The acceptance of water structures into cities in varying degrees dates back to the first human agglomerations, water being essential to life. The impact of those systems and technologies on the surrounding environment and its evolution up to modern times is the object of this paper, concerning the comparison between ancient Roman water culture, the Roman empire being a place where water was first made available on a mass scale, and the modern concepts of urban water systems planning.

The comparison considers the functionalities and social values attributed to water in the urban spaces, and methods used to learn and practice technologies. The result is a vision of water that is not limited to the idea of a human need to maintain life, but also as an essence for life renovation and well being, that can be useful in the process of rebalancing the relationship between human communities and the other species and elements living within human agglomerations.

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