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Landscape Architecture Frontiers

Landsc. Archit. Front.    2014, Vol. 2 Issue (5) : 56-68
Papers |
Comparing Ancient Water Infrastructure for New Cities
James L. WESCOAT, Jr
Aga Khan Professor of Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Abstract

When developing water infrastructure for new cities, it is useful to compare the water patterns and performance of distant cities in earlier times. This paper takes its inspiration from research on ancient urban water systems in China which it compares with ancient water infrastructure in South Asia and North America. In each case, there is a wealth of archaeological, historical, and geographical evidence, which is only occasionally drawn upon to inform new urbanization in the 21st century. Positive examples include the enduring emphasis on urban siting, watershed protection, stream restoration, floodplain management, and post-disaster reconstruction. Infrastructure failures include water depletion, degradation, disasters, and destructive conflict that have in some cases contributed to the abandonment of cities. The paper offers six principles by which comparative study of ancient water urbanism can have relevance for contemporary urban landscape design challenges.

Keywords Ancient Water Infrastructure      China      South Asia      North America     
Corresponding Authors: James L. WESCOAT, Jr   
Issue Date: 30 December 2014
 Cite this article:   
James L. WESCOAT, Jr. Comparing Ancient Water Infrastructure for New Cities[J]. Landsc. Archit. Front., 2014, 2(5): 56-68.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/laf/EN/
http://journal.hep.com.cn/laf/EN/Y2014/V2/I5/56
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