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In conjunction with Scientific American’s special September 2011 issue on cities, we present an archival look back at the documented growth of urban environments. As population increased, cities had to find ways to meet the demands of expansion and to face the consequences of containing large numbers of people in small spaces. Some of the solutions offered in the following slide show have proved their worth and are still in use today. Others were either too impractical or too radical to make a lasting impact.