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Greco-Roman Urban Form in Its Global Context
The grid plan has long been considered the hallmark of the Classical city, but grid plans are common to cultures around the world. This misconception arises from the fact that the Classical city is often studied in isolation. To remedy this, the arrangements of Greek and Roman cities are compared with those of other ancient societies, with an eye towards how plans delimit space and control movement. This reveals distinctive spatial organizational characteristics underlying the forms of Classical sites: street networks that allow for free circulation and a lack of large-scale zones of restricted access between public and private spaces. On the basis of this new model, the Greco-Roman grid plan is recast not as a defining feature of the Classical city, but as a preferential feature implemented in select contexts.