Ideal City. City existing as an idea or an archetype, conceived as perfect, or as an object to be aimed at as a standard of excellence. The term suggests something whole and complete, as in many of the geometrical symmetrical plans for such cities in the Renaissance period, all of which are variants on patterns established by Vitruvius, who in turn may have derived his typology from earlier sources, now lost. Renaissance designers of the città ideale froze the elements into formal patterns as an expression of order in which Man imposed ideals and heroic dimensions, often with a central structure as an expression of the social order. Such perfect geometrical plans also symbolized the yearning for Utopia, the perfect state, and even the City of God, the New Jerusalem.
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