Town planning is the science that studies urban phenomena with the
purpose of planning their historical development through the
interpretation, reorganization, consolidation and adaptation of existing
urban aggregates to discipline their growth potential through the
design of new ones and the reform and organization of systems
connecting the aggregates to each other and the natural environment
• Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world and it has had a
particular urban development during its historical evolution.
• There are several stages in its development:
• Republican and Imperial Age
• Middle Ages
• Renaissance and Baroque
• Modern Age
• Contemporary Age (after 1860)
According to legend Rome was
founded in 875 BC on seven hills,
as you can see in this picture
The first detectable expansion
through reconstructions of written
sources is the one dating back to the
The greatest urban and
during the Empire.
These are maps of the
urban area during the
reign of Augustus
In the MIDDLE AGES, after the fall of the Holy Roman
Empire, the city headed towards decline. Depopulation and
abandonment greatly reduced the number of inhabitants who
concentrated near the river banks.
In the 15th -16th centuries Rome regained some of its former lustre
thanks to the papacy which reigned over the city. Many popes
engaged in improving the city's arts, as a mark of their power.
18th-century St. Peter's Basilica
as it whould appear to
CAPITAL OF THE KINGDOM OF ITALY
In 1870 Rome was chosen as
the capital city of Italy for its
historical and artistic
importance. There were less
than 250,000 inhabitants ,70%
of whom were illiterate. The
city was prey to malaria and
robbers. There were no
industries in the modern sense
of the term.
By1900 the population doubled. The city was greatly restored but also
damaged in several parts, such as the Capitoline Hill, gutted to make way
for the Altare della Patria. The arrangement of several districts was
upset. Ministerial buildings were designed and constructed.
The Altare della Patria
during its construction
Via Carlo Felice in 1960, during a religious event with Pope Pius
IX, and the same street today.
Countryside outside the walls adjacent the Pyramid, now a fully
Fascist Rome and Empire
Rome was the protagonist of the rise of fascism in 1922. In 1929
Church and State stipulated the Lateran Pacts, by which Italy ceded
the territory of the Vatican to the Pope thus creating Vatican city.
Mussolini built Via della Conciliazione causing a partial demolition
of the medieval district.
View from the terrace of St. Peter before and after the demolition in the fascist period
Via della Conciliazione in
the past …….
Other major urban interventions were carried out in Via dei Fori
Imperiali with the construction of a subway line and along the Tiber
left bank to build the sports complex of the Foro Mussolini (now Foro
Italico). Fascism sought to renew the glories of ancient Rome.
Different views of Via dei Fori Imperiali
Understanding the importance of propaganda in creating great works
Mussolini decided to build a new neighborhood called EUR -
acronym for Universal Exhibition Rome - which was completed in
1942 . The rationalistic architecture of EUR would not only give
lustre to fascism and the capital of the Empire, but also bring Rome
closer to the sea.
During the fascist period new lower
class neighborhoods. San Basilio
Garbatella, Cinecittà, Trullo,
Quarticciolo were annexed to the
city as well as the villages of
Labaro, Osteria del Curato, Quarto
Miglio, Capannelle Pisana
Torrevecchia, Octavia, Casalotti.
This resulted in an extension to the
southeast, along the streets Tiburtina
Prenestina Casilina, Appia Nuova.
The city passed the course of the
river Aniene from both sides and
developed toward the sea. On the
north-west Monte Mario was also
incorporated. These expansions were
needed to cater for a growing of
Rome hosted the 1960 Olympics, using many ancient sites such as Villa
Borghese and the Thermae of Caracalla as venues. New structures were created,
such as the great Olympic Stadium (which later was renovated and expanded to
accommodate the 1990World Football Cup). the Olympic Village was designed
to accommodate the athletes and transformed into a residential neighborhood
after the games.
View of the Stadio Flaminio and the Olympic Village
The contemporary city (after 1945)
• Today's Rome reflects the stratification of the ages of its long
history, but it is also a large and modern metropolis.
• After World War II the city continued to expand because of the
growth of government and industry, with the creation of new
neighborhoods and suburbs.
• All around the city there is a network of ever-expanding suburbs, which has
created a series of social and economic problems
• The current population is officially around 2.8 million, but on
workdays it is estimated that it exceeds 3.5 million. It is a
remarkable growth compared to the past.
• Rome’s inhabitants were
• 138,000 in 1825,
• 244,000 in 1871,
• 692,000 in 1921
• 1,600,000 in 1961
By the early eighties, the city's population growth stopped completely, with
a slight decrease from 1981 to 2001. This is a phenomenon observed in
other major Italian and European cities, partly due to falling birth rates (not
sufficiently compensated by immigration) and partly to the development of
satellite towns outside the municipal area. With more than 2,700,000
inhabitants, Rome is the most populous town in Italy. In the EU, the
municipality of Rome is in fourth place after London, Berlin and Madrid.
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