I was under the impression some cities are built to make urban combat more of a mess than it already is. Specifically they are built to have bad sight lines, confusing routes for the enemy and planned areas that could be blocked off. Unfortunately I can't seem to find information on specific city planning of this nature. What cities were planned this way if any and how recently were they planned, also did any of these cities experience combat?
For Europe, I would say, that most of the major cities were not designed to make urban combat more of a mess than it already is.
Most of the original European cities were not planned at all
- but simply envolved as needed
This lead to very unsanitary, fire prone, death traps.
Fortified cities, as allready meantioned, did have a military plan in mind for the external protection, but rarely for any internal.
On the contrary, such fortifications often lead to a overcrowding inside the fortifications.
Some modernizations (such as in Rome) were made mainly to the glory of the beloved leader of the day.
The assumption that the beloved leader was such a terrible military strategist that the city must be planned with the assumption that an urban combat would take place, would never had been openly stated.
During the middle ages the need for fortified cities was high.
Suburbs (in Paris Faubourg) envolved which often lead to the extension of city walls (sometimes only as tax walls).
Starting around 1700 suburbs were often planned with wide boulevards and building regulations with the intention of improving the living conditions (Berlin Friedrichstadt) and not for military reasons. The extended city wall became a tax wall as apposed to the previous which was a fortified wall.
In 1848 Paris began to envolve to its present form
Here the main goal was to rid Paris of the narrow and winding streets and foul sewers and not mainly for military reasons. For this the Thiers wall had been build in 1841/44 and was the last major fortified city wall. In most cases such walls were replaced with rings of fortified forts.
Allthough Haussmann himselfs confirmed the military advantage, he did so mainly to get further financing from Parliament as part of the national defense. During the Paris Commune uprising the wide streets played no role and the Prussian armies, during the Siege of Paris, had no intention in taking the city by force anyway.
One result of the negative experiences of the industrial revolution, lead to a rethinking of city planning.
Allthough similar in nature, the city planning in Berlin and Paris differed in one major area.
In Berlin the replacement of the areas created during the middle ages was planned to be done gradually (1880 to 1970), the last area being Fischerinsel.
In Paris this was done more radicaly and sometimes lead to social disruption.
In Vienna had a similar development, with modern suburbs being build in 1850 outside a cleared area (Vienna Ring Road) and started the removal of fortifications in 1857. Allthough new modern builings were build around the Vienna Ring Road, the historical city center remained relatively untouched.