Why do the prosperous citizens usually reside on the west side of the city? Why do urban improvements projects lie on the margins of the medieval urban cores? Why are renaissance towns octagonal in shape? What is the historic difference between ciy and town? These, and many other questions related to the design of our towns and cities, are answered here. By means of a historic examination of the development of urban planning, on the background of the technological, political, economic and cultural development, an explanation is provided, for why our towns look as they do today.