The Limits of Settlement Growth: A Theoretical Outline by Roland Fletcher (University of Sydney)
In this study Roland Fletcher argues that the built environment becomes a constraint on the long-term development of a settlement. It is costly to move settlements, or to demolish and rebuild from scratch, so the initial layout and buildings, and the forms of communication that result, may come to shackle further development and also to place constraints on social and political change. Using this theoretical framework, Dr Fletcher reviews worldwide settlement growth over the past 15,000 years, and concludes with a major discussion of the great transformations of human settlements - from mobile to sedentary, sedentary to urban, and urban to industrial. This book is an ambitious contribution to archaeological theory, and the questions it raises also have implications for the future of urban settlement.