chinese, Roman, and Greek cultures.

The Genealogy of Cities is a compilation of ancient and modern city plans, from 350 BCE to the present, depicting both built and proposed plans. Written in clear and accessible prose, it is illustrated with more than 500 plans drawn at the same scale, a unique feature of this work. It provides a previously unavailable tool for academics and professionals who must grapple with the issue of scale in researching and teaching urban design or when creating new urban spaces. Author Charles P. Graves Jr. created these computer-generated plans to provide a method of understanding models for modern cities while also creating a series of typological diagrams for both historical periods and city fabric. Also included in this volume is a CD containing nearly 1000 plans that will allow the user to print the urban plans at any scale.

This will be a useful and impressive reference book for students, scholars, and urban design and planning professionals and those interested in city planning, urban geography, urban morphology, architecture, cartography, and art history.

Supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Art


Charles P. Graves Jr. is associate professor of architecture at Kent State University. He received his Master of Architecture with a focus in urban design from Cornell University.