This artwork was completed in pen and ink, circa 1487-1490. It can now be found at the Bibliotheque de l'Institut de France. Leonardo da Vinci was seeking to solve the issues of the city of Milan through a re-design of its architecture.
Da Vinci was looking to improve the levels of hygiene across the city with a more modern approach to architectural design and town planning. This is a good example of his visionary ideas and strong desire to use his skills for the benefit of others. Practical solutions are not always the forte of creative artists, but here the artist attempts to deal with issues such as the raging plague and also the build up of traffic.
There would be two levels to the city, one for pedestrians and another for traffic where the drains would also run. This separation had the obvious benefit of naturally allowing the residents to enjoy an improved quality of life. Da Vinci also wanted to limit the height of any buildings and this would again allow the air and sunshine to circulate more freely around the streets.
The artist would also design elements of the city itself, not just its layout. He would look into theatre sets and church facades, amongst others. He would also look into Casa Guiscardi which was to be an impressive urban residential area.