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Savannah boasts one of the most celebrated urban plans in the United States, and the city is often cited as the country's most beautiful. Its downtown area in particular has successfully balanced the needs of architecture and open space, pedestrians and automobiles, in a harmonious manner that is seen as a model for redefining urban design principles in the twenty-first century. Beyond its downtown and ring of historic streetcar suburbs, however, Savannah has witnessed the same unremarkable urban sprawl that characterizes most other American cities.

The city was founded in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe, the leader of a philanthropic corporation of English gentlemen granted trusteeship of the colony of Georgia. They sought to establish a charitable colony for England's urban poor and continental refugees ...

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