Atlanta is creating something unique among American cities: a green network of more than 20 new or expanded parks occupying 1,300 acres, connected by multi-use trails and new transit lines, encircling the entire city and connecting 45 neighborhoods. City on the Verge describes how this BeltLine, for which I prepared the initial master plan, overcame financing problems, litigation, power struggles, politics, property rights, and topographical reality, to become a major recreational resource that is already enhancing the daily life for tens of thousands of Atlantans.
By the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, some cities become powerful states, taking surrounding areas under their control or establishing extensive maritime empires. In Italy medieval communes developed into city-states including the Republic of Venice and the Republic of Genoa . In Northern Europe, cities including Lübeck and Bruges formed the Hanseatic League for collective defense and commerce. Their power was later challenged and eclipsed by the Dutch commercial cities of Ghent , Ypres , and Amsterdam .  Similar phenomena existed elsewhere, as in the case of Sakai , which enjoyed a considerable autonomy in late medieval Japan.