Probably from the dawn of cities in Turkey 9,500 years ago! On a small scale, many of the problems that faced cities then, face us, now.
Cities are founded where they are convenient: Water and food are nearby, and the site can be defended. But as the city gets bigger, it will start to put a strain on water and food supplies, and buildings may take the place of the very cropland that caused people to live there in the first place.
A modern problem that was very much with the ancients is what to do with garbage. Somebody’s got to carry that stuff far enough away that it doesn’t create a stink and a health hazard. The bigger the city, the further away that tends to be. In Biblical times the problem was already so bad that Gehenna, the garbage dump outside of Jerusalem, never stopped burning. Umm! Lovely, when the wind shifted to the southwest!
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