Looking at the city from above, we notice that the configuration of the land dictated where to construct the public buildings and the city centre. And while 5th century's Greek cities lacked a plan and their structure was random and spontaneous, here we witness a totally different concept. Public life is in agreement with the environment. Hippodamus, the architect from Miletus was the first to produce a city plan. In his design, he suggested that the public and private buildings should be blocks and proposed pre-designed streets that cut one another at right angles. This plan was adopted by the Athenians and implemented in the development of Piraeus. So, the new city was built in accordance to the ideas of Hippodamus and hence, it had civil principles.
Hippodamus was not just a civil engineer of the time, he was also a political theorist occupied with the issue of the "best state". His work was part of his political/civil planning. As far as the size of this best state, Hippodamus believed that ten thousand citizens were adequate to inhabit a city; he divided the citizens into three classes: artisans, farmers, and soldiers and the land into three parts: the sacred (dedicated to the Gods), the public, and the private (enjoyed equally by the farmers).
Indeed, Aristotle criticizes this best state and poses questions about whether appropriating land equally guarantees an egalitarian society.
Ancient Messene today has the rare advantage of not having been destroyed or covered by later settlements and of being situated in an untouched Mediterranean natural environment.