With the help of intellectual movements in the progress of the human world, urbanism can be considered as a tool creating identity for cities. Many authorities, architects, planners, sociologists, etc. have been searching for useful and feasible methods in terms of organizing their cities so that certain results can be achieved. There is a wide range of approaches within urbanism. And depending on the very own and unique characteristics of the society and the authority of a city at its time that the city will have its own way creating the interaction of the inhabitants or the community with the built environment. Undoubtedly, the community is one of the most crucial elements of urban planning and development. However, the role of the community has not always been noticed throughout the history of the human world. Certain conditions of politics, economics, societies, and so forth are the main factors causing the ignorance or the underestimation. Therefore, the changes of these conditions would give rise to the shift of the community role or residents’ participation in urban design. Nolli Map, Situationists’ plan, and Collage City are three different approaches at various times in different countries that reflect this alteration.
Nolli map of Rome was established in 1748 by Giambattista Nolli in response to Pope Benedict XIV with the purpose of creating clear lines of demarcation between the fourteen traditional districts which indicated distinct administrative regions in the society.
At the time, Rome was a city of the clergy, of religion, and a city that was designed to empower the authority. For this purpose, the Nolli map was deemed to help the authority to highlight Rome’s principal monuments. The authority wanted to emphasize the important role of churches and the clergy in order to govern the city. On the contrary, Nolli map totally changed this situation. Nolli unified the city with his simple black and white shading technique known as figure-ground. The clear contrast between black and white, private built form and public open space, solid and void, etc. created a profound influence on the community. The buildings were shaded black, while the streets, squares, the interior of churches, markets, and courtyards were left white. The enclosed public spaces were displayed as civic public spaces. Nolli highlighted the urban form which was the distinctive configurations of public and private buildings and their relationship to the whole urban entity. By doing so, he dramatically affected the concept of the society. The churches and squares now were viewed as the civic public buildings which were equal with streets and markets – intrinsic parts of the fabric of Rome. Accordingly, he raised the understanding that the urban center with important spaces not merely served the authority and wealthy families with isolated events but also functioned for the community as a whole. In addition, with the help of technology and scientific knowledge, the map indicated the development of Rome society. First, Nolli map presented the city to scale in plan view not bird’s eye perspective view which was the ubiquitous and dominant before his work. Second, he reoriented the city to magnetic north which reflected the use of a compass to define the direction of the city layout. In other words, he demonstrated his deep understanding of the city’s topographic and geospatial structure. For this reason, Nolli had a key role in bringing advanced knowledge at the time to the community through his map of Rome in particular. In general, this reflected the engagement of Italy with Europe in the 18th century during the Enlightenment – the intellectual movement that emphasized scientific method and reductionism as well as questioned religious orthodoxy. As the result, Nolli contributed to change Italy society and weaken the church power just by inventing the map of Rome. Undeniably, the role of the community or the participation of the residents was completely neglected by the authority in this case. However, the method that Nolli implemented in his process of devising the map opened a new era for urbanism.
Technology has been contributing to the growth of modern civilization throughout the history and has been using as a main tool helping modernist planners including Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, to open new thinking of modern lifestyle. In 1924, Le Corbusier first presented his idea for future city – Radiant City – with a desire to rebuilt demolished city of Marseille.
The positive and efficacious means of transportation were emphasized in the plan. The architect believed that the plan was a solution for the problems of the current city such as pollution and chaotic conditions. A strict idea of zoning dividing the city into the segregated order of commercial, business, entertainment and residential areas with high-rise buildings was used by Le Corbusier in an attempt to provide dwellers with a better lifestyle and better society. Similar to Le Corbusier with the idea of underlining the role of the automobile, Frank Lloyd Wright came up with the Broadacre City in 1935.
Again the emerging technology – automobile, radio and telephone, and standardized machine shop production - was a deciding and luxury factor of Frank’s city. A new commercial order and social structure were explored. Whole brand new different types of transportation such as the automobile, helicopter, etc. with their supporting systems were included in the utopian city. With the advent of the new technology, Frank’s utopia is not centralized but rather spreading out with the business and government centers stayed as the heart of the city. Although being different in thinking of the layout of a utopian city, the two famous architects still have the same idea which was using technology in order to build up the productive and healthful environment for the community. The community role and participation started to become the main ingredient in modern urbanism.
 Wikipedia, “Giambettista Nolli”.
[2,4] Verstegen, Ian & Ceen, Allan, Giambattista Nolli and Rome: Mapping the City before and after the Pianta Grande, 2013
 Tice, James, The Nolli Map and Urban Theory,2015-2016.
 Wainwright, Oliver, Gran Plans: How She Simple Planning Diagram Has Shaped Our Cities, November 2012
 Wikipedia, “Age of Enlightenment”.
 Merin, Gili, AD Classic: Ville Radieuse/Le Corbusier. ArchDaily, 2013
 Bruechert, Daniel, Franl Lloyd Wright and The Automobile: Design for Automobility, 2002