DOI: https://doi.org/10.7203/metode.13.21713

An evolutionary success story: The ascent of the urban ape


Abstract


Urbanistic projects have dominated the last six thousand years of our species’ history, appearing independently on all the inhabited continents. The majority of the population already live in cities and the trend seems to be increasing. An evolutionary approach entails explaining first what factors first made urban experiments possible in the late Holocene, and then what selective pressures made urban forms of social organization more successful than their alternatives. A range of factors, some environmental and some emerging from the characteristic of the human animal, explain the possibility of urbanism. Among reasons for the comparative advantage displayed by cities, it is argued that state formation and urbanization have tended to form synergistic relationships, the success of each facilitating the success of the other.


Keywords


cities; social evolution; Holocene; state formation

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References


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Creative Commons License
Texts in the journal are –unless otherwise indicated– published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________