Leonardo da Vinci Designs his Ideal City
After Filarete's project for Sforzinda, an ideal city in honor of Francesco Sforza, Leonardo, as well, was fascinated by the idea of planning a city as a formally complete organism.
The waterways are as important as the streets, but
"if you want this to have effect […] you must choose an appropriate site, for example, placing it next to a river that will provide you for canals …"
Milan's problem was the lack of a large river with a constant flow like the Ticino. Leonardo indicated this in his projects, possibly thinking of a new role for Vigevano, a city favored by Ludovico Il Moro.
The Renaissance concept of the ideal city is expressed by Leonardo in his rigorously geometric urban planning. His ideal city is characterised by the perfect integration of a network of canals, which are used both for commercial purposes as well as a sewage system.
Leonardo conceived of buildings as hydraulic machines which distributed water in all the rooms of the house as well as in the artisan workshops through a mechanical lifting system. In the workshops the energy released in this way was used to drive various types of machines.
Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Works