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Changes in the Environment and their Impact on the Development or Decline of Cities in Historical Retrospection

Abstract: The discussion about the state of the environment is a part of a wide range of theoretical and then practical considerations and measures since the mid-20th century, when a report was published by the so-called Roman Club. Since then, it has been (and often still is) based on the assumption, that the basis of the state of the environment is the behavior of man and changes (meaning positive changes) of his behavior will also lead to changes in the condition of the environment in general as well as at the level of individual settlements. Recently, however, it turns out that human influence on the global climate is controversial. Climate change is totally inexorable (although positive changes in society's behavior are taking place) and it appears that it has been taking place in a more ancient history. The aim of this paper will be to deepen knowledge of these historical examples of successful and unsuccessful adaptation to the impacts of changing environmental conditions, climate change, and create a set of lessons learned from available historical documents, based on examples from selected ancient civilizations from Middle East and Mediterranean. The study correlates detection of development of climate with significant changes in urban or civilizational structures since the oldest mentions of neolithic residencies, as is for example Boncuklu on Konya Basin in today’s Turkey, through neolithization of Europe by peculiar Vučedol culture or, connected to it, Indus Valley Civilisation (Harrapan Civilisation) and early civilisations in Mesopotamia (e.g. the city of Ur), to the Minoan civilisation, examples of greek colonization (Milétos or Efesos) that go as far as to Roman Pompeii and reasons of their extinction. Results of study show, that for meaningful prehension of the topic we will have to process not only more complete overview of individual historical examples, but also a typology of main influences of environment on functioning, growth and decay of residencies, based on climatic and nonclimatic character.

ŠILHÁNKOVÁ, Vladimíra (2019). Změny životního prostředí a jejich vliv na rozvoj či úpadek měst v historické retrospektivě. In: Jiří Kugl, ed. Člověk, stavba a územní plánování 12. ČVUT v Praze, Fakulta stavební pp. 140-164. ISBN 978-80-01-06634-8. ISSN 2336-7695.