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Summarizing and Comparing the Traditional and the Modern City (Essay Sample)


Write a 3 page essay summarizing and comparing the traditional and the modern city. How did modernism transform urban patterns? What changed in our approach to planning and urban design? What have we gained or lost in terms of sustainability? Are there lessons that we can learn from historic cities and informal settlements?


Summarizing and comparing the traditional and the modern city
The growth of cities has all along been in line with the underlying concept that increase in the number of people settling in them, is always accompanied by an increase in the sophistication of the cities as well.Human settlements additionally, are just a complex system social networks ,all engulfed within a given set of boundaries that define space. Ancient cities have always been used as an example of good human practices and planning, while their modern namesakes are the complete opposite, being the epitome of environmental degradation and poor human activities. Modern cities are marred with vices such as insecurity and complete negativity on the surrounding. The traditional cities were constructed in such a manner that there was indeed harmony between them and their environments.[Ortman, S.G., Cabaniss, A.H.F., Sturm, J.O., Bettencourt, L.M.A. (2015). Settlement scaling and increasing returns in an ancient society. Science Advances 20 Feb 2015:Vol. 1, no. 1, e1400066DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400066]
Traditional cities were mostly fortified in order to offer protections from the outside. It was a safe haven, where people could stay in peace and pursue their different missions in life. The forts shielded the city from the outside dangers. The inside of these cities was orderly and hence there was harmony. The modern cities are in most cases, the opposite of this. They are not fortified in any way. The inside of these cities is the cooking pot of almost all the social vices, from insecurity to pollution. In essence, serenity is only realized as one moves to the outskirts of modern cities.The inside f a modern city is a jungle in its own right, where only the strong and fittest, can survive. It is all about the financial ability and financial flexibility.[Adam, R. (n.d.).Tradition and the modern city. Retrieved from]
How modernism transformed urban patterns
Modernism as an ideology has mainly hinged on abstract rationality with the grandiose expectations of liberty and development, or progress. However, it seems like the contrary is what modernism has exacted to the present situation. The transformation promised by modernism in every field of urban planning and design; be it from the painting or the politics thereof, seems to have been replaced by evils in the society. Urban planning and design has now become infiltrated by professional arrogance, something that has bred urban decay. The once upheld values of community and social interactions have now been replaced by some form of coldness and sterility caused by alienation and urban brutality.
On the other hand however, modernism has helped transform urban patterns by addressing these perceived social ills that plague cities. These include the problems of pollution, traffic congestion and overcrowding .By focusing on the expansion of the urban centers, modernism has helped spread out the facilities and populations of these cities.[Yazdani, M.H., Ahmad, P. (2007). THE INFLUENCE OF MODERNISM UPON THE PHYSICAL TRANSFORMATION OF IRANIAN-ISLAMIC CITIES (TABRIZ'AS CASE STUDY). GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ...
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