Even to say “the history of urban design” is to immediately frame a field of study. The phrase calls to mind some kind of chronological survey of great urban spaces, from Greek agoras to Brasilia and beyond. It may also suggest to some the exclusion of the non-Western and the non-aristocratic, evoking an old-time series of Western “great monuments” presented without much attention to social or environmental context. Say, on the other hand, “the history of the built environment,” which may at first seem preferable, and other problems immediately crop up. What built environment, built by and for whom, for what purpose, when? Should one attempt to reconstruct the built environment of ancient North Africa before desertification in such a study? Attempt to survey the histories of the various rapidly changing environments in modern China, Indonesia, or the numerous other built environments that have existed throughout recorded history around the world? Obviously to attempt to set the parameters of so broad a field of study raises very serious challenges to responsible scholarly methods of assessing evidence and forming conclusions based on it. While one can hope that in the future such a field might come into existence, nothing remotely like this currently exists. At present the built environment is typically studied within fairly firm disciplinary boundaries, which normally include architectural history, landscape history, urban and planning history, and, more rarely, histories of industrial and agricultural technologies that have left major traces on the landscape. Exchanges between these fields tend to be limited, with the most common being between architectural and urban historians, particularly in pre-modern and “non-Western” contexts.