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Ekistics is the scientific study of human settlements, including regional, city and community planning and dwelling design. It involves the study of all kinds of human settlements, with a view to geography and ecology - the physical environment- , and human psychology and anthropology, and cultural, political, and occasionally aesthetics.
Currently it is found to rely on staticstics and description, as a scientific mode of study. It is generally a more academic field than "urban planning", and has considerable overlap with some of the less restrained fields of architectural theory,
In application, conclusions are drawn aimed at achieving harmony between the inhabitants of a settlement and their physical and socio-cultural environments.
The scope of ekistics
The notion of Ekistics implies that understanding the interaction between and within human groups -- infrastructure, agriculture, shelter, function (job) -- in conjunction with their environment directly affects their well-being (individual and collective). The subject begins to elucidate the ways in which collective settlements form and how they inter-relate. By doing so, humans begin to understand how they 'fit' into a species, i.e. homo sapiens, and how homo sapiens 'should' be living in order to manifest our potential -- at least as far as this species is concerned (as the text stands now). Ekistics in some cases argues that in order for human settlements to expand efficiently and economically we must reorganize the way in which the villages, towns, cities, metropoli are formed.
EKISTICS (modern Greek: OIKIΣTIKH) is derived from the ancient Greek adjective oikistikoV more particularly from the neuter plural oikistika (as physics is derived from fusika, Aristotle). The ancient Greek adjective oikistikoV meant: "concerning the foundation of a house, a habitation, a city or colony; contributing to the settling." It was derived from oikistikhV, an ancient Greek noun meaning "the person who installs settlers in place". This may be regarded as deriving indirectly from another ancient Greek noun, o kisiV, meaning "building", "housing", "habitation", and especially "establishment of a colony, a settlement , or a town" (already in Plato), or "filling with new settlers", settling", "being settled". All these words grew from the verb oikizw, to settle and were ultimately derived from the noun o koV, "house", "home" or "habitat.
The shorter Oxford English Dictionary contains a reference to an oecist, oekist or oikist, defining him as: "the founder of an ancient Greek ... colony". The English equivalent of oikistikh is ekistics (a noun). In addition, the adjectives ekistic and ekistical, the adverb ekistically, and the noun ekistician are now also in current use. The French equivalent is ekistique, the German oekistik, the Italian echistica (all feminine).
- Settlement sizes by number of habitants:
anthropos - 1
room - 2
house - 5
housegroup/hamlet - 40
small neighborhood/village - 250
neighborhood - 1,500
small polis/town - 10,000
polis/city - 75,000
small metropolis - 500,000
metropolis - 4,000,000
small megalopolis - 25,000,000
megalopolis - 150,000,000
small eperopolis - 1,000 million [1,000,000,000]
eperopolis - 7,500 million [7,500,000,000]
ecumenopolis - 50,000 million [50,000,000,000]
Details of the study of human settlement
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One of the primary tenets of Ekistics is the development of human settlements based on hexagonal infrastructures. Rectilinear urban planning is shown to fail miserably in the ability to efficiently handle the various zones (residential, commercial, and industrial) in ways that support homo sapiens that are collectively and demonstrably well and fit (integrated and balanced spirit, mind, and body). That the horrendus traffic in such places as Washington, DC and Los Angeles exist as a result of this type of 'methodology', or more aptly phrased a lack of foresight and control in urban design, is testament to the inability of rectilinear planning to adequately provide the means to effectively handle the growth of metropolitan settlements. Noded and hierarchical hexagons (think of a structured bi-directional tree, or map, in computer science, a more geometric neural network, or the refinement (not the Baroque adornment) of the Academie des beaux-arts d'architecture evolved into a hexagonal infrastructure), or weighted hexagons and connected based on their proximity (think of a circulatory system), relative importance to the central function of the settlement, eg. a commercial center or an industrial sector, or 'neural center' (if you will), and flow of human bodies or material resources, not only provides for free-flowing circulation, but enables the expansion and promotion of hexagonal sectors to higher weights of arrangement as the settlements increases in population and/or importance. It is important to remember though that the ekistical planning and development of human settlements based on such a scientific approach need not be considered a conversion into a collective machine. Rather, Ekistics provides the means by which individual settlements based on their ethnic background and geographic location to incorporate their heritage while arranging it in a manner that supports their collective intent. Literally, much of the wasted time and resources can be significantly reduced so that the duty of the individual can be smoothly performed in order to allow ample time for the creative quality-of-life (story-telling, the arts - martial, applied, and fine -, cultivation of one's relationship with nature, relaxation time, and conversation, etc.), to emerge by means of the interpersonal relationships within and between settlement(s). Essentially, the structure of Ekistics enables humans to synergize their cultural heritage with technological evolution.
Ekistics is also an academic periodical, overlaping the fields of human geography, environmental psychology, and the sciences of the built environment, published monthly from Greece since the mid 1960s, in English.
"Ekistic Units" <http://www.ekistics.org/Eindex.htm>.
- Consolidated city-county
- Global city
- Megalopolis (term)
- Metropolitan area
- Website of the World Society for Ekistics The World Society for Ekistics WSE is a non-political and non-religious body with limited
membership, formed to study human patterns of living and their physical expression in the past, present and future.
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